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Americans’ Priorities in Feelings, Desires, and Directions

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Americans Want to Avoid Shame, Make Their Loved Ones Proud: Americans are more worried about their reputation than their conscience, less about guilt and fear, and more about avoiding shame. Shame has become particularly powerful in American culture in the internet age: “What’s surprising is not that personal freedom, ambition, and doing the right thing are valued by Americans. It’s that risk to our reputation is what matters most.”

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