Guilt (emotion)

emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes—accurately or not—that they have compromised their own standards of conduct or have violated universal moral standards and bear significant responsibility for that violation

Guilt is a feeling that a person has when they realise or believe that they have done something wrong. This usually depends on that person's own conscience, their understanding of right and wrong.[1] Guilt is usually related to remorse ("feeling sorry").

This picture shows a child feeling guilty

Guilt can sometimes cause anxiety. A person may react to their guilt in either a peaceful or violent way. A person might begin blaming the victim of their own actions.


  1. "Guilt." Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2nd ed. Ed. Bonnie R. Strickland. Gale Group, Inc., 2001. 2006. 31 December 2007