Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships

Michael McCullough, Kenneth C. Rachal, Everett L. Worthington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

761 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Forgiving is a motivational transformation that inclines people to inhibit relationship-destructive responses and to behave constructively toward someone who has behaved destructively toward them. The authors describe a model of forgiveness based on the hypothesis that people forgive others to the extent that they experience empathy for them. Two studies investigated the empathy model of forgiveness. In Study 1, the authors developed measures of empathy and forgiveness. The authors found evidence consistent with the hypotheses that (a) the relationship between receiving an apology from and forgiving one's offender is a function of increased empathy for the offender and (b) that forgiving is uniquely related to conciliatory behavior and avoidance behavior toward the offending partner. In Study 2, the authors conducted an intervention in which empathy was manipulated to examine the empathy-forgiving relationship more closely. Results generally supported the conceptualization of forgiving as a motivational phenomenon and the empathy-forgiving link.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-336
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume73
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

empathy
Forgiveness
offender
avoidance behavior
Avoidance Learning
evidence
experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships. / McCullough, Michael; Rachal, Kenneth C.; Worthington, Everett L.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 73, No. 2, 01.08.1997, p. 321-336.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McCullough, M, Rachal, KC & Worthington, EL 1997, 'Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships', Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 73, no. 2, pp. 321-336.
McCullough, Michael ; Rachal, Kenneth C. ; Worthington, Everett L. / Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships. In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1997 ; Vol. 73, No. 2. pp. 321-336.
@article{dc8cd74399aa4097b67de1f1cdbd1893,
title = "Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships",
abstract = "Forgiving is a motivational transformation that inclines people to inhibit relationship-destructive responses and to behave constructively toward someone who has behaved destructively toward them. The authors describe a model of forgiveness based on the hypothesis that people forgive others to the extent that they experience empathy for them. Two studies investigated the empathy model of forgiveness. In Study 1, the authors developed measures of empathy and forgiveness. The authors found evidence consistent with the hypotheses that (a) the relationship between receiving an apology from and forgiving one's offender is a function of increased empathy for the offender and (b) that forgiving is uniquely related to conciliatory behavior and avoidance behavior toward the offending partner. In Study 2, the authors conducted an intervention in which empathy was manipulated to examine the empathy-forgiving relationship more closely. Results generally supported the conceptualization of forgiving as a motivational phenomenon and the empathy-forgiving link.",
author = "Michael McCullough and Rachal, {Kenneth C.} and Worthington, {Everett L.}",
year = "1997",
month = "8",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "73",
pages = "321--336",
journal = "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-3514",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships

AU - McCullough, Michael

AU - Rachal, Kenneth C.

AU - Worthington, Everett L.

PY - 1997/8/1

Y1 - 1997/8/1

N2 - Forgiving is a motivational transformation that inclines people to inhibit relationship-destructive responses and to behave constructively toward someone who has behaved destructively toward them. The authors describe a model of forgiveness based on the hypothesis that people forgive others to the extent that they experience empathy for them. Two studies investigated the empathy model of forgiveness. In Study 1, the authors developed measures of empathy and forgiveness. The authors found evidence consistent with the hypotheses that (a) the relationship between receiving an apology from and forgiving one's offender is a function of increased empathy for the offender and (b) that forgiving is uniquely related to conciliatory behavior and avoidance behavior toward the offending partner. In Study 2, the authors conducted an intervention in which empathy was manipulated to examine the empathy-forgiving relationship more closely. Results generally supported the conceptualization of forgiving as a motivational phenomenon and the empathy-forgiving link.

AB - Forgiving is a motivational transformation that inclines people to inhibit relationship-destructive responses and to behave constructively toward someone who has behaved destructively toward them. The authors describe a model of forgiveness based on the hypothesis that people forgive others to the extent that they experience empathy for them. Two studies investigated the empathy model of forgiveness. In Study 1, the authors developed measures of empathy and forgiveness. The authors found evidence consistent with the hypotheses that (a) the relationship between receiving an apology from and forgiving one's offender is a function of increased empathy for the offender and (b) that forgiving is uniquely related to conciliatory behavior and avoidance behavior toward the offending partner. In Study 2, the authors conducted an intervention in which empathy was manipulated to examine the empathy-forgiving relationship more closely. Results generally supported the conceptualization of forgiving as a motivational phenomenon and the empathy-forgiving link.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0031201059&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0031201059&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 9248052

AN - SCOPUS:0031201059

VL - 73

SP - 321

EP - 336

JO - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

SN - 0022-3514

IS - 2

ER -