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two women apologizing

Identifying Important Social Factors


As you can imagine, the social and contextual factors that influence apologies have a major impact on their performance. It is essential to learn how to perform apologies in various social contexts so that you are able to convey your willingness to repair the situation.

Why are social factors important when apologizing?

Everyone makes mistakes that require an apology. However, as nonnative speakers, these mistakes may seem more pronounced and can have a profound impact on your relationship with native speakers. Even a small pragmatic error can cause distrust and major conflict if you do not know how to convey your apology.

What social factors will be focused on here?

In this module, the contextual features that we will be focusing on are severity of offense (i.e., How bad was it?) and gender. This does not mean, however, that other factors, such as social distance and power, do not have an impact as well. All factors should be kept in mind when perfecting your apologizing skills.

Learn how severity of offense and gender influence apology behavior by exploring the activities within each of the two areas. Click on each of the links below to access the activities related to that social factor. (Note: You can click on the title or the picture.)


After completing both areas above, click on the button below to continue with this module.

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