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date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Research in the psychology of forgiveness continues to grow. This chapter starts by defining forgiveness and briefly reviewing research methodology used in the psychological study of forgiveness. We then review the major antecedents of forgiveness, including intrapersonal variables such as empathy, personality, attributions, and religion; interpersonal variables such as relationship closeness, and conciliatory behavior on the part of the transgressor; and transgression-specific variables such as perceptions of severity, responsibility, and intent. Major forgiveness interventions are reviewed. The outcomes of forgiveness are also discussed, and the question of whether forgiveness is uniformly positive is raised. Lastly, future directions in the study of forgiveness are proposed.

Keywords: Forgiveness, research methods, empathy, conciliatory behavior, intervention

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