Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Randy Young

Degree Award Date

Spring 2009


Appeasement Offering, apologies, accounts, Gender, Forgiveness, Trust


Psychology | Social Psychology


As appeasement offerings for social transgressions, apologies and accounts convey different levels of personal responsibility. Apologies focus on the transgressor whereas accounts focus on the situation. Participants were initially assessed on preference of the two appeasement offerings. Consistent with Goffmanian 'face-saving' theory, participants preferred to offer accounts rather than apologies. Contrary to our predictions, they also preferred to receive accounts rather than apologies. Participants were then asked to indicate levels of forgiveness and trust of either a male or female transgressor offering either an apology or an account. The interaction between gender and type of appeasement offering is consistent with Hochschild's notion of 'status shields.'