Apologies as signals for change? Implicit theories of personality and reactions to apologies during the #MeToo movement

Autoři: Karina Schumann aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226047


During a national reckoning against sexual violence, the public read or heard dozens of apologies offered by prominent public figures in response to allegations of sexual misconduct. This study examined people’s reactions to these apologies, with a focus on whether their implicit theories of personality—their beliefs about whether personality is changeable—influenced their evaluations of the apologies and the men who issued them. Using a nationally representative sample (N = 720) and real apologies offered during the #MeToo movement, it was found that, relative to people holding more of an entity (i.e., fixed) view of personality, those holding more of an incremental (i.e., malleable) view evaluated the apologies and apologizers more favorably, held more positive general attitudes toward this recent wave of apologies for misconduct, and were more likely to indicate that redemption was possible for the accused men. These findings suggest that people who hold more of an incremental theory of personality might interpret an apology as a meaningful signal that a person is ready and willing to change their ways and work toward self-improvement.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Census – Eyes – Personality – Personality tests – Personality traits – Psychometrics – Social communication


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2019 Číslo 12
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