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I am sorry - Honest and fake apologies

  • Verena Utikal

Apologies have a positive effect on forgiveness. Nevertheless not all people apologize after an offense. In a laboratory experiment we test whether lying aversion can explain this behavior by comparing honest and fake apologies. First, we show that even an honest apology comes along with a cost for some people. Second, costs for fake apologies are even higher. Fake apologies are less likely than honest apologies and consist of different wording and content. Receivers understand apologies as a signal for honesty. Following, forgiveness after an honest apology is more likely than after a fake apology.

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Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 81.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0081
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