Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Member

Erin M. Ash

Committee Member

Joseph P. Mazer

Committee Member

Andrew S. Pyle


This research was designed to examine how transgressor gender and image repair strategies interact to influence favorable perceptions of a transgressor after an image- related crisis. Drawing on the image repair theory, gender performance and double bind, and expectancy violations theory, four hypotheses were proposed. It was predicted that using an image repair strategy would be viewed more favorably (based on levels of acceptability, likability, perceived responsibility, likelihood of repeated offense, and deserved punishment) than not using an image repair strategy. It was also predicted that transgressing men would be viewed with more favorably than transgressing women. Additionally, it was predicted that following one’s gender norms with their image repair statement would be viewed more favorably than violating those norms.

A 2 (Transgressor Gender) x 3 (Image Repair Strategy) factorial experiment was conducted to test these hypotheses. Results from a series of two-way ANOVAs revealed that none of the hypotheses were supported. Contrary to what was predicted, transgressors benefited more from not saying anything at all than from employing a defeasibility statement. Additionally, no main effects for transgressor gender were revealed. It was also found that transgressing men who employed defeasibility were viewed as less responsible for their actions than other conditions, and transgressing women who employed bolstering were viewed as less responsible for their actions than other conditions. This study suggests that when studying IRT quantitatively, it is important to consider the external factors that could interact with the strategies’ effects.

Keywords: apologia, image repair, gender double bind



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