What happens when groups say sorry: The effect of intergroup apologies on their recipients

Philpot, Catherine R. and Hornsey, Matthew J. (2008) What happens when groups say sorry: The effect of intergroup apologies on their recipients. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34 4: 474-487. doi:10.1177/0146167207311283

Author Philpot, Catherine R.
Hornsey, Matthew J.
Title What happens when groups say sorry: The effect of intergroup apologies on their recipients
Journal name Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0146-1672
Publication date 2008-04-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0146167207311283
Open Access Status
Volume 34
Issue 4
Start page 474
End page 487
Total pages 14
Editor Judith M. Harackiewicz
Place of publication Washington, U.S.A.
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject C1
170113 Social and Community Psychology
940399 International Relations not elsewhere classified
Abstract Despite the increased incidence of intergroup apology in public life, very little empirical attention has been paid to the questions of whether intergroup apologies work and if so, why. In a series of experiments, Australians read scenarios in which Australian interests had been harmed by an outgroup. Participants were then told that the outgroup had either apologized or had not apologized for the offense. Although the presence of an apology helped promote perceptions that the outgroup was remorseful, and although participants were more satisfied with an apology than with no apology, the presence of the apology failed to promote forgiveness for the offending group. This was the case regardless of whether the effectiveness of apology was measured cross-sectionally (Experiment 1) or longitudinally (Experiment 2). It was also the case when the apology was accompanied by victims advocating forgiveness (Experiment 3) and was independent of the emotionality of the apology (Experiment 4). In contrast, individuals who apologized for intergroup atrocities were personally forgiven more than those who did not apologize (Experiment 4). Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.
Keyword forgiveness
intergroup relations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 70 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 25 Mar 2009, 23:42:36 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology