On the effectiveness of guilt

Guilt can be a powerful motivator for action; the feeling of wanting to ‘make up’ for something can lead to reparative action. On the other hand, feeling good about our actions and what they reflect about who we are can elicit positive emotions. These feelings can then provide us with the energy and mental resources to engage in difficult problems, or to ‘give to others’.

You want people to do the right thing? Save them the guilt trip

(I think the Catholic Church might not agree!)