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In the wake of betrayal: Amends, forgiveness, and the resolution of betrayal

Authors

  • PEGGY A. HANNON,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Washington
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    • Peggy A. Hannon, Department of Health Services, University of Washington; Caryl E. Rusbult, Department of Social Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Eli J. Finkel, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University; Madoka Kamashiro, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

  • CARYL E. RUSBULT,

    1. Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
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    • Peggy A. Hannon, Department of Health Services, University of Washington; Caryl E. Rusbult, Department of Social Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Eli J. Finkel, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University; Madoka Kamashiro, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

  • ELI J. FINKEL,

    1. Northwestern University
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    • Peggy A. Hannon, Department of Health Services, University of Washington; Caryl E. Rusbult, Department of Social Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Eli J. Finkel, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University; Madoka Kamashiro, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

  • MADOKA KAMASHIRO

    1. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
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    • Peggy A. Hannon, Department of Health Services, University of Washington; Caryl E. Rusbult, Department of Social Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Eli J. Finkel, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University; Madoka Kamashiro, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom.


  • This research was supported by a grant to the second author from the Templeton Foundation (Grant 5158). Manuscript preparation was facilitated by National Cancer Institute Training Grant 5R25CA092408. Study 3 was part of Peggy A. Hannon's doctoral dissertation, supervised by Caryl E. Rusbult. We would like to thank the Marriage Project Team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for all of their contributions to the studies presented in this article.

Peggy A. Hannon, University of Washington, Department of Health Services, 1107 NE 45th Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98105, e-mail: peggyh@u.washington.edu.

Abstract

The present work advances a dyadic model of victim and perpetrator interactions following betrayals, and the effect of their interactions on betrayal resolution and relationship quality. The authors propose that perpetrator amends promotes victim forgiveness and that both amends and forgiveness contribute to betrayal resolution. In Study 1, married couples discussed unresolved betrayal incidents, and their behavior was rated by partners and trained observers. In Study 2, dating individuals used interaction records to describe betrayal incidents perpetrated by themselves or the partner over a 2-week period. In Study 3, dating partners both provided retrospective descriptions of prior betrayal incidents. All studies yielded good support for model predictions, revealing parallel findings from the point of view of victims, perpetrators, and external observers.

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