Published on October 4th, 20130
What is the easiest way that you can make a stranger to trust you?
Have been cold the last few days ? If so, I apologize .
Normally , the above sentence would seem bizarre . It is not my fault that it was cold in the last days , so I have no reason to apologize . However , people often ask excuses for things they are not guilty . Why?
New research suggests that these apologies plays vital role to increase the level of trust between people. In our minds , anyone who observes our inconvenience and expresses sorrow concerning them is being empathic and is worthy of our trust .
” Even without guilt , individuals can increase confidence and sympathy , by saying « I’m sorry » - even when its not so ,” wrote researchers led by Alison Wood Brooks of Harvard Business School. Scientists study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Brooks and his colleagues describe four experiments that show the value of ” unnecessary apology ,” the researchers define it as ” expressions of regret for undesirable circumstances that are clearly outside the control of a person .”
Of the four experiments , the most convincing is not held online or in the laboratory, but in the circumstances of everyday life .
Over two rainy days in November 2010, a man ( who did not know the purpose of the experiment ) was close to 65 foreigners from a major train station in the northeastern United States and asked to borrow the phone. The researchers considered a positive response as a sign of trust.
In 50% of cases , the man approached the stranger and said “I ‘m so sorry it’s raining ! Can I borrow your cell phone? ” . In other occasions , the man jumped over apologies and asked direct;y for the mobile.
The strangers greeted with a ” useless excuse ” , 47% of them have borrowed their cell phone . In contrast , those who were directly approached with the request , only 9% agreed to lend your mobile phone.
” By issuing an unnecessary apology he took the victim’s perspective , in order to sync with the difficulties and regrets of the stranger,” said the researchers. This simple action , experts say , ” demonstrates empathic concern for the victim and increases confidence that the victim has in the person apologizing .”
So next time you need to establish a trust agreement with a person trying to apologize for something outside your control .
If not - well , I’m sorry .
Source: PS Mag