1. GStohl
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    GStohl New Member

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    Help with psychological research, esp. guilt.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by GStohl, Apr 25, 2011.

    I have a character who, in a past life, did some terrible things. He doesn't believe in god. I need to show (a) his guilt leaking out of him and (b) him dealing with his guilt.

    I'd like to research psychological / therapeutic descriptions of guilt, etc. Does anyone know where I can find some textbook summaries on this kind of thing? Preferably online.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    This is the definition from Merriam Webster's Medical dictionary : "feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : morbid self-reproach often manifest in marked preoccupation with the moral correctness of one's behavior responses originating in inner guilt and uncertainty"

    Don't know if that helps you at all. What do you mean "show his guilt leaking out of him"?
    Like in a physical manifestation, or as some sort of obsession?
     
  3. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    in a past life..?
     
  4. GStohl
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    GStohl New Member

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    "Past life" as in what my character did before running away and starting a new life. Not "past life" dealing with reincarnation.

    @Trish: I do mean the manifestations of his guilt. I would like to describe, in other words, habits or ticks he has that are symptoms of his guilt in addition to describing the overt actions he takes to atone for his past sins.

    The dictionary definition is definitely a good start. Thanks.
     
  5. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Textbooks are all well and good, but they tend to be overly clinical. If you're looking for something strictly behavioral, the best way to figure out how a person will react to any emotion is just to observe people. For extreme guilt, you might have a hard time finding someone just in a local grocery store or coffeeshop, but I'm sure you can find some more muted examples and collect some interesting ticks and habits. Try to figure out what emotions different people are feeling and describe what physical hints tip you off (e.g. slumped shoulders, droopy eyes, straight posture, a spring in their step).
     
  6. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    How has he paid?

    There are some who believe that they can surpass the reincarnation thing by paying it this life and starting fresh with a new life without dying and being "wiped."
     
  7. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    I don't THINK there are any recorded symptoms of guilt in any textbook except for the general ones. Perhaps recurring thoughts based on his misdeeds, constant anger/sadness, seeking atonement, and, if the guilt is really bad, suicidal tendencies. Guilt comes in a variety of forms. I know whenever I feel guilty about something, I apologise and, when that isn't possible, a mull over how stupid I acted and promise myself to do better in a similar situation. I hope this helped you. If not, then think back on the times you have ever felt guilty and base your character's guilt on your experiences.
     

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