Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Alfred Allan

Second Advisor

Dr Maria Allan

Abstract

The present paper reviews the relevant literature to determine whether there is support for the Affirmation, Affect and Action Model of Apology and True Sorriness (AAA model) that was developed by Slocum, Allan and Allan (2006). The chronological review of the literature examines how the constructs of apology and true sorriness evolved. Initially, apologetic types were perceived on a continuum, however, with time researchers' acknowledged different components of apologetic behaviour. These components were later named affirmation, affect and actions in the development of Slocum's et al. AAA model. In further research, such components were quantified for manipulation in experimental research and distinctions were recognized between what Slocum et al. would later refer to as an 'apology' and 'true sorriness', In the literature reviewed, the three components of affirmation, affect and action in the model are supported in both an apology and true sorriness. However, the nature of these components differed between an apology and true sorriness. Elements of an apology in the AAA model were supported to take on a self focus, whereas elements of true sorriness in the AAA model were supported to involve higher order cognitions and concerns for others, consistent with the Slocum et al.'s AAA model. Slocum, Allan and Allan's (2006) developed an Affirmation, Affect and Action Model (AAA model) of restorative behaviour. Slocum et al. suggest that levels of restorative behaviour differ according to the nature of affirmations, affect and actions perceived, and influence perceptions of an apology, on one end of a continuum, to true sorriness, at the upper end of the continuum. This study was the first investigation of the AAA model. In the present study, two hypothetical scenarios were employed to investigate participant's perceptions of apologetic behaviour, true sorriness and the likelihood of forgiveness, through manipulation of affirmations, affect and actions in the scenarios. One hundred people from the population were randomly assigned either Scenario A or Scenario B. Scenario A demonstrated a lower level of restorative behaviour using the AAA model, or scenario B incorporated higher levels of restorative behaviour. It was hypothesised that the participant's ratings on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of apologetic behaviour, true sorriness and forgiveness would differ between the two scenarios. Secondly, gender differences were hypothesised. Finally, it was hypothesised that higher ratings on the VAS for true sorriness and apologetic behaviour would be associated with higher ratings of forgiveness. Three 2 X 2 factorial ANOVA's were conducted on the data obtained from 100 participants. The results revealed significantly higher ratings of apology and true sorriness in Scenario B compared to Scenario A. No interaction or gender differences were found. The correlation between true sorriness and forgiveness ratings was highly significant, and the correlation between apology and forgiveness ratings was significant. Further analysis also revealed a significant main effect of age on ratings of forgiveness, the oldest age range of participants (50+ years) were significantly less forgiving than the youngest age range of participants (20-29 years). The results of this quantitative study provides support for Slocum et al.'s hypothesis that the manipulation of the affirmation, affect and action components influence people's perceptions of restorative behaviour.

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