Collectivistic Self-Construal and Forgiveness


  • Don E. Davis is now at Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, Georgia State University.

concerning this article should be addressed to Joshua N. Hook, Department of Psychology University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle #311280, Denton, TX 76203 (e-mail:


This study tested a theoretical model of the relationship between collectivism and forgiveness. Participants (N= 298) completed measures of collectivistic self-construal, forgiveness, and forgiveness-related constructs. A collectivistic self-construal was related to understanding forgiveness as an interpersonal process that involved reconciliation. Individuals with more collectivistic views reported higher trait forgivingness, which predicted the tendency to respond to specific offenses with decisional rather than emotional forgiveness. Individuals with a more collectivistic self-construal may place more value on interpersonal harmony, reconciliation, and decisions to forgive rather than emotional peace. Implications suggest that counselors understand issues of conflict, hurts, and forgiveness within an assessment of clients’ self-construal.