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Multidimensional Shame Test

Testing your susceptibility to shame

Based on research from Bar Ilan University and the University of Jerusalem, this assessment evaluates your experiences of shame across various empirical dimensions. Studies examining this multidimensional shame framework indicate that the test demonstrates robust psychometric properties, including high validity and test-retest reliability. Beyond its assessment of shame, the test's relevance extends to individuals' physical health and responses to shame, making it a valuable tool for understanding and addressing shame-related concerns.

For each of the following items, indicate your level of agreement.

Question 1 of 39

I often compare myself to others and perceive myself as falling short in terms of success, happiness, or achievement.



The Multidimensional Shame Test was created by IDRlabs on the basis of multiple peer-reviewed academic articles researching the phenomenon of shame.

The test measures the following elements:

Shame Triggers are like emotional landmines. They can erupt quickly, sending someone from a neutral state to feeling intense shame. These triggers are often specific and tied to personal vulnerabilities. They can cause a flood of emotions, making the person feel overwhelmed and judged by others.

Shame Spectrum measures the variety of situations that can trigger feelings of shame in someone. People with a broad shame spectrum experience shame across many areas of life. They might feel shame for mistakes, perceived flaws, or even social interactions that go awry. It's important to distinguish this spectrum from the intensity of the shame response, which can vary greatly between individuals.

The Inner Critic is like a relentless voice within, constantly nitpicking and scrutinizing every action, thought, and feeling. It's the internalized version of external judgments and expectations, amplifying any perceived inadequacies or mistakes. This critical voice often stems from early experiences, societal pressures, or internalized beliefs about self-worth.

External Shame is the fear of being judged harshly by others. You imagine they see you as bad, inferior, or a social failure. It might be triggered by a real or perceived social misstep, a public mistake, or even societal expectations. This shame can make you crave approval to feel worthy or withdraw from social situations entirely. It fuels the need to maintain a perfect image and can be exhausting to manage.

Internal Shame is a relentless inner critic. It whispers (or screams) that you're flawed, worthless, or a constant disappointment. It festers from your own beliefs about yourself, not necessarily what others think. This shame can make you feel like hiding, isolating yourself, or constantly striving for something just out of reach. It's a heavy burden that can make it difficult to accept yourself or connect with others.

  • Tangney, J. L., & Dearing, R. L. (2002). Shame and guilt: Emotions and social behavior. Guildford Press.
  • Masson, A. M., Dyck, M. J., Shea, M., & Yiu, S. (2016). The Role of Shame in Symptom Severity and Symptom Maintenance in Social Anxiety Disorder: Exploring the Mediating Effects of Beliefs, Self-focused Attention, and Fear of Negative Evaluation. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 45(4), 273–286.
  • Firestone, L., Firestone, R. W., & Catlett, J. (2006). The critical inner voice in cognitive-behavioral therapy. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 3(2), 156–167.
  • Fagan, J., & Wexler, K. L. (1987). Shame, internalization, and aggressive behavior. American Sociological Review, 52(2), 288–304.
  • Noble, A. J., Robinson, E. J., & Byrne, P. (2011). Perceived external stigma and shame in adults with epilepsy: Validation of a conceptual model. Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, 20(5), 358–363.

As the publishers of this free test, which allows you to screen yourself for experiencing shame, we strived to make the test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting this test to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes such as the present test do not provide professional assessments or recommendations of any kind; the test is provided entirely “as-is.” For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. This test is delivered to you free of charge and will allow you to obtain your scores related to shame.

2. Clinically oriented. The feedback delivered by this instrument is based on the work of clinical psychologists and is designed to deliver a clear picture of the respondent’s ideology as measured according to standardized items.

3. Statistical controls. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

4. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally with psychology and individual differences research.