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Responding to a trust violation : the relative effectiveness of apology, denial, and reticence

Riddington, L (2015) Responding to a trust violation : the relative effectiveness of apology, denial, and reticence. Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that reticence, in which an individual does not respond to an allegation, is an ineffective response for repairing trust. This study examined whether reticence could be an effective response relative to apology and denial when the response is unambiguous about why it is utilised. This study also examined whether reticence could be an effective response when evidence has determined that the accused was guilty of the allegation. A sample of 162 participants was randomly allocated to receive a scenario that varied in terms of the violation and response type. Participants answered a short questionnaire to assess their trusting beliefs and intentions toward the accused. Participants were then provided with evidence of guilt, and asked to re-answer the questionnaire. Results indicated that reticence was an ineffective response before and after guilt when compared to apology and denial, regardless of the type of violation that had occurred. The implications derived from these findings suggest that the way individuals are currently asked to respond requires a change. Preventing an individual from responding is not facilitating the restoration of positive perceptions. Furthermore, for those who are guilty but wish to repair trust, reticence offers no benefits over denying the allegation.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Keywords: Response, Trust Repair, Offence, Guilty, Allegation
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 the Author

Date Deposited: 10 May 2017 05:46
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 05:46
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