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A Look Into Forgiveness: The Roles of Intentionality, Severity, and Friendship
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by Kelly E. Early, Amy L. Holloway, and Gary L. Welton - Grove City College
Intentionality, severity, and relationship of the transgressor to the offended party are variables that might influence a person's willingness to forgive. In this experiment, participants were asked to respond to scenarios in which we manipulated these three variables. Results suggested that it was harder to forgive friends and acquaintances who committed offenses that were severe and intentional. Of the three variables, intentionality influenced participants' willingness to forgive more than severity and relationship. Furthermore, participants' perception of reality also influenced their decision to forgive over and above the objective manipulations.