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Who Accepts Responsibility for Their Transgressions?

After committing an offense, transgressors can optimize their chances of reconciling with the victim by accepting responsibility. However, transgressors may be motivated to avoid admitting fault because it can feel threatening to accept blame for harmful behavior. Who, then, is likely to accept resp... Full description

Journal Title: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin December 2014, Vol.40(12), pp.1598-1610
Main Author: Schumann, Karina
Other Authors: Dweck, Carol S
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0146-1672 ; E-ISSN: 1552-7433 ; DOI: 10.1177/0146167214552789
Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0146167214552789
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recordid: sage_s10_1177_0146167214552789
title: Who Accepts Responsibility for Their Transgressions?
format: Article
creator:
  • Schumann, Karina
  • Dweck, Carol S
subjects:
  • Implicit Theories of Personality
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Accepting Responsibility
  • Apologies
  • Sociology & Social History
  • Psychology
ispartof: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, December 2014, Vol.40(12), pp.1598-1610
description: After committing an offense, transgressors can optimize their chances of reconciling with the victim by accepting responsibility. However, transgressors may be motivated to avoid admitting fault because it can feel threatening to accept blame for harmful behavior. Who, then, is likely to accept responsibility for a transgression? We examined how implicit theories of personality—whether people see personality as malleable (incremental theory) or fixed (entity theory)—influence transgressors’ likelihood of accepting responsibility. We argue that incremental theorists may feel less threatened by accepting responsibility because they are more likely to view the situation as an opportunity for them to grow as a person and develop their relationship with the victim. We found support for our predictions across four studies using a combination of real-world and hypothetical offenses, and correlational and experimental methods. These studies therefore identify an important individual difference factor that can lead to more effective responses from transgressors.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0146-1672 ; E-ISSN: 1552-7433 ; DOI: 10.1177/0146167214552789
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 0146-1672
  • 01461672
  • 1552-7433
  • 15527433
url: Link


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descriptionAfter committing an offense, transgressors can optimize their chances of reconciling with the victim by accepting responsibility. However, transgressors may be motivated to avoid admitting fault because it can feel threatening to accept blame for harmful behavior. Who, then, is likely to accept responsibility for a transgression? We examined how implicit theories of personality—whether people see personality as malleable (incremental theory) or fixed (entity theory)—influence transgressors’ likelihood of accepting responsibility. We argue that incremental theorists may feel less threatened by accepting responsibility because they are more likely to view the situation as an opportunity for them to grow as a person and develop their relationship with the victim. We found support for our predictions across four studies using a combination of real-world and hypothetical offenses, and correlational and experimental methods. These studies therefore identify an important individual difference factor that can lead to more effective responses from transgressors.
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After committing an offense, transgressors can optimize their chances of reconciling with the victim by accepting responsibility. However, transgressors may be motivated to avoid admitting fault because it can feel threatening to accept blame for harmful behavior. Who, then, is likely to accept responsibility for a transgression? We examined how implicit theories of personality—whether people see personality as malleable (incremental theory) or fixed (entity theory)—influence transgressors’ likelihood of accepting responsibility. We argue that incremental theorists may feel less threatened by accepting responsibility because they are more likely to view the situation as an opportunity for them to grow as a person and develop their relationship with the victim. We found support for our predictions across four studies using a combination of real-world and hypothetical offenses, and correlational and experimental methods. These studies therefore identify an important individual difference factor that can lead to more effective responses from transgressors.

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