The Importance of Apologies

An interesting research study from Columbia University reinforces something we already know. A law professor named Jennifer Robbennolt discovered that admitting guilt seems to be a central ingredient in a sincere apology. She also discovered that a full apology is more likely to result in the quick settlement of a law suit in certain kinds of cases. 145 people aged 21-70 were given a hypothetical accident scenario. They were supposedly involved in an accident with a bicyclist. The cyclist was at fault but offered a settlement that only covered their medical costs. The results showed: 52% accepted the money when there was no apology 73% accepted the money when there was a full apology 35% accepted the settlement when the apology was only partial and the bicyclist did not take responsibility for the collision. Robbennolt's research suggests that people who feel injured or wronged want to know that the other understands the essence of what they did wrong.… Read more...