The economics of apologies

Tim Harford writes:

[A]n apology… represents a choice to appear loveable but bumbling. The alternative is to admit nothing and look like a competent hard-man.

This is immensely problematic for men, especially, because the chicas dig both ‘loveable’ and ‘competent hard-man’. The best way to avoid this choice would be to do nothing wrong, so an apology is never required. (World peace would also be nice.) Sadly, that is an impossible condition.

(Link via email from Ravikiran.)