Fairness and forgiveness: Effects of priming justice depend on justice beliefs
Number of pages
SourceCurrent Psychology, 41, 9, (2022), pp. 6336-6347
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Thinking about justice can enhance or impede forgiveness of others. In this study, we show that these effects crucially depend on tendencies to believe in justice. We assessed beliefs about distributive and procedural justice for self and others among university students from the Midwestern United States. We then primed participants to think about distributive or procedural justice, either for self or others. We measured general forgiveness attitudes, as well as motivations to forgive a past transgression. Among participants who strongly believed in distributive justice for others, forgiveness was attenuated by thinking about distributive justice for others (congruence-inhibition), but accentuated by thinking about distributive justice for self, or procedural justice for others (incongruence-facilitation). Among participants who strongly believed in procedural justice for others, forgiveness was accentuated by thinking about procedural justice for self or distributive justice for others (incongruence-facilitation). Results highlight contextualized rather than rote effects of justice on forgiveness.
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