The role of personality and situational factors in forgiveness /
MetadataShow full item record
This study deals with personality and situational variables that influence forgiveness. The relations between empathy and forgiveness were studied, followed by the examination of the relation of these two variables to the Big Five personality traits, as well as honesty, absorption, the propensity to mystical experiences, and dissociation. Empathy was then tested as a mediating variable between the personality variables and forgiveness. Empathy and forgiveness were then studied in relation to childhood maltreatment. Finally, the effects of six different motivations to forgive were examined in relation to the personality variables. Participants were 142 undergraduate students recruited from the ftrst year psychology class at Brock University; 75% were either 18 or 19 years of age, and 84% were female. All of the variables were measured using self-report questionnaires. The relation between empathy and forgiveness was only partially replicated. In terms of personality, forgiveness was found to be related to honesty, emotionality, and agreeableness. Empathy at least partially mediated the relations between forgiveness and agreeableness, honesty and emotionality. Childhood maltreatment was negatively related to forgiveness, and positively related to openness to experience, absorption, and dissociation from reality, but not to the propensity for mystical experiences. Six different motivations for forgiveness emerged from an exploratory factor analysis. Out of these, Forgiveness to Promote Reconciliation was related to emotionality and dispositional empathy. Religious Forgiveness was related to honesty, emotionality, and mystical experiences. Forgiveness to Feel Better was related to honesty, emotionality, agreeableness, conscientiousness, absorption, mystical experiences, and empathy. Forgiveness to Assert Moral Superiority over the Injurer was negatively related to honesty, empathy, and positively related to extraversion. Forgiveness out of Fear was related to agreeableness. Finally, Altruistic Forgiveness was related to honesty, emotionality, and agreeableness, absorption and the propensity to mystical experiences. Altruistic Forgiveness correlated most highly with all the measures of forgiveness, followed by Forgiveness to Feel better. Altruistic forgiveness was also the motivation for forgiveness that correlated the highest with absorption.