2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Effects of Blame Attribution and Apology on Willingness to Forgive
Peter M. Ruberton*, Kayla Maassen, Sarah A. Garcia, and Annalise Coffman
Dr. Teresa Heckert, Faculty Mentor

This study examined the impact of blame attribution and transgressor apology on forgiveness likelihood. Previous research found a positive relationship between responsibility attributions and how appropriate the victim perceives forgiving the transgressor to be (Struthers, Eaton, Mendoza, Santelli, & Shirvani, 2010). We hypothesized that self-blame and/or a transgressor apology would increase forgiveness as compared to no self-blame or no transgressor apology. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two self-blame conditions (no self-blame or some self-blame) and one of two apology conditions (no apology or apology). Participants read three scenarios. The first was a hypothetical scenario in which a peer committed an interpersonal wrong against the participant. The second scenario incorporated a self-blame condition. The third scenario incorporated an apology condition. After each scenario, participants completed a scale assessing how likely they would be to forgive the transgressor. We will share our findings at the conference.

Keywords: Forgiveness, Interpersonal transgression, Blame attribution, Apology

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 5-2
Location: MG 2001
Time: 8:15

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