بخشش خصلتی و حالتی: نقش اعتماد به نفس، نیاز به ساختار و خودشیفتگی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32179||2006||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4667 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 41, Issue 2, July 2006, Pages 371–380
The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between personality correlates associated with ego-defensiveness and forgiveness in an attempt to understand why some individuals are more forgiving than others, both in general and in specific situations involving transgressions. Specifically, a positive association between forgiveness and self-esteem and negative associations between forgiveness and need for structure and narcissism were predicted. Participants completed the Self-Esteem scale, the Personal Need for Structure scale, the Narcissism scale, and the Tendency to Forgive scale. They then competed in a game with two other players, during which one player committed a transgression. State forgiveness was measured with the Transgression-Related Interpersonal Motivations scale. Hypotheses were generally supported, suggesting that certain traits associated with ego-defensiveness can inhibit the ability to be forgiving (dispositional forgiveness) and to actually forgive (state forgiveness).
Forgiveness can be described as both an interpersonal and an intrapersonal process, in that the decision to let go of a grudge and forgive a transgressor can be made based on a combination of factors involving both the transgressor and the victim. There may be situational factors that will affect whether victims of transgressions will forgive those who hurt them, such as whether an apology was offered (e.g., Darby and Schlenker, 1982 and Exline and Baumeister, 2000). There also may be dispositional factors that might predispose someone to forgive, such as a tendency to be forgiving (e.g., Brown, 2003 and Emmons, 2000) or not vengeful (e.g., Stuckless & Goranson, 1992). The aim of the present study was to link these related but separate literatures and gain a more complete picture of the forgiveness process by assessing personality correlates of both dispositional forgiveness (i.e., a general tendency to be forgiving) and state forgiveness (i.e., forgiveness following a specific transgression). One way that interpersonal transgressions can be harmful is through the threats they pose to the self-worth of their victims. When one individual commits a transgression against another, it can make the victim feel devalued (Scobie & Scobie, 1998), uncertain (Eaton, Struthers, & Santelli, submitted for publication), and defensive (Maltby & Day, 2004). This, in turn, can result in actions that are not conducive to forgiving, such as avoiding the transgressor, holding a grudge, and seeking revenge. Because transgressions are threatening to the self, it is expected that individuals with less robust self-worth will be less forgiving in general because they have a continual need to protect their self-worth, and that they will also be less forgiving in specific situations involving interpersonal transgressions because they experience transgressions as being particularly threatening. This ego-defensiveness, or fragile self-worth, can manifest itself in a number of individual difference variables, three of which we predict will be particularly relevant to how individuals respond to transgressions: self-esteem, high need for structure, and narcissism. The positive effects of self-esteem have been well-documented (for a recent review, see Pyszczynski, Greenberg, Solomon, Arndt, & Schimel, 2004). Although some researchers suggest that high-self-esteem, or certain types of high-self-esteem, may not be unconditionally beneficial (e.g., Baumeister et al., 1996 and Crocker and Park, 2004), past research suggests that there would be a positive relationship between self-esteem and forgiveness, in that those with high-self-esteem will be more forgiving than those with low self-esteem, both in general and following specific transgressions. It has been proposed that self-esteem acts as a buffer against self-threat, whereby those with a strong buffer would have less reason to engage in the defensive behaviors associated with not forgiving than those with a less resilient buffer (Pyszczynski et al., 2004). In other words, self-esteem protects the self from the threat associated with interpersonal transgressions. Little research has been conducted on the relationship between self-esteem and forgiveness. Of the few personality researchers who have examined self-esteem and dispositional forgiveness, Brown and Phillips (2005) found a small and non-significant positive relationship between them, and Neto and Mullet (2004) found a similar relationship for males, but a significant negative relationship for females. Other forgiveness researchers have studied self-esteem as an outcome variable and have found that self-esteem can be increased through interventions to promote forgiveness (Freedman & Enright, 1996) and by being forgiven (Hodgins, Liebeskind, & Schwartz, 1996). None, however, have looked at self-esteem as a predictor of state forgiveness. Thus, although there is some evidence of a positive relationship between self-esteem and forgiveness, it is unclear whether it is a meaningful relationship and whether it holds for both dispositional and state forgiveness. In the present study this issue is addressed by assessing the effect of self-esteem on both types of forgiveness. It is predicted that there will be a positive relationship between self-esteem and both dispositional and state forgiveness. Another way that transgressions may threaten the self-image of the victim is through the uncertainty that they create. Following a harmful and unexpected act by another individual, victims may question whether the act was justified, whether they are correct in their interpretation of the act, and even whether they are interpreting the event correctly (Eaton et al., submitted for publication). Research has shown that humans will go to great lengths to reduce the feelings of discomfort that accompany uncertainty (e.g., McGregor et al., 2001 and Mullin and Hogg, 1999). A number of personality theorists suggest that there are individual differences in tolerance for uncertainty (e.g., Neuberg and Newsom, 1993, Rokeach, 1960 and Thompson et al., 2001), whereby some individuals are particularly averse to vague or ambiguous situations. It seems likely that those individuals who have a low tolerance for uncertainty, or a high need for structure, will be particularly defensive when faced with uncertain situations like interpersonal transgressions. This increased defensiveness should make them less able to forgive. For this reason, it is predicted that there will be a negative relationship between need for structure (Neuberg & Newsom, 1993) and forgiveness, in that individuals scoring higher on personal need for structure will score lower on dispositional and state forgiveness. The third individual difference variable of interest is narcissism. Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by self-admiration, superiority, and interpersonal exploitiveness (Raskin & Terry, 1988). Narcissists have been found to respond more aggressively than others to insults and negative feedback (Bushman and Baumeister, 1998, Raskin and Terry, 1988 and Rhodewalt and Morf, 1998) and to report a higher number of interpersonal transgressions in their daily interactions (McCullough, Emmons, Kilpatrick, & Mooney, 2003). Recent evidence by Exline, Baumeister, Bushman, Campbell, and Finkel (2004) indicates that narcissistic entitlement is a predictor of unforgiveness. This suggests that narcissistic individuals will be less forgiving than non-narcissists and will respond more defensively (i.e., with increased avoidance and revenge motivations) to transgressions. Thus, a negative relationship between narcissism and forgiveness is expected, whereby those scoring high in narcissism will score low on dispositional forgiveness and be less likely to forgive following an actual transgression than those scoring low in narcissism. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of self-esteem, need for structure, and narcissism on both dispositional forgiveness and state forgiveness. As such, the study included an assessment of participants’ self-ratings on the individual difference measures and an experimental manipulation that involved an actual transgression. The transgression involved having participants engage in an online game with two competitors who, unbeknownst to the participants, were actually “virtual” players, preprogrammed to respond in a certain way. One player was programmed to commit a transgression against the participant and then to either apologize or not. Apology has been well-established as a facilitator of the forgiveness process (e.g., Darby and Schlenker, 1982, Eaton and Struthers, in press, Exline and Baumeister, 2000 and Gonzales et al., 1994); therefore, we experimentally manipulated it to test whether the individual difference variables under study contribute to the effects of apology on forgiveness. We predicted that self-esteem, need for structure, and narcissism would predict dispositional forgiveness, and that they would also account for a significant amount of variance in state forgiveness after controlling for the effects of apology and gender.