Washington: Scenes of a disgraced politician or a sex scandal-shamed celebrity offering profuse apologies as news cameras flash are not uncommon. But does owning up to misdeeds do anything to help regain trust after a transgression -- or are words, as some say, cheap? It depends on how the apology is perceived, according to researchers from the universities of Southern California, Washington-St. Louis, Miami and Singapore Management.
They investigated what is called substantive efforts to repair trust -- those responses to violations that are more significant than a verbal apology, the journal Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes reports.
Researchers concluded that the ability of each method to repair trust hinged on the extent to which the response by the alleged trust violator showed that the defaulter was truly repentant, according to Southern California statement.