México

Guyana

Trinidad
& Tobago




Very usefull links



PW
Bookstore





Institutional
links


OPEC
\





 




PW
Business Partners

 


IRAQ OIL
THE FORUM

 


Blogspots

FxHQ Forex News

The Global Barrel

Tiempo Cultural

Gustavo Coronel

Iran Watch.org

Le Blog des
Energies Nouvelles

News Links

AP

AFP

Aljazeera

Dow Jones

Oil price

Reuters

Bloomberg

Views and News
from
Norway

 

 

 

ISSUES....
Inside, confidential and off the record

 

 

 

 

In Politics, Apologies Are for Losers




Javier Jaén

 

At least that's what the numbers say.

 

 

Suppose that a public figure has said or done something that many people consider offensive, outrageous or despicable — for example, lied about his military service or insulted people's religious convictions. Should he apologize?

Let's assume that his goal is not to be a good person, but only to improve his standing — to increase the chance that he will be elected, get confirmed by the Senate or keep his job.

Recent evidence converges on a simple answer: An apology is a risky strategy.

A case in point, now receiving reconsideration as a result of recent reporting in The New Yorker about the allegations against Al Franken. In response to claims of inappropriate physical contact with several women, Mr. Franken, then a member of the Senate, publicly apologized. But the apology did not appear to do him much good, and it might have fanned some flames. Soon after apologizing, he was forced to resign.

Mr. Franken's post-apology experience may not be so exceptional. According to recent surveys that I have conducted, apologies do not increase support for people who have said or done offensive things.

David Leonhardt helps you make sense of the news — and offers reading suggestions from around the web — with commentary every weekday morning.

Using Amazon's Mechanical Turk, a service that allows for rapid surveys, I recently presented four distinct scenarios to four different groups, each demographically diverse and having about 300 people. Here they are:

  • Suppose a nominee for attorney general said a few years ago: “Gays and lesbians are violating God's will. Marriage should be between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

  • Suppose a presidential candidate said a few years ago, “People who want to ban abortion just don't care about women.”

  • Suppose a nominee for secretary of state said a few years ago, “I think the United States should apologize for the many terrible things that it has done in the world.”

  • Suppose a presidential candidate has been accused by a number of women of inappropriate touching — of getting too close to them, of hugging them too much, of hugging them too long. Some of the women said they felt violated.

In all four cases, participants were asked to suppose that the public figure apologized for the statement or behavior in question, and were asked whether the apology would make them more likely to support him or her, less likely to do so, or neither less nor more inclined to support the public figure.

In each and every scenario, the percentage of people who became less inclined to support the offender was larger than the percentage who became more inclined to do so. Stunningly, the patterns were broadly similar in all four cases — even though different groups of people responded to each of them and the statements or actions would offend people of different convictions.

In the case of the hypothetical nominee who disparaged same-sex marriage, 37 percent said that they would be less inclined to support the apologizing nominee; 22 percent said that they would be more inclined; 41 percent said neither.

In the abortion case, 36.5 percent said that they would be less inclined to support the apologizing candidate; 20 percent said that they would be more inclined; 43.5 percent said neither.

In the case of the would-be secretary of state, 41.5 percent said that they would be less inclined to support the apologizing nominee; 23 percent said that they would be more inclined; 35.5 percent said neither.

In the case of inappropriate touching, 29 percent said that they would be less inclined to support the apologizing candidate; 25 percent said that they would be more inclined; 46 percent said neither.

In a diverse set of contexts, then, an apology tended to decrease rather than to increase overall support for those who said or did things that many people consider offensive. These findings are in line with earlier work by Richard Hanania, a research fellow at Columbia University, who found that apologies by public figures do not help and can even backfire.

Why is that? It's hard to say for sure, but one reason may be that an apology is like a confession. It makes wrongdoing more salient. It can lead people to think: “We thought he was a jerk; now we know he is. He admits it!”

That's why an apology can increase the antipathy of those who are inclined to dislike a public figure. And for those who are inclined to like him or her, an admission of wrongdoing is not likely to be a big plus, either. It may even look like a sign of weakness. President Trump, for one, is loath to apologize — for anything — and his supporters seem to love him for it.

To be sure, this research should be taken as preliminary. The surveys I have described are relatively small, and despite the demographic diversity of the various groups, they are not nationally representative. They also leave open questions. Perhaps the real impact of apologies occurs over weeks or months. The content and context of the apology surely matter. In some cases, a heartfelt statement of contrition can be essential if the goal is to make storm clouds pass.

Whatever their effects, apologies might be morally mandatory. As in ordinary life, so in politics: They might be a way of showing respect to those who have been offended or hurt, and of recognizing their fundamental dignity.

But the basic point remains. As a matter of simple strategy, apologies may not be a great idea. It is sometimes smarter for public figures to remain silent — or to change the subject.

 

 

Cass R. Sunstein / NYTimes / July 12, 2019

Cass Sunstein teaches at Harvard Law School and is the author of “Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide.”

Original article


ISSUES.... 07 / 29/ 2019 - Send Us Your Issues

Inside, confidential and off the record

Is an independent journalist effort from Petroleumworld, on Inside, Confidential and Off The Record Information, the views are not necessarily those of Petroleumworld

Follow us in : twitter / Facebook

Send this story to a friend Copyright© 1999-2019. Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.

We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source. Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors.Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated.

Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments, share your thoughts on this article, your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us
their views and comments about this article.Write to editor@petroleumworld.comBy using this link, you agree to allow PW
to publish your comments on our letters page. Petroleumworld.com

Hit your target - Advertise with us



Any question or suggestions,
please write to: editor@petroleumworld.comBest Viewed with IE 5.01+ Windows NT 4.0, '95,
'98,ME,XP, Vista, Windows 7,8,10 +/ 800x600 pixels





 

 

TOP

Contact: editor@petroleumworld.com/Telephone:(58 414) 276 3041

Editor:
Elio Ohep.

Director & Producer: Elio Ohep

Contact: editor@petroleumworld.com

Advertising:Malena Vasquez:58 412 952 5301
Technorati Profile
PW in Top 100 Energy Sites


CopyRight ©1999- 2019, Petroleumworld ™  / Elio Ohep- All rights reserved
Legal Information This site is a public free site and it contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of business, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have chosen to view the included information for research, information, and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from Petroleumworld or the copyright owner of the material.Internet Web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are apreciated.Petroleumworld no se hace responsable por los juicios de valor emitidos por esta publicacion, por sus colaboradores y columnistas de opinión y análisis. Aceptamos colaboraciones previa evaluación por nuestro equipo editorial, estamos abiertos a todo tipo o corriente de opiniones, siempre y cuando a nuestro juicio esten dentro de valores éticos y morales razonables. Petroleumworld alienta a las personas a reproducir, reimprimir, y divulgar a través de los medios audiovisuales e Internet, los comentarios editoriales y de opinión de Petroleumworld, siempre y cuando esa reproducción identifique a la fuente original, http://www.petroleumworld.com y se haga dentro de el uso normal (fair use) de la doctrina de la sección 107 de la Ley de derechos de autor de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica (US Copyright) Internet Web links hacia http://www.petroleumworld.com son apreciadas.

.