Can you forgive? It depends on how happy you are

Date

2014-12-23

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1467-9450

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This paper examined how individual group status and happiness influence forgiveness. In Study 1, happiness was treated as a trait difference: highly happy people, compared with very unhappy people, were found to be more willing to forgive murderers. More important, an interaction effect between happiness and group status on forgiveness was found, that is, highly happy people tended to be more forgiving when either ingroup or outgroup mem- bers were killed; unhappy people, however, tended to be less forgiving about murder when ingroup rather than outgroup members were killed. In Study 2, happiness was treated as an emotional state difference: happiness, rather than sadness, was found to bring greater forgiveness. Moreover, consistent with the interaction effect displayed in Study 1, happy participants tended to forgive more when ingroup or outgroup members were hurt; sad partici- pants tended to forgive less when ingroup members rather than outgroup members were hurt. Implications for connections between happiness, group membership, and forgiveness are discussed.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

forgiveness, happiness, group status

Citation

Jiang, F. et al. (2014) Can you forgive? It depends on how happy you are. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 56 (2), pp.182–188

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science