Towards the development of a questionnaire of post transgression motives and behaviours /
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The primary purpose of this study was to develop a questionnaire that assesses both forgiveness-seeking motives and behaviours. This questionnaire was based on the premise that, following the commitment of an offense in the context of a relationship, a perpetrator will be motivated to reduce the damage that has taken place. The . ' questionnaire examined several motives that a perpetrator might have for seeking forgiveness. These motives were divided into five proposed domains of posttransgression concerns: God, Self, Victim, Others/Society, and Relationship. Within these domains, the following more specific types of concern were explored: Avoidance of punishment, concern about public image, emotional well-being, self-image, sense of fairness/justice, loss of relationship, loss or gain of power, and loss of ability to trust. The questionnaire also assessed which behaviours (approach and avoidance) a perpetrator might use in order to address these concerns. In addition, this study explored whether or not the severity of the situation and the personality of the perpetrator influenced post transgression motives and behaviours. Participants were 221 individuals from the community and Brock University. They filled out a questionnaire package that assessed personality traits, social desirability, and forgiveness-seeking motives and behaviours. In order to answer items assessing motives and behaviours, participants were asked to imagine themselves as perpetrators in three hypothetical transgression scenarios. These scenarios ranged in severity fi^om low to high. Participants were asked to rate their motives and behaviours both in an immediate time frame (immediately following the transgression) and in the long-term (in order to move on from the situation). Results indicated that the motivation items could be classified into the following subscales:Concern about God, Damaged Self-worth Concerns, Justice Concerns, Impression Management Concerns, Victim and Others Concerns, and Relationship Concerns. The behaviour items formed the following subscales: Approach, Avoidance, Denial and Hiding, and Groveling. Results also indicated differences in motivations and behaviours based on the severity of the situation as well as the personality (assessed using the HEXACO inventory) of the perpetrator.