The varying meaning of forgiveness: Relationship closeness moderates how forgiveness affects feelings of justice
Article first published online: 26 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 42, Issue 4, pages 420–431, June 2012
How to Cite
Wenzel, M. and Okimoto, T. G. (2012), The varying meaning of forgiveness: Relationship closeness moderates how forgiveness affects feelings of justice. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 42: 420–431. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1850
- Issue published online: 23 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 26 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 12 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 22 AUG 2011
- Australian Research Council. Grant Number: DP0877309
Psychological research has repeatedly shown that victims are more likely to forgive socially close than distant others, but little research has addressed the question whether forgiveness in these two cases actually has the same psychological meaning. As one approach to this issue, the present research investigates how acts of forgiveness aid the restoration of victims' justice feelings through different processes, depending on the closeness of their relationship to the offender. In two studies (Study 1 using a scenario method, Study 2 an autobiographical recall), the victim's perceptions of value consensus with the offender mediated justice-restoring effects of forgiveness expressed towards a close offender, whereas feelings of status/power mediated justice-restoring effects of forgiveness expressed towards a distant offender. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.