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September 30, 2010

"I'm Sorry" — Why women apologize more than men

Everyone knows it's so, and new research aims to tell us why.

Here's Sharon Jayson's story from yesterday's USA Today.


Women apologize more than men, but it's not because they commit more wrongdoing. They just think they do.

New research on apologies from Canadian psychologists finds that men have a "higher threshold" for bad behavior, meaning they just don't see "wrong" the same way women do, according to a study online in the journal Psychological Science.

Psychologists at the University of Waterloo in Ontario conducted two studies of 186 people, divided by gender. They found that men were less likely to be offended than women and were less likely to think they committed wrongdoing.

"The gender differences just sort of leapt out at us," says co-author Michael Ross, a psychology professor. "It was too big to ignore. It was just very clearly there."

In the first study, 33 men and 33 women completed online diaries for 12 days, describing instances in which they apologized to someone or did something that might have warranted an apology. That study found women more readily offered up a mea culpa. But the study also found that contrary to the stereotype, men didn't avoid apologizing or refuse to admit they were in the wrong. They were just as likely to apologize if they believed they were actually in the wrong.

Another study of 120 participants asked them to rate specific offenses, how much that action deserved an apology and how likely they were to say they were sorry for it.

"Men rated the offenses as less severe than women did," the study found.

"Part of the reason women apologize more is they have a lower threshold for what is offensive behavior," says Karina Schumann, lead author of the study to appear in print in November.

"It's not that men are always being insensitive or that women are always seeing offenses that aren't."

Schumann adds, "It's a different standard between men and women on how offensive behavior is, and sometimes results in men not apologizing for something that the female thinks they should."


Below, the abstract of the Psychological Science research paper.


Why Women Apologize More Than Men

Gender differences in thresholds for perceiving offensive behavior

Despite wide acceptance of the stereotype that women apologize more readily than men, there is little systematic evidence to support this stereotype or its supposed bases (e.g., men’s fragile egos). We designed two studies to examine whether gender differences in apology behavior exist and, if so, why. In Study 1, participants reported in daily diaries all offenses they committed or experienced and whether an apology had been offered. Women reported offering more apologies than men, but they also reported committing more offenses. There was no gender difference in the proportion of offenses that prompted apologies. This finding suggests that men apologize less frequently than women because they have a higher threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior. In Study 2, we tested this threshold hypothesis by asking participants to evaluate both imaginary and recalled offenses. As predicted, men rated the offenses as less severe than women did. These different ratings of severity predicted both judgments of whether an apology was deserved and actual apology behavior.


Up top, 15-year-old Brenda Lee sings her monster #1 hit in 1960.

September 30, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Thermo Scientific FirstDefender Raman System Handheld Chemical Analyzer


Wrote Aaron Rowe in the October 2010 issue of Wired magazine, this is "a device that instantly IDs anything from cocaine to nerve gas. It zaps the unidentified substance with a laser and reads the wavelength that bounces back to determine what the stuff is."

From the website: "Thermo Scientific FirstDefender RMX is the company's next generation Raman instrument for rapid, accurate identification of unknown chemicals, with the added flexibility of a fixed probe. FirstDefender RMX is significantly faster, smaller and lighter than the flagship FirstDefender®, and can be mounted to select tactical robots or be used in handheld point-and-shoot or vial mode."



Some information does not want to be free.

September 30, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Ever Is Over All" — Pipilotti Rist

A 1997 piece by the Swiss video and installation artist.

September 30, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Chocolate boat launched — "one sweet ride"

Above, last Saturday's maiden voyage of a boat made of chocolate.

From a September 26, 2010 BBC News story : "A French chocolatier launched a 3.5m chocolate and sugar boat in front of a crowd of hundreds of onlookers in the port of Concarneau."

"Chocolate creator Georges Larnicol, who owns a dozen shops across western France, won a bet by successfully building a seaworthy boat from chocolate."

[via Milena]

September 30, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BBC Dimensions


"Dimensions" takes important places, events and things, and overlays them onto a map of where you are."

Fair warning: there goes the day.

[via Cliff Hatch]

September 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nooka Zub Zoo 20 Watch






From $92.35.

September 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

iPad — and iPhone —Walking Robots

Can your iPad and/or iPhone do that?

[via bennybb]

September 30, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What are they?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: not found in nature.

Another: inedible — by beast or man.

A third: handmade.

Yet one more:



September 30, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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