University of Twente Student Theses


Influence of apologetic emotions and the apologizer’s political position on the response to an apology

Nienhaus, Conrad-Leon (2019) Influence of apologetic emotions and the apologizer’s political position on the response to an apology.

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Abstract:Recent research has dealt with the effects of certain emotions on the receipt of an apology in the context of intergroup conflicts. The use of emotions alone has a positive effect on the apology, but it is not clear if there are other factors influencing the success. The aim of this research was to investigate the difference between two apologetic emotions (guilt versus regret) that are deemed to be high versus low respectively in responsibility-taking and suffering and consequently also on sincerity. In addition, the effect of the political position of a Brexit apologizer on the receipt of these apologetic emotions was also investigated. Two hypotheses were created. The first one aims to answer if the apologetic emotion guilt leads to higher perceived responsibility-taking, suffering and sincerity than regret. The other one aims to answer if this effect is increased if the apologizer is against Brexit or lower when the apologizer is in favor of Brexit. To investigate this, a survey was constructed with manipulations in apology statements. Two conditions were created. In the first condition, participants are informed about the apologizer’s political background, being either in favor or against Brexit. In the other condition, statements are presented to the participant which include different apologetic emotions and questions regarding what the participants perceive from the apologizer. Results concerning the apologetic emotions show that the emotion guilt is perceived with higher levels of responsibility-taking and suffering, than the emotion regret, in an apology. Unexpectedly, the political background has a partial effect on sincerity. This suggests that people who read an apology that includes the emotion guilt and where they know the political position of the apologizer, are more likely to perceive the apologizer as taking-responsibility and suffering, than in apologies that do not use these factors. Further research should focus on replicating this effect and to look for more factors that may influence it.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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