Behavioral methods of assessing forgiveness

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Behavioral methods of assessing forgiveness

One problem in forgiveness research is the reliance on one method (i.e. having people recall an offense and complete self-report measures). Thus we present two strategies for studying forgiveness-related behavior. First we adapted the Cyberball paradigm which is a game of toss where two computer players (ostensibly virtual players) exclude the participant from play. We adapted Cyberball to include a second round that gave participants the opportunity to retaliate or forgive the player who excluded them. Self-reported forgiveness predicted the first toss and total number of tosses to the offender in the subsequent round. Second we had participants describe an offense (as is typical with the recall method) but then also complete an activity in which they listed as many positive qualities as they could about the offender. Self-reported forgiveness predicted the number of positive qualities listed. We discuss the contribution of these studies to the multimodal study of forgiveness.

The Journal of Positive Psychology , 2013

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