2008-2009 Honors Student
Name: Samantha Kozza
Honors in: Psychology
Title of project: The Role of Apology in Forgiveness of Transgressions
Abstract or brief description: The objective of my study was to find an association between the type of apology that is delivered and the amount of forgiveness that occurs. Sixty two female participants read descriptions of two transgressions (Spreading Rumor, Skipping Dinner). Participants viewed one of three levels of apology, with a level three apology being the most complete apology and a level one being the least complete. For the Skipping Dinner transgression, Level 2 and 3 apologies yielded higher forgiveness scores than did a Level 1 apology. For the Spreading Rumor transgression there was a trend for greater forgiveness when more than just an “I’m sorry” was delivered.
How did you get interested in your topic? I found the topic of forgiveness interesting because almost everyone has had experience with it. Most people have been in the position of asking someone for forgiveness or granting forgiveness.
Do you intend to research your topic further, if so, how? I would like to continue my research on forgiveness in graduate school. For this study I only used females as subjects and I would like to run a study using males to determine whether any gender differences are present in forgiveness.
How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors? Participating in honors was beneficial to me because I was able to conduct research and run an experiment more independently than I had in the past. Writing an honors thesis has also prepared me for when I will write my Master's thesis in graduate school.
How has the department (or faculty advisor) in which you studied prepared you for the future? My faculty advisor, Dr. Toedter, has helped to increase my research skills and has taught me how to conduct a high-quality study. These things have better prepared me for when I will have to conduct research in graduate school.
What advice do you have for other students interested in honors? I would say to students interested in honors that it is a lot of hard work, but definately worth it. It is a great experience and I feel more prepared for my future studies having completed an honors project.