IACM 2022 Abstract Book »
The Counterproductive Effect of Soliciting Apologies: Solicited Apology as Predictor of Transgressor Anger and Revenge Intentions
The effectiveness of apologies in resolving interpersonal conflicts has largely been demonstrated. As such, it is natural to assume that a victim requesting a verbal apology from a transgressor should contribute to restoring the relationship. However, through focusing on the perspective of the transgressor, we propose that soliciting an apology actually has counterproductive consequences. Specifically, utilizing a micro-narrative procedure, we demonstrate that giving a solicited apology fosters increased anger in the transgressor, ultimately increasing revenge intentions toward the victim. This effect holds true irrespective of whether the transgressor felt they had transgressed in the first place. Besides answering the call for more transgressor-centric research, these findings add a significant boundary condition for when apologizing is constructive and highlight a potential antecedent to destructive consequences such as revenge intentions.