Rethinking Apology in Tort Litigation Deficiencies in Comprehensiveness Undermine Remedial Effectiveness

43 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2018

See all articles by Chris Reinders Folmer

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Peter Mascini

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Law; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Faculty of Social Sciences

Joost Leunissen

Nottingham Trent University - Department of Psychology

Date Written: June 28, 2017

Abstract

Apologies are assumed to be an effective pathway to the restoration of victims of torts. Accordingly, initiatives to facilitate their provision in legal contexts are currently being advocated. A crucial question, however, is whether the apologies that perpetrators provide in these contexts may live up to such expectations. Do perpetrators’ apologies in response to torts convey the content that victims desire, and how may this affect their remedial effectiveness? The present research examined what content victims desire, and perpetrators provide in apology in response to personal injury incidents. In two studies, we demonstrate that a) perpetrators provide less comprehensive apologies than victims desire, and b) their apologies thereby evoke lower forgiveness in victims. These differences were explained by their differing perception of torts, such that perpetrators regard their transgressions as less severe and intentional, and themselves as less blameworthy than victims do, and consequently offer less comprehensive apologies than victims desire. Therefore, subjectiveness in victims’ and perpetrators’ perception of torts may undermine the remedial effectiveness of legal apology.

Keywords: Apology, bias, tort law, personal injury, forgiveness

Suggested Citation

Reinders Folmer, Chris and Mascini, Peter and Leunissen, Joost, Rethinking Apology in Tort Litigation Deficiencies in Comprehensiveness Undermine Remedial Effectiveness (June 28, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3113196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3113196

Chris Reinders Folmer (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Peter Mascini

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Law ( email )

Office: Sanders building, L7-23
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
0031 622498090 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.eur.nl/people/peter-mascini/

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

Mandeville building, T7-18
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
0031622498090 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.eur.nl/people/peter-mascini/

Joost Leunissen

Nottingham Trent University - Department of Psychology ( email )

Chaucer 4010
Burton Street
Nottingham, NG1 4BU
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
56
Abstract Views
315
rank
372,081
PlumX Metrics