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Levin, S. (1967). Some Metapsychological Considerations on the Differentiation Between Shame and Guilt. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 48:267-276.

(1967). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 48:267-276

Some Metapsychological Considerations on the Differentiation Between Shame and Guilt

Sidney Levin


The central topic discussed has been the differentiation between shame and guilt. It has been postulated that shame is a basic component of the normal homeostatic mechanisms regulating the libido and that this affect performs an essential function in the control of impulses and the management of object relations. It has also been proposed that shame is evoked by self-exposure and rejection or their anticipation; whereas guilt arises only when "defusion" of libido and aggression occurs and the resulting deneutralized aggression is channelized into the superego and directed against the self.

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