Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Find Saying 'I'm Sorry' Influences Jurors

26.08.2009
Apologizing for negative outcomes—a practice common even with children—may lead to more favorable verdicts for auditors in court, according to researchers at George Mason University and Oklahoma State University. The results of the study will be available in a forthcoming issue of Contemporary Accounting Research, published by the Canadian Academic Accounting Association.

Assistant accounting professors Rick Warne of Mason and Robert Cornell of OSU found that remedial tactics such as apologizing or first-person justification can result in lower frequencies of negligence verdicts in cases against auditors when compared to a control group receiving no remedial tactic.

Apologies allow the accused wrongdoer to express sorrow or regret about a situation without admitting guilt. Alternatively, a first-person justification allows the accused to indicate the appropriateness of decisions given the information available when decisions were made.

“We found that apologies reduce the jurors’ need to assign blame to the auditor for any negative outcomes to the client,” says Warne. “It also appears that a first-person justification influences the jurors impression that the auditor’s actions were reasonable and in accordance with professional standards.”

The researchers administered several versions of a mock trial involving a lawsuit against an auditor whose actions had negative consequences on a client. In the scenario utilized by the researchers, the auditor performed an appropriate audit, yet the audited company eventually went into bankruptcy. The researchers examined whether a defendant making an apology, offering a justification, utilizing both techniques or remaining silent led to the most favorable verdicts.

Research in psychology, management and medicine concludes that remedial tactics are effective when expressed directly to injured parties. However, Cornell and Warne’s research expands upon prior findings by examining the effects remedial tactics have on jurors who are indirectly involved and cannot directly forgive the accused.

“We know victims often respond favorably to an apology, but our findings suggest that even unharmed jurors react in a similar manner,” says Cornell. “Offering an apology though is not synonymous with admitting guilt.”

Approximately 30 states have some form of ‘apology law’ that prevents an apology from being used against a defendant as evidence in court. According to the researchers these laws encourage the use of apologies when disputes arise.

“Defense attorneys must consider several factors before having their client testify in court,” says Warne. “However, we believe that most innocent parties could benefit from utilizing the apology and justification strategies when legal conflicts arise.”

About the School of Management
The School of Management (SOM) educates future business leaders through world-class teaching, innovative academic programs and strategic business partnerships. With the SOM curricula and research rooted in entrepreneurship, corporate governance and global business education, the school prepares students for increased globalization through a range of academic programs and international alliances. Mason’s SOM is one of less than 10 percent of business schools worldwide accredited in both business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. The school is also ranked in the top 15 percent of all AACSB accredited business schools by U.S. News & World Report.
About George Mason University
Named the #1 national university to watch by U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.

Jennifer Edgerly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gmu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>