Saving Face: The Benefits of Not Saying I'm Sorry
14 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2009
Date Written: February, 16 2009
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.
Keywords: apology, law and psychology, sociology, torts, criminal law
JEL Classification: K42, K4, K14, K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation