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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