Actions Don’t Always Speak Louder Than Words, at Least, Not When It Comes to Forgiveness

ScienceDaily (July 18, 2012) — People are more likely to show forgiving behavior if they receive restitution, but they are more prone to report they have forgiven if they get an apology, according to Baylor University research published in theJournal of Positive Psychology.

The study underscores the importance of both restitution and apology and of using multiple measures for forgiveness, including behavior, said Jo-Ann Tsang, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

“One of the main reasons for using behavioral measures in addition to self-reporting by individuals is that they can make themselves look better by only self-reporting, although they don’t necessarily intend to lie,” she said. “And it may be that ‘I forgive you’ is a more conscious feeling if they receive an apology.”

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3 replies

  1. We should link an article here about ‘forgiveness’ in the Criminal Code of the Shariah. The Islamic law would for instance intend a death sentence for a murder, but if the family of the victim forgives that can be waived. This is a big difference between Islamic and ‘Western’ Criminal code.

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