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I'm sorry, women's constant apologizing may be strategically useful - Input Junkie
October 21st, 2013
08:37 am

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I'm sorry, women's constant apologizing may be strategically useful
Reports on three studies comparing apologies for external conditions to various other opening statements.
The field study followed three laboratory experiments. In the first, 178 students thought they were playing a financial game with a partner located in another room. They were told that on some rounds the computer would override their partner's decisions. Later, if their "partner" (actually the whole thing was pre-programmed) apologised for a computer override, the participants tended to rate him or her as more trustworthy and were more generous towards him or her as a result. This despite the fact the apology was superfluous and for a situation beyond their (the partner's) control.

I'm sorry about subject lines which are more funny than accurate.

At least one of the studies didn't even include women. And they didn't cover the "pardon me for existing" apology.

And I don't trust studies which draw wide conclusions from itty-bitty experiments, but maybe I'd trust them more if they started by apologizing for the universe being so big and hard to experiment on.

Jewish saying: Who is strong? Whoever can resist telling a joke.

Link thanks to andrewducker.

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From:acelightning
Date:October 21st, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
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"Will you please stop apologizing all the time?"
"Oh - I'm sorry!"

"Why do you always answer a question with another question?"
"Gee, do I do that?"

*rimshot*

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From:metahacker
Date:October 21st, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
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I'm quite suspicious of any social science study that finds what the experimenters were expecting, unless the effect is ridiculously strong. Way too much chance of false correlations.

At least they linked to the "because I have to make copies" study, but it's too bad this study didn't consider the impact of non-content markers too. Would cell phone donors have agreed of there was a meaningless opening sentence?
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From:ashnistrike
Date:October 22nd, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
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They also failed to compare the apologies to other empathy-inducing reminders of mutual humanity. I would tend to interpret "I'm sorry it's raining" as the semantic equivalent of, "Man, this weather sucks, doesn't it." Which is the sort of thing that does, in fact, make me feel a bit more well-disposed and connected. In any case, it appears to have been a terribly-designed study.

I have not heard that particular Jewish saying before, but it's apt.
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