This study examined the effect of an apology on the likelihood of forgiveness and distancing in everyday interactions within the context of family relationships. Students (n = 325) read one scenario (drug or money; relating to one offender, mother, father, older brother, or sister; and, either receiving or not receiving an apology). They then answered questions related to forgiveness and interpersonal interactions. Rendering an apology did not result in greater forgiveness on any of the scenarios or transgressors, but it did impact interpersonal distancing on the drug scenario. Interpersonal distancing was least affected for the mother, especially give and take type interactions; whereas the brother had the most to gain from an apology. Respondents showed more trust and willingness to engage in communication with their transgressors in the money scenario, but greater willingness to suggest treatment to the transgressor in the drug scenario. Situational forgiveness accounted for greater variance in interpersonal interactions than the dispositional variables of the tendency to forgive.
Current Psychology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 27, 2016
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