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Does love mean never having to say you’re sorry? Associations between relationship satisfaction, perceived apology sincerity, and forgiveness

Most past research on apologies examines participants’ responses to imaginary transgressions or minor offenses against strangers. This research consequently neglects how the quality of pre-existing relationships might influence responses to apologies in everyday life. I examined whether relationship... Full description

Journal Title: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships November 2012, Vol.29(7), pp.997-1010
Main Author: Schumann, Karina
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0265-4075 ; E-ISSN: 1460-3608 ; DOI: 10.1177/0265407512448277
Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0265407512448277
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recordid: sage_s10_1177_0265407512448277
title: Does love mean never having to say you’re sorry? Associations between relationship satisfaction, perceived apology sincerity, and forgiveness
format: Article
creator:
  • Schumann, Karina
subjects:
  • Apology
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Forgiveness
  • Sincerity
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Sociology & Social History
  • Psychology
ispartof: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, November 2012, Vol.29(7), pp.997-1010
description: Most past research on apologies examines participants’ responses to imaginary transgressions or minor offenses against strangers. This research consequently neglects how the quality of pre-existing relationships might influence responses to apologies in everyday life. I examined whether relationship satisfaction moderated the association between apologies and forgiveness in romantic relationships by influencing perceptions of apology sincerity. Members of 60 married or cohabiting couples first assessed their relationship satisfaction. Participants then completed daily diaries, reporting transgressions by their partners, apologies by their partners, perceived apology sincerity, and willingness to forgive their partners. Apologies predicted forgiveness only for participants highly satisfied with their relationships. In addition, relationship satisfaction was positively associated with participants' ratings of the sincerity of the apologies, which in turn predicted forgiveness. The findings suggest that, relative to less satisfied individuals, highly satisfied individuals are more forgiving following apologies, because they regard their partners’ apologies as sincere expressions of remorse.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0265-4075 ; E-ISSN: 1460-3608 ; DOI: 10.1177/0265407512448277
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 0265-4075
  • 02654075
  • 1460-3608
  • 14603608
url: Link


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descriptionMost past research on apologies examines participants’ responses to imaginary transgressions or minor offenses against strangers. This research consequently neglects how the quality of pre-existing relationships might influence responses to apologies in everyday life. I examined whether relationship satisfaction moderated the association between apologies and forgiveness in romantic relationships by influencing perceptions of apology sincerity. Members of 60 married or cohabiting couples first assessed their relationship satisfaction. Participants then completed daily diaries, reporting transgressions by their partners, apologies by their partners, perceived apology sincerity, and willingness to forgive their partners. Apologies predicted forgiveness only for participants highly satisfied with their relationships. In addition, relationship satisfaction was positively associated with participants' ratings of the sincerity of the apologies, which in turn predicted forgiveness. The findings suggest that, relative to less satisfied individuals, highly satisfied individuals are more forgiving following apologies, because they regard their partners’ apologies as sincere expressions of remorse.
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Most past research on apologies examines participants’ responses to imaginary transgressions or minor offenses against strangers. This research consequently neglects how the quality of pre-existing relationships might influence responses to apologies in everyday life. I examined whether relationship satisfaction moderated the association between apologies and forgiveness in romantic relationships by influencing perceptions of apology sincerity. Members of 60 married or cohabiting couples first assessed their relationship satisfaction. Participants then completed daily diaries, reporting transgressions by their partners, apologies by their partners, perceived apology sincerity, and willingness to forgive their partners. Apologies predicted forgiveness only for participants highly satisfied with their relationships. In addition, relationship satisfaction was positively associated with participants' ratings of the sincerity of the apologies, which in turn predicted forgiveness. The findings suggest that, relative to less satisfied individuals, highly satisfied individuals are more forgiving following apologies, because they regard their partners’ apologies as sincere expressions of remorse.

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Most past research on apologies examines participants’ responses to imaginary transgressions or minor offenses against strangers. This research consequently neglects how the quality of pre-existing relationships might influence responses to apologies in everyday life. I examined whether relationship satisfaction moderated the association between apologies and forgiveness in romantic relationships by influencing perceptions of apology sincerity. Members of 60 married or cohabiting couples first assessed their relationship satisfaction. Participants then completed daily diaries, reporting transgressions by their partners, apologies by their partners, perceived apology sincerity, and willingness to forgive their partners. Apologies predicted forgiveness only for participants highly satisfied with their relationships. In addition, relationship satisfaction was positively associated with participants' ratings of the sincerity of the apologies, which in turn predicted forgiveness. The findings suggest that, relative to less satisfied individuals, highly satisfied individuals are more forgiving following apologies, because they regard their partners’ apologies as sincere expressions of remorse.

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