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Maintaining Harmony Across the Globe: The Cross-Cultural Association Between Closeness and Interpersonal Forgiveness

Karremans, Johan C and Regalia, Camillo and Paleari, F Giorgia and Fincham, Frank D and Cui, Ming and Takada, Naomi and Ohbuchi, Ken-Ichi and Terzino, Kari and Cross, Susan E and Uskul, Ayse K (2011) 'Maintaining Harmony Across the Globe: The Cross-Cultural Association Between Closeness and Interpersonal Forgiveness.' Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2 (5). pp. 443-451. ISSN 1948-5506

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Abstract

Although previous research shows that relationship closeness plays a central role in an individual’s willingness to forgive an offender, it is based exclusively on data from Western, individualistic cultures. In the current study, the authors examined the association between relationship closeness and forgiveness across six countries, including both traditionally individualistic—Italy, the Netherlands, the United States—and collectivistic cultures—Japan, China (and one country, Turkey, with both individualistic and collectivistic features). Results demonstrated that, cross-culturally, there was a robust positive association between closeness toward the offender and level of forgiveness, both for trait-forgiveness and offense-specific forgiveness. However, this association was weaker in the collectivistic countries, which may suggest that strong norms in these countries to maintain social harmony may partly weaken the role of closeness in forgiveness. Overall, the present findings are discussed in terms of the possible evolutionary origins of forgiveness and the role of individualism/collectivism in forgiveness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: forgiveness; culture and cognition; interpersonal relationships; evolutionary psychology; conflict
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2011 11:11
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2011 11:11
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1559

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