Personality and Its Effects on Resentment, Revenge, Forgiveness, and Self-Forgiveness

Authored by: Etienne Mullet , Félix Neto , Sheila Rivière

Handbook of Forgiveness

Print publication date:  June  2005
Online publication date:  December  2007

Print ISBN: 9780415949491
eBook ISBN: 9780203955673
Adobe ISBN: 9781135410889


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Previous research shows that the decision to forgive depends on numerous factors, such as: (a) situational factors (intention of harm, repetition of offense, severity of the consequences, cancellation or not of the consequences, presence of apologies, and/or compensation from the offender [e.g., Mullet & Girard, 2000]), (b) relational factors (offender's identity and his or her proximity with the victim, his or her hierarchical status, his or her attitude after the offense, and environmental pressures [e.g., Aquino, Tripp, & Bies, 2001]), and (c) personality factors (McCullough & Worthington, 1999). This chapter will focus on the latter group of factors. What are the personality traits that could predict the duration and intensity of the post-offense resentment, the choice of forgiveness (self-forgiveness or forgiveness of others), or the choice of revenge?

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