Here's an interesting finding: if we don't feel socially accepted, we are more likely to get defensive when we've done something wrong.
It makes so much sense! If I think to the times I have engaged with (sometimes very stupid) cover-ups or denials for wrongdoing, I think they were often connected to people with whom I felt uncertain about my standing.
What's interesting is that this research shows that people will feel the implicit guilt over whatever they have done either way, but only those who have had reassurance will admit to their guilt explicitly.
This applies to making your wrong right as well. Unsurprisingly, those who are unwilling to admit their guilt are also less likely to take steps to repair the harm they caused.
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