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I appreciate the study and your acknowledgment of some of its limitations. Given the limitation that the study was conducted using a relatively minor infraction within a relatively distant relationship, I think conclusions should be drawn with more caution. In particular, the effect of an apology seems, at least in theory, like something that might vary widely, depending on a number of factors. I would expect that there would be differing effects of an apology, depending on:
1) the severity of the infraction
2) the stakes of staying
3) the relative power of the parties within their social milieu
4) the nature of the apology
Given all these untested variables, I would hold off on dismissing the apology.
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