Honor and shame in honor and dignity cultures: How can you re-affirm your own honor once it is tarnished?
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Available social psychological studies of honor cultures have mostly focused on emotional, cognitive, and behavioral consequences of perceiving an honor insult. The aim of this study was to examine possible ways of re-instilling a sense of honor and thus avoiding the negative emotional consequences of losing honor. A combined honor culture sample of Turkish and Latina/o participants (N=59) and a dignity culture sample of North Americans (N=57) were compared. Participants received an honor insult in the laboratory, and engaged in either self-affirmation or honor-affirmation. Analyses revealed that honor culture participants experienced more reactive honor endorsement in the self-affirmation condition compared to the honor-affirmation condition, indicating that self-affirmation is not as effective as honor-affirmation in alleviating negative consequences of receiving an honor insult for members of honor cultures. Honor versus self-affirmation did not differentially affect the reactive honor endorsement of dignity culture participants. Our analyses did not reveal similar culture by affirmation interaction for the effectiveness of honor versus self affirmation in reducing negative emotional consequences of receiving an honor insult (e.g., shame and anger). The implications for future honor research are discussed.