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Avoidant and defensive: Adult attachment and quality of apologies

After committing an offense, transgressors face an important decision regarding how to respond to the people they hurt. Do they make themselves emotionally vulnerable by offering high-quality, comprehensive apologies? Or do they seek to protect themselves with defensive strategies, such as justifica... Full description

Journal Title: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships March 2019, Vol.36(3), pp.809-833
Main Author: Schumann, Karina
Other Authors: Orehek, Edward
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0265-4075 ; E-ISSN: 1460-3608 ; DOI: 10.1177/0265407517746517
Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0265407517746517
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title: Avoidant and defensive: Adult attachment and quality of apologies
format: Article
creator:
  • Schumann, Karina
  • Orehek, Edward
subjects:
  • Adult Attachment
  • Apologies
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Defensive Processes
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Sociology & Social History
  • Psychology
ispartof: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, March 2019, Vol.36(3), pp.809-833
description: After committing an offense, transgressors face an important decision regarding how to respond to the people they hurt. Do they make themselves emotionally vulnerable by offering high-quality, comprehensive apologies? Or do they seek to protect themselves with defensive strategies, such as justifications and excuses? In two studies, we examined the link between attachment styles and apology quality. We hypothesized that because people high in attachment avoidance are uncomfortable with emotional vulnerability and tend to defensively disengage from the emotional aspects of relationships, they would offer less comprehensive and more defensive apologies. In Study 1, participants imagined hurting a friend and then rated their likelihood of using each of eight apology elements and five defensive strategies. In Study 2, participants wrote a real e-mail to a person they had hurt. Our prediction was supported in both studies, suggesting that attachment avoidance plays an important role in how transgressors manage their offenses.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0265-4075 ; E-ISSN: 1460-3608 ; DOI: 10.1177/0265407517746517
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0265-4075
  • 02654075
  • 1460-3608
  • 14603608
url: Link


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descriptionAfter committing an offense, transgressors face an important decision regarding how to respond to the people they hurt. Do they make themselves emotionally vulnerable by offering high-quality, comprehensive apologies? Or do they seek to protect themselves with defensive strategies, such as justifications and excuses? In two studies, we examined the link between attachment styles and apology quality. We hypothesized that because people high in attachment avoidance are uncomfortable with emotional vulnerability and tend to defensively disengage from the emotional aspects of relationships, they would offer less comprehensive and more defensive apologies. In Study 1, participants imagined hurting a friend and then rated their likelihood of using each of eight apology elements and five defensive strategies. In Study 2, participants wrote a real e-mail to a person they had hurt. Our prediction was supported in both studies, suggesting that attachment avoidance plays an important role in how transgressors manage their offenses.
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abstract

After committing an offense, transgressors face an important decision regarding how to respond to the people they hurt. Do they make themselves emotionally vulnerable by offering high-quality, comprehensive apologies? Or do they seek to protect themselves with defensive strategies, such as justifications and excuses? In two studies, we examined the link between attachment styles and apology quality. We hypothesized that because people high in attachment avoidance are uncomfortable with emotional vulnerability and tend to defensively disengage from the emotional aspects of relationships, they would offer less comprehensive and more defensive apologies. In Study 1, participants imagined hurting a friend and then rated their likelihood of using each of eight apology elements and five defensive strategies. In Study 2, participants wrote a real e-mail to a person they had hurt. Our prediction was supported in both studies, suggesting that attachment avoidance plays an important role in how transgressors manage their offenses.

copLondon, England
pubSAGE Publications
doi10.1177/0265407517746517
date2019-03