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Shame is an important mechanism in much of the world for discouraging unethical behavior. Shame may be defined as public censure and disapproval, whereas honor, its opposite, is public affirmation. Shame and honor may be endowed by one's inherited circumstances or family station, but they also serve as negative and positive reinforcements of behavior. Shame takes many forms, including embarrassment, humiliation, loss of face, ridicule, punishment, expulsion from the family, and exile.

Relationship-Oriented Cultures

Shame-based regulation of behavior is most prevalent in relationship-oriented cultures, which rely heavily on personal supervision. This is because the experience of shame, in the sense intended here, requires that other people take note of one's behavior. A relationship orientation is typically found in non-Western countries.

Direct supervision plays a central role in relationshiporiented ...

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