Having the Power to Forgive: When the Experience of Power Increases Interpersonal Forgiveness
until further notice
SourcePersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 8, (2010), pp. 1010-1023
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
The present research examined the association between power, defined in terms of experienced control over outcomes and resources in a relationship, and interpersonal forgiveness. Based on recent findings in the literature suggesting that power is associated with goal directedness, it was hypothesized that high levels of experienced power should facilitate forgiveness, in particular in relationships of strong commitment. The results of three studies, using both correlational and experimental designs, supported this prediction: Power was positively associated with forgiveness, but this effect was stronger in relationships of strong (rather than weak) commitment. This pattern of results was observed for both the inclination to forgive hypothetical offenses and actual forgiveness regarding a past offense. Study 3 provided some preliminary evidence for the role of rumination in the link between power and forgiveness. Implications of these findings for the literature on forgiveness and the literature on social power are discussed.
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