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Relations Among Apology, Forgiveness, and Communicative Responses to Hurtful Messages
Unformatted Document Text:  Forgiveness and Communication 25 regression analyses, the errant partner was more rather than less likely to apologize when the hurt person reported using distributive communication. Perhaps this is due in part to the direct nature of distributive communication. If the hurt person confronts the errant partner in a verbally aggressive way, this may lead the errant partner to feel badly, admit responsibility, and apologize. It is also plausible that an apology could lead to distributive communication in some cases. For example, if the errant partner admits to and apologizes for wrongdoing, the hurt partner might feel justified in expressing displeasure through distributive communication (e.g., “Only a really rude person would do what you did,” “Are you stupid enough to think that saying you’re sorry can fix this?”). In either case, distributive communication involves direct talk between partners, and this talk provides a context for apologies. It is important to note that the relationship between distributive communication and apology appeared to be suppressed in the bivariate correlations. Evidence for suppression is present when a relationship between two variables is near zero when analyzed via zero-order correlations, but then becomes significant when other variables are covaried out within a regression analysis. This is precisely what happened for the association between distributive communication and apology; the small inverse relationship between these variables only emerged within the context of the regression analyses. Perhaps distributive communication operates differently depending on what other communicative responses to hurtful messages people use. For example, if a hurt person uses integrative communication along with distributive communication, these two forms of direct talk may work together to promote a discussion of the problem and perhaps prompt an apology. Loyalty As for distributive communication, the different results gleaned from the bivariate correlations versus the regression analyses suggests that suppression was operative. In contrast to

Authors: Bachman, Guy. and Guerrero, Laura.
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Forgiveness and Communication 25
regression analyses, the errant partner was more rather than less likely to apologize when the hurt
person reported using distributive communication. Perhaps this is due in part to the direct nature
of distributive communication. If the hurt person confronts the errant partner in a verbally
aggressive way, this may lead the errant partner to feel badly, admit responsibility, and
apologize. It is also plausible that an apology could lead to distributive communication in some
cases. For example, if the errant partner admits to and apologizes for wrongdoing, the hurt
partner might feel justified in expressing displeasure through distributive communication (e.g.,
“Only a really rude person would do what you did,” “Are you stupid enough to think that saying
you’re sorry can fix this?”). In either case, distributive communication involves direct talk
between partners, and this talk provides a context for apologies.
It is important to note that the relationship between distributive communication and
apology appeared to be suppressed in the bivariate correlations. Evidence for suppression is
present when a relationship between two variables is near zero when analyzed via zero-order
correlations, but then becomes significant when other variables are covaried out within a
regression analysis. This is precisely what happened for the association between distributive
communication and apology; the small inverse relationship between these variables only
emerged within the context of the regression analyses. Perhaps distributive communication
operates differently depending on what other communicative responses to hurtful messages
people use. For example, if a hurt person uses integrative communication along with distributive
communication, these two forms of direct talk may work together to promote a discussion of the
problem and perhaps prompt an apology.
Loyalty
As for distributive communication, the different results gleaned from the bivariate
correlations versus the regression analyses suggests that suppression was operative. In contrast to


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