This chapter addresses the possible health connections of forgiveness, which is defined as an unusual expression of altruistic love that can only occur after a person has first suffered harm from an offender. Forgiveness is an act of gift giving to the undeserving offender that attempts to overcome injustice with goodness and potentially to edge out negative feelings associated with the transgression with prosocial emotions like empathy, compassion, and love. Based on emotion theory, the chapter identifies forgiveness as a positively valent low-arousal emotion (like peace and calm) and the opposite, 'unforgiveness', as a negatively valent high-arousal emotion (like fear and anger). Forgiveness as an antidote to negative responses to transgression and research on the negative health effects of hostility, stress, rumination, and suppression, along with ways in which forgiveness can counter these effects, is presented.
|Title of host publication||Altruism and Health: Perspectives from Empirical Research|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|ISBN (Print)||9780199786794, 9780195182910|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2007|
- Altruistic love
- Health outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas