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Shame Test

Shame is an emotion stemming from feelings of personal inadequacy, dishonor, and disgrace. Feelings of shame arise when we perceive ourselves as having acted inadequately or transgressed our core values. While introspection is important for personal growth, shame inhibits our full expression, reinforcing a limited version of ourselves.

When experiencing shame, individuals often report feeling small, lacking energy, and unworthy of good fortune. Physically, shame is reflected in a posture characterized by a lowered head and eyes, along with a tendency to shrink the chest and hide the face behind hands. This protective stance makes the body appear smaller and shields vulnerable areas, such as the chest, neck, and stomach. In contrast, pride typically results in an inflated bodily posture.

What is the level of your shame? For each of the following questions, indicate how well it applies to you.

Question 1 of 30

When I get angry, I calm down faster than most people.



The IDRlabs Shame Test was based on research from Rutgers University and developed by IDRlabs.

Shame is a complex and deeply rooted emotion that arises from feelings of personal inadequacy, dishonor, and disgrace. It is a self-conscious emotion, meaning that it involves an awareness of oneself in relation to others and societal norms. When individuals experience shame, they often perceive themselves as having failed to meet internal or external standards, resulting in a sense of unworthiness or inferiority. This emotional state can be triggered by a variety of factors, including perceived social rejection, failure to live up to expectations, or violating personal values and beliefs.

One of the distinguishing features of shame is its association with self-reflection and evaluation. Unlike guilt, which typically arises from a specific action or behavior, shame often stems from a broader sense of personal inadequacy or unworthiness. Individuals experiencing shame may engage in critical self-evaluation, focusing on perceived flaws or shortcomings. This self-critical process can further exacerbate feelings of shame, leading to a downward spiral of negative self-perception.

The experience of shame can have profound psychological and social implications. Research suggests that chronic feelings of shame are associated with a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Individuals who frequently experience shame may develop maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as avoidance or withdrawal, in an attempt to protect themselves from further emotional distress. Additionally, shame can impact interpersonal relationships, as individuals may struggle to connect with others due to feelings of unworthiness or fear of rejection.

While shame is often regarded as a negative emotion, it can also serve adaptive functions in certain contexts. For example, feelings of shame may motivate individuals to adhere to societal norms and moral standards, promoting prosocial behavior and cooperation within groups. In this sense, shame can act as a moral compass, guiding individuals toward socially desirable actions and behaviors. However, excessive or chronic experiences of shame can undermine mental well-being and hinder personal growth and development.

The expression of shame is often characterized by both psychological and physiological changes. Psychologically, individuals experiencing shame may exhibit signs of self-consciousness, such as avoiding eye contact or withdrawing from social interactions. Physiologically, shame is associated with changes in posture and body language, such as slumped shoulders, a lowered head, and an averted gaze. These outward signs of shame serve as nonverbal cues that communicate feelings of vulnerability and distress to others.

In conclusion, shame is a multifaceted emotion that plays a significant role in human experience. While it can serve adaptive functions in promoting adherence to social norms, chronic experiences of shame can have detrimental effects on mental health and interpersonal relationships. Understanding the nature of shame and its impact on individuals and society is essential for promoting emotional well-being and fostering healthy relationships.

As the publishers of this free test, which allows you to screen yourself for having positive emotions, 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 how you perceive your shamefulness.

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 in psychology and individual differences research.