Guilt & Shame Quiz (Results)

This Guilt & Shame Quiz is adapted from the The Test of Self-Conscious Affect-3, Short Client Version (TOSCA-3SC) developed by Dr. June Tangney and her colleagues. The quiz uses a series of scenarios to determine the degree to which you tend to experience guilt and shame in your life.


Results (Apr 4th, 2020 at 8:15pm EST)

Guilt Self-Talk

Your answers indicate a guilt self-talk level of ~91% (with a raw score of 51 out of 55), which is reflective of frequent use of Guilt Self-Talk (according to this quiz).

Guilt (feelings of remorse when we have done something bad or failed to do something good) is a healthy emotion—it is interconnected with our ability to care about others. Thus a higher level of guilt self-talk is usually good, as it indicates we are concerned for how we impact other people.

However, guilt and shame are often confused with each other (e.g., one might use the word “guilt” but actually mean “shame”). Additionally, shame loves to piggyback on healthy guilt, overriding it with toxic feelings. It takes practice to learn to discern the difference within yourself between guilt and shame.

Shame Self-Talk

Your answers indicate a shame self-talk level of ~28% (with a raw score of 23 out of 55), which is reflective of seldom use of Shame Self-Talk (according to this quiz).

Unlike guilt (which is related to our ability to empathize with others), shame is never good for us—it is always toxic to our system. Everyone struggles with shame, whether they are conscious of it or not. However, we each have the ability to learn to recognize, and subsequently fight back against the shaming part of us. This takes intentional work, and we have to have someone who can guide us in building those mental/emotional muscles. I encourage you to talk with your counselor about the degree to which you are struggling with shame.

Blaming Others

Your answers indicate a blaming-talk level of ~10% (with a raw score of 15 out of 55), which is reflective of seldom use of Blaming-Talk towards others (according to this quiz).

Blame is basically externalized shame—shame turned towards another person. We may try to shift our feelings of shame onto another as a way of trying to reduce those toxic feelings within us. This common approach doesn’t actually work, and it ends up being hurtful to others (and oneself). However, a pattern of blaming others can help you start to recognize that you are struggling with shame underneath the surface. If that is the case, I encourage you to talk with a counselor about that.


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Questions and Thoughts to Consider Regarding Your Results

  • Were your results in line with what you expected?
  • As you were answering the questions, were there any thoughts or feelings that arose inside of you which surprised you?
  • How do you feel about yourself after seeing your results as compared to before you took the quiz?

There are no right or wrong answers to the above. Rather, these questions are intended to help you reflect on what is going on inside of you (e.g., what things may be coming into your awareness as a result of having taken this quiz). Remember that all quizzes on the Transitions website are intended as aids in self-exploration, and are not meant to be a replacement for in-person assessments (read the Quiz Disclaimers for more info).