True and hollow forgiveness, forgiveness motives, and conflict resolution

Naomi Takada, Ken Ichi Ohbuchi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The main aim of this study is to explore the motivational process behind two types of forgiveness - i.e. true and hollow forgiveness. It is predicted that victims who engage in true forgiving behavior will have stronger relationship-oriented motives than either those who engage in hollow forgiving behavior or those who do not engage in forgiving behavior. Furthermore, the authors seek to explore the relationship between true and hollow forgiveness and conflict resolution strategy. Design/methodology/approach: In Study 1, participants were asked to recall personal experiences of being harmed, and they rated the events in terms of forgiveness, motives of forgiveness, resolutions strategies, and satisfaction with outcome. In Study 2, participants were presented with scenarios depicting individuals who were victimized, and were asked to read the scenarios, imagining themselves as the victim. Following this forgiveness, motives of forgiveness, resolution strategies, and satisfaction with outcome were measured. Findings: Consistent with the predictions, participants classified as being true forgivers were motivated by relationship-oriented motives. These individuals preferred a collaborative conflict resolution strategy, and tended to be satisfied with the outcome of the conflict. In contrast, participants classified as being hollow forgivers were motivated by self-oriented reasons, and they preferred avoidance as a conflict resolution strategy. In addition, these individuals were less satisfied with the outcome of the conflict than were the true forgivers. Originality/value: These findings suggest that perceptions of the conflict resolution process depend on the type of forgiveness.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)184-200
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr


    • Conflict resolution
    • Forgiveness
    • Japan
    • Social motive

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Communication
    • Strategy and Management
    • Management of Technology and Innovation


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