This work complements existing research regarding the forgiveness process by highlighting the role of commitment in motivating forgiveness. On the basis of an interdependence-theoretic analysis, the authors suggest that (a) victims' self-oriented reactions to betrayal are antithetical to forgiveness, favoring impulses such as grudge and vengeance, and (b) forgiveness rests on prorelationship motivation, one cause of which is strong commitment. A priming experiment, a cross-sectional survey study, and an interaction record study revealed evidence of associations (or causal effects) of commitment with forgiveness. The commitment-forgiveness association appearred to rest on intent to persist rather than long-term orientation or psychological attachment. In addition, the commitment-forgiveness association was mediated by cognitive interpretations of betrayal incidents; evidence for mediation by emotional reactions was inconsistent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science