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date: 08 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

When people hurt or offend one another, they often face major challenges in deciding how to respond. Offended parties face decisions about whether to forgive those who have hurt them, or to seek revenge, or to continue to harbor grudges. Offenders must decide whether to accept responsibility for their misdeeds and, if so, whether to forgive themselves. They must also decide whether to apologize, make amends, and seek forgiveness from those they have offended. This chapter considers how hyper-egoic versus hypo-egoic states might affect forgiveness-related decisions by offenders and offended parties. The chapter suggests that hyper-egoic states are likely to work against prosocial and forgiveness-related responses to transgression, whereas hypo-egoic states should foster such responses. The chapter further discusses facets of hyper-egoic states that should make prosocial and forgiveness-related responses more difficult, and facets of hypo-egoic states that should make prosocial, forgiveness-related responses more likely.

Keywords: humility, ego, narcissism, forgiveness, aggression, transgression, apology, repentance

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