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Please Apologize! The Negative Consequences of Soliciting Apologies
One way that victims restore their threatened sense of agency after conflict is through deciding whether to accept an apology. However, apologies are not always given immediately post-conflict, and instead victims might decide to demand an apology directly from the transgressor. In this research, drawing upon the needs-based model of reconciliation and social distance theory, we propose that a victim soliciting an apology from a transgressor post conflict, fosters increased powerlessness in the transgressor and ultimately leads to increased avoidance. The first two studies, utilizing a micro-narrative approach, suggested that while victims feel better after soliciting an apology, transgressors feel negative and want to avoid the victim more. Study 3 using an experimental design found support for our full proposed model. This study contributes to the literature on post-conflict behaviors and identifies another way in which victims address their lack of agency post-conflict.