IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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

in new window

Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0081
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Hauptstr. 90, CH-8280 Kreuzlingen 2

Phone: +41-71-677 05 10
Fax: +41-71-677 05 11
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Benjamin Ho, 2012. "Apologies as Signals: With Evidence from a Trust Game," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 141-158, January.
  2. Charness, Gary B & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2006. "Promises & Partnership," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0127h86v, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Schniter, Eric & Sheremeta, Roman & Sznycer, Daniel, 2013. "Building and Rebuilding Trust with Promises and Apologies," MPRA Paper 53596, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
  7. Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Deception through telling the truth?! Experimental evidence from individuals and teams," Working Papers 2007-26, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  8. Navin Kartik, 2008. "Strategic Communication with Lying Costs," 2008 Meeting Papers 350, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Johannes Abeler & Juljana Calaki & Kai Andree & Christoph Basek, 2009. "The Power of Apology," Discussion Papers 2009-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    • Johannes Abeler & Juljana Calaki & Kai Andree & Christoph Basek, 2009. "The Power of Apology," Discussion Papers 2009-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  10. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2003. "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 20-26, January.
  11. Rode, Julian, 2010. "Truth and trust in communication: Experiments on the effect of a competitive context," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 325-338, January.
  12. Benjamin Ho & Elaine Liu, 2011. "Does sorry work? The impact of apology laws on medical malpractice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 141-167, October.
  13. Lundquist, Tobias & Ellingsen, Tore & Gribbe, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2009. "The aversion to lying," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 81-92, May.
  14. Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 2007. "Intention and Stochastic Outcomes: An Experimental study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1051-1072, 07.
  15. Sanchez-Pages, Santiago & Vorsatz, Marc, 2007. "An experimental study of truth-telling in a sender-receiver game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 86-112, October.
  16. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Testing Theories of Fairness - Intentions Matter," IEW - Working Papers 063, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  17. Santiago Sánchez-Pagés & Marc Vorsatz, 2009. "Enjoy the silence: an experiment on truth-telling," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(2), pages 220-241, June.
  18. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Step-Level Reasoning and Bidding in Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(11), pages 1633-1642, November.
  20. Utikal, Verena & Fischbacher, Urs, 2013. "Disadvantageous lies in individual decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 108-111.
  21. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Joseph Tao-Yi, 2006. "Overcommunication in strategic information transmission games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 7-36, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0081. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gregor Govtvan)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.