A General Theory Of Guilt v. Shame
Thumb sailer
June 26, 2012, 05:30 AM
Print Friendly and PDF
Tommy comments, re Japanese: Guilt or Shame? below:
Look at the low crime Omanis or Jordanians versus the high crime "youfs" in France versus the Japanese or Koreans. Oman is what happens when you have the kings, sultans, or sheiks to crack the whip on a shame-based people. Suburban France is what happens when you have a shame-based people living in a society that depends on a certain measure of guilt. Japan is what happens when you don`t need emirs, ayatollahs, or clans to enforce the rules strictly and hurt or embarrass offenders.  
My suspicion is that all the following generally run together in social, psychological, neurological and genetic terms: 
= social orderliness in the absence of severity
= good manufacturing
= suicide in the face of defeat or embarrassment
= highly organized war crimes
= personal intolerance of the disorderly
= high level of visuospatial relative to verbal intelligence
= high latitude evolutionary environment
= personal responsibility, low narcissism and high collectivism
= rapid industrialization once the way forward is obvious
= high levels of cultural and institutional formalization
= low corruption or at least relative ease of ridding society of corruption once it becomes a priority
= less humor
= a certain degree of traditionalism related to formalization 
= disorderliness in the absence of severity
= poor manufacturing
= unwillingness to commitment suicide (unless its suicide by enemy while doing something homicidal) in the face of defeat
= poorly organized and personally emotional massacres
= personal tolerance of disorderliness
= high verbal to visuospatial IQ ratios (not necessarily absolutely high verbal intelligence though)
= low latitude evolutionary environment
= seeking credit and avoiding blame, high narcissism, low collectivism
= poor industrialization
= low levels of cultural and institutional formalization
= high corruption and resistance to reform in this area
= more humor
= traditionalism that seems more emotional and nostalgic and has little to do with prior formalization of customs 
All this may sound good for guilt-based societies, but I suspect that those that are too too guilt-based may be somewhat uncreative. 
I would argue that in Europe the Germans are (or at least were) a shade more guilt-based than the English. The English beat the Germans to the Industrial Revolution (maybe in part because the English are a bit more free-wheeling than the Germans?), but Germany underwent industrialization even more rapidly than Britain.