Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 347–358 | Cite as

Influence of Apologies and Trait Hostility on Recovery from Anger

  • Jeremy C. AndersonEmail author
  • Wolfgang Linden
  • Martine E. Habra


While there is growing evidence that quick recovery from stress is health-protective, relatively little is known about what factors affect recovery rates. We tested whether recovery from anger can be diffused with apologies. 184 participants performed a stress task involving verbal harassment and apologies. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: non-harassed control, good apology, pseudo-apology, or no apology. Measures of blood pressure and heart rate were taken at baseline, task and recovery periods. Participants scoring high in trait hostility displayed faster systolic blood pressure recovery when they received a genuine apology, but recovered more slowly when they received a pseudo-apology or no apology. Apologies did not influence subjective anger ratings. It was concluded that apologies may accelerate cardiovascular anger recovery among those with hostile personality predispositions.


cardiovascular recovery apology hostility blood pressure heart rate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy C. Anderson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wolfgang Linden
    • 1
  • Martine E. Habra
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Psychology/ UBCVancouverCanada

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