Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social cognition and forgiveness: The role of dissonance and motivation in navigating interpersonal offenses
by Adams, Laura Patricia, M.A., University of Arkansas, 2007, 69; 1442418
Abstract (Summary)

Forgiveness is said to entail a shift in interpersonal motivation, affect, and focus. However, there is little empirical work exploring this process. The current study investigated the role of cognitive dissonance, relationship goals, and safety goals in forgiveness. Participants recalled an interpersonal offense by either a close or distant other and were then assigned to increased forgiveness, decreased forgiveness, or control groups. Goal activation, affect, forgiveness, closure, and closeness to the offender were measured. No evidence was found for the contribution of either goal activation or dissonance in forgiving. As in previous research, measures of forgiveness, psychological closure, and interpersonal closeness were correlated across the sample. The possible role of relationship-protective mechanisms that prevent unforgiveness from occurring is explored. Future research should focus on resilience in the face of interpersonal offenses.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of Arkansas
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: MAI 45/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Psychology, Experiments
Publication Number: 1442418
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