Do Agreeableness and Neuroticism Explain Age Differences in the Tendency to Forgive Others?

Marianne Steiner, Mathias Allemand, Michael E. McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has shown that age is positively related to a dispositional tendency to forgive others. The present investigation tested the hypothesis that agreeableness and neuroticism partially mediate the association between age and forgivingness. Data from two representative cross-sectional samples of adults were used to test this hypothesis. Results from Study 1 (N = 962, age range: 19-84 years) support the hypothesis, indicating that agreeableness and neuroticism explained, in part, age differences in tendencies to forgive. Study 2 (N = 451, age range: 20-83 years) replicated and extended the results by including transgression occurrences as a third mediator. The results showed that agreeableness and neuroticism explain the association between age and the tendency to forgive others over and above the effect of transgression occurrences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • adulthood
  • age differences
  • agreeableness
  • forgivingness
  • neuroticism
  • personality traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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