Perpetrator groups can enhance their moral self-image by accepting their own intergroup apologies

Barlow, Fiona Kate, Thai, Michael, Wohl, Michael J. A., White, Sarah, Wright, Marie-Ann and Hornsey, Matthew J. (2015) Perpetrator groups can enhance their moral self-image by accepting their own intergroup apologies. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 60 39-50. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2015.05.001

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Author Barlow, Fiona Kate
Thai, Michael
Wohl, Michael J. A.
White, Sarah
Wright, Marie-Ann
Hornsey, Matthew J.
Title Perpetrator groups can enhance their moral self-image by accepting their own intergroup apologies
Journal name Journal of Experimental Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1096-0465
Publication date 2015-09-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jesp.2015.05.001
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 60
Start page 39
End page 50
Total pages 12
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO United States
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract There is an implicit assumption that perpetrators' moral image restoration following an intergroup apology depends on absolution from victims. In this paper we examine whether perpetrators can in fact look to other ingroup members for moral pardon. In Studies 1 and 4, Australians read an apology to Indian people for a series of assaults on Indian nationals in Australia. In Studies 2 and 3, non-Aboriginal Australians were provided with apologies offered on their behalf to Aboriginal Australians. In each study participants were told that other perpetrator group members had either accepted or rejected the apology. In line with predictions, when perpetrator group members heard that fellow perpetrators accepted an apology made to victims they felt morally restored, and consequently were more willing to reconcile. Effects were largely unqualified by apology quality (Studies 2–4), and held in the face of victim group apology rejection (Studies 3–4). We demonstrate that perpetrator group members can effectively gain moral redemption by accepting their own apologies, even qualified ones that have proved insufficient to victim groups.
Keyword Intergroup apologies
Needs-based model of reconciliation
Moral image
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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