The role of communicating social emotions accompanying apologies in forgiveness

  • Hareli S
  • Eisikovits Z
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Apologies are an effective strategy used by trans- gressors to restore relationships with an injured party.Apolo- gies are often motivated by emotions the transgressor feels in relation to the situation.We report the results of two studies that examined how an injured person’s knowledge that an apology was driven by one or more of the social emotions of guilt, shame, and pity affected forgiveness. Findings suggest that the knowledge that guilt and/or shame motivated the apology increased forgiveness. In contrast, knowledge that pity induced the apology decreased forgiveness. These find- ings are consistent with the view that the communication of emotions has the social function of monitoring and shaping social relationships.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Apology
  • Forgiveness
  • Guilt
  • Pity
  • Shame
  • Social emotions

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