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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Gratitude and forgiveness have been examined in two separate but parallel literatures. We analyze each literature, documenting similarities and differences across conceptual, prototype, theoretical, and empirical domains, to better identify the commonalities between them and to explicate potential points of connection. Our analysis suggests substantial potential for cross-fertilization and synergy between these areas of research, with likely benefits including enhanced understanding of each area as well as potential advances in applications. In particular, we note the potential for gratitude and forgiveness to influence each other and work synergistically in the context of preventive or remedial interventions. The emerging, joint exploration of forgiveness and gratitude leads to a number of important basic research opportunities that promise to advance understanding of these important processes, particularly their role in interpersonal relationships and the development and maintenance of close relationships over time.

Keywords: gratitude, forgiveness, close relationships, theoretical perspectives, evolutionary perspectives, moral affect theory, social-cognitive perspective, gratitude research, forgiveness research

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