It takes two to forgive: The interactive role of relationship value and executive control
Number of pages
SourcePersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 6, (2014), pp. 803-815
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SW OZ BSI ON
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Social Development
Previous research demonstrated that perceived relationship value is a strong predictor of forgiveness. Here we suggest that relationship value may not be sufficient. Given that executive control is an important facilitator of forgiveness, we predicted that relationship value and executive control should interact toward promoting forgiveness. Using different indicators of executive control, including adults and children samples, measured or experimentally varied relationship value, and both self-report and behavioral forgiveness measures, across four studies we found support for our main prediction: Relationship value was positively associated with forgiveness; however, this association was mostly pronounced among individuals high (vs. low) in executive control. In addition, executive control was positively associated with forgiveness, but particularly in relationships of high (vs. low) relationship value. These findings suggest that relationship value and executive control in combination are associated with higher interpersonal forgiveness. Implications for the extant literature on forgiveness, and interpersonal relationships more broadly, are discussed.
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