Say it like you mean it: The effect of apology sincerity and victim group response on intergroup relations

Sarah White (2010). Say it like you mean it: The effect of apology sincerity and victim group response on intergroup relations Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Sarah White
Thesis Title Say it like you mean it: The effect of apology sincerity and victim group response on intergroup relations
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Fiona Barlow
Total pages 93
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Collective apologies have an unparalleled potential to right past wrongs and promote reconciliation between victim and perpetrator groups. The purpose of the current study was therefore to examine real-world apologies and the reconciliation process at an intergroup level. Specifically, this research tested the difference between sincere and insincere intergroup apologies (Study 1) and investigated how this might be qualified by victim group acceptance and rejection (Study 2). In Study 1 Australians (N = 95) were given an extract of the 2008 apology made to Indigenous victims of the Stolen Generation which was either sincere (the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology) or insincere (the former Opposition leader Brendan Nelson's apology). In Study 2 a second sample of Australian university students (N = 117) were additionally given Indigenous responses to the apology which indicated rejection or acceptance of one of the national apologies. Outcomes of interests were perpetrators' support for apology, willingness to reconcile, affection for the victims, pride and moral worth. Results revealed that in both studies the sincere and insincere apologies were equally supported. It was however demonstrated in the second study that the role of the apology sincerity on perpetrators' support for the apology was qualified by the victim group‟s response. Furthermore, victim group response played an important role in perpetrators' willingness to reconcile and their affection for the victims, with rejected responses leading to less positive outcomes. Finally, the results of this study were the first to identify pride as an important mediating factor driving perpetrators' responses following a public apology offered on their behalf. These results help explain how collective apologies can succeed or fail in the real world.

 
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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2011, 15:58:45 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology