The effectiveness of apologies and thanks in favor asking messages: A cross-cultural comparison between Korea and the United States

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Abstract

Three studies investigated whether apologies and/or thanks in a favor asking email message increase normality of the message, positive attitude about the message, sender credibility and willingness to give the favor in the U.S. and Korea. Participants as the Sender in study 1 (N= 521) and as the Receiver in study 2 (N= 386) completed one of four versions of a questionnaire regarding a prototype of a message for a given situation. Unlike study 1 using a single act of apology or thanks, repeated apologies and thanks were used in the messages of study 2. Study 3 (N= 807) used seven versions of a questionnaire for a situation different from the first two studies. An apology created some positive responses by Koreans in study 1, repeated apologies led to positive responses by Koreans in study 2, and repeated apologies for Koreans and thanks for Americans created positive responses in study 3. Implications and future research directions were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-348
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume43
Issue numberPB
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Academy of Korean Studies Grant (AKS-2014-R20).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Apology
  • Cross-cultural research
  • Culture
  • Gratitude
  • Message effectiveness

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