Forgiveness in interpersonal conflict: Motives for forgiveness and interpersonal relationships with offenders

Naomi Takada, Ken Ichi Ohbuchi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    In distinguishing internal forgiveness and forgiving behavior, we attempted to identify different motives for these two modes of forgiveness and to examine the effects of interpersonal relationships with offenders and the motives behind forgiveness. Participants recalled personal episodes in which someone hurt them and rated the episodes in terms of the closeness between them and the offender, forgiveness, and the motives for forgiveness. A factor analysis of the motives produced 6 dimensions: need for acceptance, maintenance of relationship, pervasiveness of negative event, maintenance of social harmony, non-commitment, and consideration. We regarded consideration and pervasiveness of negative events as altruistic and the others as egocentric motives. Non-commitment did not correlate with either forgiveness or forgiving behavior. Need for acceptance correlated only with forgiving behavior. Other motives were positively correlated with both internal forgiveness and forgiving behavior. Our results showed that the maintenance of a relationship was highest in conflicts with high-close others. They also showed that need for acceptance, pervasiveness of a negative event, and maintenance of social harmony were higher in conflict with high-close and middle-close others than with low-close others.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)208-218
    Number of pages11
    JournalResearch in Social Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1


    • Forgiveness
    • Forgiving behavior
    • Interpersonal closeness
    • Interpersonal conflict
    • Motive

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology


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