Is Guilt A Wasted Emotion?

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Original Air Date: 
June 21, 2018

It creeps into everything from exercise to pore size, from diet to personal finance, from relationships to parenting style: guilt that we're not good enough, fit enough, smart enough. And as we peruse Instagram, all we see is the perfection of others reflecting our own failures back at us. Why do we spend so much time feeling guilty? Should we?

guilt for smoking
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A lot of people feel guilty about something - diet, money, relationships or something else. Our host Anne Strainchamps and writer Devorah Baum definitely do. So we asked them to sit down to talk about how we wound up about in a giant cultural guilt trip.

Length: 
9:42
Kim on screen
Articles

Author Lucas Mann writes that calling reality TV a guilty pleasure is "the dumbest cultural cliche." We ask him about his new book Captive Audience, which is about his relationship with reality TV and the person he watches it with — his wife.

Length: 
9:58
desks
Articles

Young people seem to be feeling the pressure to be perfect more than anyone else. Social psychologist Tom Curran tells us how neoliberalism and the digital age created a generation that feels guilty about falling short of flawlessness.

Length: 
6:54
Adam and Eve
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We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.

Length: 
10:28
prison
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Feeling regret about committing a crime matters in criminal sentencing. But if emotion isn't supposed to have a place in the law, should it matter? Susan Bandes tells us how judges and juries evaluate remorse, and why.

Length: 
9:26
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Last modified: 
June 22, 2018
Show Details 📻
Airdates
June 23, 2018
Guests: 
Devorah Baum

Devorah Baum

Associate Professor
Lucas Mann

Lucas Mann

Author
Thomas Curran

Thomas Curran

Lecturer
Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt

Writer, Professor
Susan Bandes

Susan Bandes

Professor of Law Emeritus