ERIC Number: ED198417
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Apologies in Social Predicaments.
Darby, Bruce W.; Schlenker, Barry R.
Apologies are admissions of blameworthiness for an undesirable event and allow actors to try to obtain a pardon from the audience. In an investigation of the uses and forms of apologies, 120 subjects participated in a role-play study where they imagined themselves to be central characters who bumped into a "victim." Apologies were used in a ritualized form, i.e., saying "Pardon me" and then going about one's business, when the consequences of the event were minor. As the consequences became more negative, subjects employed an increasing number of apology components, i.e., saying they were sorry, expressing remorse, and offering to help the victim. When high consequences and high responsibility coexisted, subjects were most likely to employ self-castigation and directly request forgiveness. Rsults indicated that as the severity of a predicament increased, so did the use of nonritualized apologies and the number of components employed in apologies. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980). Best copy available.