Children's reactions to mitigating accounts: Apologies, excuses, and intentionality of harm

Kenichi Obuchi, Kobun Sato

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    One hundred sixty-four second- and fifth-grade Japanese children were presented with two hypothetical situations in which a male harmdoer was described as either intentionally or unintentionally harming another boy and was further described as giving apologies, excuses, or no account following the act. The older children perceived the harm-doer who apologized as less intentional and more remorseful, evaluated him as morally less negative, and forgave him more than the harmdoer who made excuses or the harmdoer who gave no account. The older children accepted the harmdoer's excuses only when they believed that the harm was not intended. The younger children did not react differentially to these accounts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-17
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Social Psychology
    Volume134
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1994 Jan 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology

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