The impact of a victim-focused apology on forgiveness in an intergroup context

Berndsen, Mariëtte, Hornsey, Matthew J. and Wohl, Michael J. A. (2015) The impact of a victim-focused apology on forgiveness in an intergroup context. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 18 5: 726-739. doi:10.1177/1368430215586275

Author Berndsen, Mariëtte
Hornsey, Matthew J.
Wohl, Michael J. A.
Title The impact of a victim-focused apology on forgiveness in an intergroup context
Journal name Group Processes and Intergroup Relations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1461-7188
Publication date 2015-09-24
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1368430215586275
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 18
Issue 5
Start page 726
End page 739
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher SAGE Publications
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Although it is well-established that interpersonal apologies promote forgiveness, the apology–forgiveness link at the intergroup level is more tenuous. A possible reason for this tenuous relationship is that many intergroup apologies focus on the offender group’s feelings about the transgression as opposed to the victimized group’s suffering. In this spirit, we manipulated focus of a collective apology in two experiments. Consistent with predictions, a victim-focused apology (relative to offender-focused apology) heightened perceptions of offender group remorse, perceived empathy of the offender group, and trust in the offender. In turn, perceptions of remorse, empathy, and trust uniquely increased intergroup forgiveness. Results have implications for facilitating restorative effects between groups in situations of social injustice.
Keyword Collective apology
Intergroup forgiveness
Victim-focused apology
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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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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