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Abstract

A single transgressor sometimes harms more than just 1 victim. We examine a previously undocumented social cost of forgiving following these multiple-victim transgressions. We find that nonforgiving victims believe that other victims who forgive the common transgressor make their decisions to withhold forgiveness appear ungenerous. Faced with this threat, nonforgiving victims report that other forgiving (vs. nonforgiving) victims have overclaimed their standing to forgive the common transgressor and consequently perceive these forgiving victims as demonstrating a lack of benevolence toward them. Nonforgiving victims also perceive forgiving victims to have relatively little integrity. We test these social costs of forgiving in the field and in the lab across 7 studies plus a meta-analysis of 5 of those studies. We also identify 1 route by which forgiving victims can attenuate the social costs they face: they can affirm other victims' decisions to withhold forgiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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... Also, people may choose not to forgive because of the social penalties from third parties. If a victim forgives, unforgiving third parties may perceive them as lacking integrity (Raj et al., 2020). Therefore, forgiveness can have serious reputation costs. ...
Thesis
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This dissertation investigated how honor and dignity cultural logics were related to why people choose to forgive or not forgive and how that choice was associated with one’s well-being and relationship quality. Few studies examined why people forgive or do not, and even fewer used diverse samples or examined cultural values. In addition, forgiveness is often recommended because it has relational, physical, and psychological benefits; however, people may still choose not to forgive. The literature is not clear if the positive outcomes of forgiveness are because of the degree of forgiveness or the reasons for forgiveness; it is also unclear if all reasons for not forgiving are related to worse outcomes or if the person’s motives for withholding forgiveness are related to these outcomes. This dissertation addressed that gap by examining whether types of forgiveness (i.e., decisional and emotional) mediated the relation between forgiveness motives and well-being or relationship quality and how unforgiveness motives related to these same outcomes. I conducted two studies where Mexicans (an honor culture) and Northern U.S. European Americans (a dignity culture) wrote about conflicts they had forgiven or not forgiven. In Study 1, participants wrote about how they came to this decision (i.e., their reasons for forgiving or not forgiving), and in Study 2, participants indicated to what extent they used different motives for forgiving or not forgiving. In both studies, participants also indicated the type of offense that occurred (whether it was a reputation threat and the type of moral foundation violated). Results showed that Mexicans and Northern U.S. European Americans tended to forgive the most for egocentric, relationship, and altruistic reasons and forgave for religious, normative, and reparative work reasons to a lesser extent. Mexicans and Northern U.S. European Americans also tended to not forgive for similar reasons; unreadiness, self-protection, reputation, lack of reparative work, and moral concern. The findings related to cultural differences in the use of forgiveness and unforgiveness motives were mixed; some supported my hypotheses, and some did not. Additionally, the findings demonstrated that it does matter why someone chose to forgive or not to forgive; not all forgiveness reasons are associated with better outcomes, and not all unforgiveness reasons are associated with worse outcomes. Forgiving for egocentric, religious, or normative reasons was not consistently associated with well-being or relationship quality, but forgiving for relationship, altruistic, and reparative work reasons were highly related to relationship quality but inconsistently with well-being in both cultural groups. Not forgiving because of unreadiness reasons was associated with worse well-being but better relationship commitment with their offender. In contrast, not forgiving because of moral concerns was positively related to satisfaction with life and relationship satisfaction but negatively with relationship commitment. Lastly, in both studies, conflicts were not about one’s reputation but were primarily about harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, or ingroup/loyalty moral foundations, and this did not vary by country.
... This is because transgressors engage in moral comparison with victims and this comparison may threaten transgressors' moral self-concepts (Adams et al., 2015). Forgiveness may also lead to a social penalty from third parties and other victims who do not forgive the transgressor and feel threatened by the forgiver's moral behavior (Raj, Wiltermuth, & Adams, 2016). ...
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Corporate transgression is a well-known phenomenon in today's business world. Some corporations are involved in violations of law and moral rules that produce organizational practices and products that take a toll on the public. Social cognitive theory of moral agency provides a conceptual framework for analyzing how otherwise pro-social managers adopt socially injurious corporate practices. This is achieved through selective disengagement of moral self-sanctions from transgressive conduct. This article documents moral disengagement practices in four famous cases of corporate transgressions and discusses some implications for business ethics on how to counteract organizational use of moral disengagement strategies.
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Forgiveness, when thought of as an unsolicited gift, may increase the perceived debt of the transgressor to the victim whereas retribution should reduce it. Male undergraduates participated in a study designed to test this equity interpretation of forgiveness and retribution. Participants were induced to break a piece of electronic equipment during an ostensible memory study; the reaction of the experimenter served as the experimental manipulation. Participants experienced one of forgiveness, retribution, both retribution and forgiveness, or neither, and were then asked to comply with a request from the experimenter as an indirect measure of perceived inequity. Consistent with an equity analysis, a planned contrast analysis indicated that forgiveness alone yielded the most compliance and retribution yielded the least compliance.
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Norm theory (Kahneman & Miller, 1986) identifies factors that determine the ease with which alternatives to reality can be imagined or constructed. One assumption of norm theory is that the greater the availability of imagined alternatives to an event, the stronger will be the affective reaction elicited by the event. The present two experiments explore this assumption in the context of observers' reactions to victims. It was predicted that negative outcomes that strongly evoked positive alternatives would elicit more sympathy from observers than negative outcomes that weakly evoked positive alternatives. The ease of counterfactual thought was manipulated in the first experiment by the spatial distance between the negative outcome and a positive alternative, and in the second experiment by the habitualness of the actions that precipitated the victimization. Consistent with norm theory, subjects recommended more compensation for victims of fates for which a positive alternative was highly available. Implications of the results for various types of reactions to victims are discussed.
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"The present study sought to determine how a player in different positions of relative power could exercise this power in the form of various game playing strategies so as to induce an individualistic S to adapt to a cooperative orientation." The greater the power S experiences over another, the more trusting he can permit himself to be; S will respond differently to varying degrees of co-operativeness in another under conditions of equal power. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two experiments investigated the relative importance of 5 determinants of dyadic trust—integrity, competence, consistency, loyalty, and openness—in terms of trust in superiors and trust in subordinates. The experiments were designed from research on behavioral decision theory, and Ss, 78 undergraduate management students, responded to cues that described hypothetical superiors (Exp I) and subordinates (Exp II). Responses indicated the amount of trust held in each of 32 superiors and 32 subordinates. Results show that integrity, competence, and consistency were stronger than loyalty or openness as determinants of Ss' trust in superiors and in subordinates. There were no differences in the importance of any of the determinants of Ss' trust in subordinates vs superiors. Methodological considerations of the present investigation are discussed. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Outlines some of the difficult decisions that people can face when deciding whether to communicate forgiveness or repentance to one another. The article first highlights some major benefits of expressing forgiveness and repentance. Then it draws on psychological research and theory to pinpoint some risks that might make people reluctant to engage in these actions, and offers predictions about conditions likely to heighten these risks. Finally, the article uses this cost-benefit analysis to suggest some factors likely to foster the constructive expression of repentance and forgiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The multiple-comparison procedure originally proposed by R. A. Fisher (1935) for the 1-way ANOVA context has several desirable properties when K (the number of groups) is equal to 3. In this article, the logic of the procedure is described in conjunction with those properties. A discussion follows of how the Fisher procedure can be similarly applied in a number of other K = 3 (and, more generally, 2-degree-of-freedom) hypothesis-testing situations. Finally, the Fisher logic is combined with recent sequential applications of the Bonferroni inequality to illustrate the utility and versatility of that combination for the applied researcher. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Recent theoretical developments have enabled the empirical study of trust for specific referents in organizations. The authors conducted a 14-month field study of employee trust for top management. A 9-month quasi-experiment found that the implementation of a more acceptable performance appraisal system increased trust for top management. The 3 proposed factors of trustworthiness (ability, benevolence, and integrity) mediated the relationship between perceptions of the appraisal system and trust. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Participants wrote accounts to victims of social predicaments. Results showed that autonomous perpetrators offered more mitigation, used more complexity in accounts, and used fewer lies, especially to acquaintances. High blame was associated with less mitigating and complex accounts and greater deception; this occurred despite perpetrators' understanding of probable relationship harm. Women were more concerned with repairing others' face damage, at least in part to preserve relationships; their self-esteem also was more harmed by lack of forgiveness, especially from friends. Perpetrators gave longer, more mitigating and complex accounts to friends and more mitigating accounts to high-status victims. Participants who used aggravating elements expected more positive relationships. Results are discussed in terms of competing demands for facework. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Examines a theory of relative deprivation which states that objective and subjective well-being are not isomorphically related, so that sometimes the better off one is, the worse off one feels subjectively. After a brief review of work in the area of relative deprivation, a formal model is developed. It is argued that an individual feels resentment about failure to possess something (X) only when he sees that similar others possess X, he wants X, he feels entitled to possess X, he thinks that possession of X is feasible, and he does not blame himself for his failure to possess X. The antecedents of these conditions are explored, and the consequences of the emotion of relative deprivation are studied. Empirical evidence relating to and supporting the model is briefly discussed. (4 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This is a self-help book for people who have been deeply hurt by another and are caught in a vortex of anger, depression, and resentment. As a creator of the first scientifically proven forgiveness program in the country, this author shows how forgiveness can reduce anxiety and depression and increase self-esteem and hopefulness. The author shows how forgiveness, approached in the correct manner, benefits the forgiver far more than the forgiven. The author is careful to distinguish forgiveness from "pseudo-forgiveness" and to reassure readers that forgiveness does not mean accepting continued abuse or even reconciling with the offender. Rather, by giving the gift of forgiveness, readers are encouraged to confront and let go of their pain in order to regain their lives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Four studies examined the relationship between outgroup minority status, defined as both belonging to a different social category and holding a different opinion than other group members, and opinion expression. Specifically, it was hypothesized – and results confirmed – that outgroup minorities would be more willing to express their opinions on an issue when their social category membership granted them psychological standing (i.e., a subjective sense of entitlement to act) than when it did not. Implications for the roles of social category membership and psychological standing in opinion expression, and for how to encourage diverse viewpoints to emerge in group contexts, are discussed.Research Highlights► People can be both opinion minorities and social category minorities in a group. ► These people are sometimes more willing than other group members to speak up. ► Their decision to speak up depends on whether they have "standing" on the issue.
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The research on the perception of fairness and justice of the division of household labor is reviewed. The first part briefly summarizes the main findings about the division of housework, and the main explanations that account for the imbalance between women and men. The following review of studies on the perception of justice of the division of housework is subdivided in two parts. The first subsection deals with studies that considered justice evaluations as the dependent variable and explored factors that contribute to the perception of injustice. The second subsection focuses on studies that considered perception of fairness as the independent variable and explored associations between perceptions of injustice and other consequences of the division of housework. The third part comments critically on the available research and suggests potentially fruitful lines and questions of future research.
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Narcissism has received increased attention in the past few decades as a sub-clinical individual difference with important everyday consequences, such as self-enhancement in perceptions of one’s own behavior and attributes. The most widespread measure used by non-clinical researchers, the 40-item Narcissistic Personality Inventory or NPI-40, captures a range of different facets of the construct but its length may prohibit its use in settings where time pressure and respondent fatigue are major concerns. In this article, we draw from the NPI-40 set of items to create and validate a shorter, unidimensional measure, the NPI-16. In five studies, we show that this short NPI closely parallels the NPI-40 in its relation to other personality measures and dependent variables. We conclude that the NPI-16 has notable face, internal, discriminant, and predictive validity and that it can serve as an alternative measure of narcissism when situations do not allow the use of longer inventories.
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Differences among people in the actions they take or the opinions they express do not always reflect differences in underlying attitudes, preferences, or motivations. When people differ in the extent to which they are psychologically licensed (i.e., feel able to act without discrediting themselves), they will act differently despite having similar attitudes, preferences, and motivations. Wanting to do something is not sufficient to spur action; one must also feel licensed to do it. We show that feeling licensed can liberate people to express morally problematic attitudes that those who do not feel licensed are inhibited from expressing. We also show that feeling one lacks license can inhibit people from expressing even morally nonproblematic attitudes that those who feel licensed are comfortable expressing. This chapter explores a wide range of social phenomena in which licensing plays a role and identifies a number of variables that grant or revoke psychological license.