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Abstract

Two studies are reported which examined potential mediators of the effects of collective guilt and shame on reparation attitudes. Samples of young Bosnian Serbs (Ns = 173, 247) were asked to report their feelings of guilt and shame for what their group had done during the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina. They also reported their attitudes towards making reparation to Bosnian Muslims. Both collective guilt and shame positively predicted reparation attitudes, but these associations were differently mediated. The effects of guilt were mediated by empathy for the outgroup, while the effects of shame were mediated by self-pity and empathy. The theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.