Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Justice sensitivity and forgiveness in close interpersonal relationships: the mediating role of mistrustful, legitimizing, and pro-relationship cognition


Gerlach, Tanja M; Allemand, Mathias; Agroskin, Dmitrij; Denissen, Jaap J A (2012). Justice sensitivity and forgiveness in close interpersonal relationships: the mediating role of mistrustful, legitimizing, and pro-relationship cognition. Journal of Personality, 80(5):1373-1413.

Abstract

The purpose of the present investigation was to explore and better understand the relationship between justice sensitivity from a victim's perspective (JS-victim) and interpersonal forgiveness. In particular, we aimed to identify the cognitive mechanisms mediating this relationship and test the moderating influence of post-transgression perpetrator behavior. We used data from a questionnaire study employing a Swiss community sample (N = 450) and 2 scenario-based studies employing German online samples, in the context of romantic (N = 242) and friendship relationships (N = 974). We consistently found JS-victim to be negatively related to dispositional (Study 1) and situational forgiveness (Studies 2 and 3). Study 2 demonstrated the relationship between JS-victim and reduced forgiveness to be partly mediated by mistrustful interpretations of the partner's post-transgression behavior. In Study 3, cognitions legitimizing one's own antisocial reactions and a lack of pro-relationship cognitions were identified as further mediators. These variables mediated the negative effect of JS-victim on forgiveness largely independent of whether the friend perpetrator displayed reconciliatory behavior or not. Findings suggest that the cognitive mechanisms mediating victim-sensitive individuals' unforgiveness could barely be neutralized. Future research should investigate their malleability in light of qualitatively different perpetrator behaviors as well as their broader relational implications.

Abstract

The purpose of the present investigation was to explore and better understand the relationship between justice sensitivity from a victim's perspective (JS-victim) and interpersonal forgiveness. In particular, we aimed to identify the cognitive mechanisms mediating this relationship and test the moderating influence of post-transgression perpetrator behavior. We used data from a questionnaire study employing a Swiss community sample (N = 450) and 2 scenario-based studies employing German online samples, in the context of romantic (N = 242) and friendship relationships (N = 974). We consistently found JS-victim to be negatively related to dispositional (Study 1) and situational forgiveness (Studies 2 and 3). Study 2 demonstrated the relationship between JS-victim and reduced forgiveness to be partly mediated by mistrustful interpretations of the partner's post-transgression behavior. In Study 3, cognitions legitimizing one's own antisocial reactions and a lack of pro-relationship cognitions were identified as further mediators. These variables mediated the negative effect of JS-victim on forgiveness largely independent of whether the friend perpetrator displayed reconciliatory behavior or not. Findings suggest that the cognitive mechanisms mediating victim-sensitive individuals' unforgiveness could barely be neutralized. Future research should investigate their malleability in light of qualitatively different perpetrator behaviors as well as their broader relational implications.

Statistics

Citations

15 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

2 downloads since deposited on 17 Dec 2012
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:17 Dec 2012 16:35
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:13
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0022-3506
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2012.00762.x
PubMed ID:22224542

Download