Apology, emotions, forgiveness, politics, power, psychopathology


Psychology | Theory and Philosophy


Professor Vinicius Lima


Apologies, the development of and the aftermath from, are present in almost all of society. For that reason, they are arguably one of the most interesting forms of human interaction. This paper will review various sources of literature in an attempt to understand what kind of power an apology holds, as well as where it comes from. This will be done, first by developing a familiarity with the psychology behind certain emotions that influence apology making behaviors. Focus will be placed specifically on the developmental psychology of self-conscious emotions and the idea of self-esteem. These ideas of self awareness and representation will then be considered in relation to victim and transgressor characteristics. These relationships will be central to understanding certain barriers to comprehensive apologies, as well as the various types of forgiveness one may experience. As the processes that underlie forgiveness often look quite different from one scenario to the next, this paper will provide real world examples of how different apologies look depending on context. In conclusion, the aftermath of an apology, and ideas such as resentment and reconciliation will be addressed.