Individual differences in guilt sensitivity scale (GSS)

Claudia Perdighe, Teresa Cosentino, Faraci P., Andrea Gragnani, Angelo Maria Saliani, Francesco Mancini (2015): Individual differences in guilt sensitivity scale (GSS). In: Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 22 (3), pp. 349-362, 2015.


Individual differences can be observed in the propensity to experience certain emotions; for some emotions, most notably anxiety and disgust, the notion of sensitivity was also explored, namely one's tendency to evaluate negatively a given emotion and its effects. Based on observations made in the clinical practice, the authors suggest that this distinction may be usefully applied also to guilt, creating a specific instrument to measure guilt sensitivity. In the wake of such considerations, the authors developed the Guilt Sensivity Scale, a 10-item scale. It evaluates subjective sensitivity to guilt feelings by investigating: the tendency to avoid this feeling, its influence on the patient's life, and his/her ability to tolerate it. The major goal of this study is testing the psychometric properties of this scale. To this end, the scale was administered to a sample of 916 participants. In terms of psychometric properties, the instrument seems to be characterized by a significant, promising reliability and validity.