Saving Face: The Benefits of Not Saying I'm Sorry
Brent T. White
University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law
February, 16 2009
Law and Contemporary Problems, 2009
Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 09-07
This forthcoming article explores the question of why individuals resist apologizing, even when it is rationally in their best interest to do so - such as when it would significantly reduce a criminal sentence or settle a civil lawsuit at little or no cost. Drawing on a significant body of research by social psychologists on apology, the article posits that individuals primarily resist apology when it poses an intolerable threat to their face - or their claimed identity as competent, intelligent, or moral persons. In light of this research, the article then critiques the failure of recent laws designed to encourage or compel apology to take face into account.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: apology, law and psychology, sociology, torts, criminal law
JEL Classification: K42, K4, K14, K13Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 19, 2009
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