Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Remorse or guilt is an emotion experienced by one who feels they have committed an action contrary to their moral code. It is characterised by feelings of regret, self-hatred and a desire to make the wrong thing right.

The idea of remorse is used in restorative justice.

One incapable of feeling remorse is often labelled a sociopath (US) or psychopath (UK) - formerly a DSM III condition. Some researchers have lately suggested that this lack is more characteristic of the INTJ personality, a highly rational temperament that relies very little on emotion. In general a person needs to be unable to feel fear, as well as remorse, in order to develop psychopathic traits.

Regretting one's earlier action or failure to act may be due to remorse or to various other consequences, including being punished for it.

See also : personal conduct, guilt.