چه کسی دیگران و خود را می بخشد؛ شرایط؟ نقش خودشیفتگی، احساس گناه، اعتماد به نفس و سازگاری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32185||2007||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4676 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 42, Issue 2, January 2007, Pages 259–269
This study extended forgiveness research by examining the relationships between narcissism, guilt, self-esteem, Agreeableness, and forgiveness of others, self, and situations (N = 176). Narcissistic entitlement was negatively related, and Agreeableness positively related, to forgiveness of others. Narcissism and the other personality variables were related to self-forgiveness and forgiveness of situations. After controlling for self-esteem and shame, entitlement retained a unique relationship with forgiveness of others, and guilt retained a unique relationship with self-forgiveness. Agreeableness mediated the relationship between entitlement and forgiveness of others, and guilt and self-esteem mediated the relationship between narcissism and self-forgiveness. Although the distinction between forgiveness of self and situations requires clarification, it appears that narcissism and proneness to guilt have the potential to distinguish who forgives others and the self.
Research on forgiveness has increased dramatically over the past 15 years, with a large number of studies addressing the dispositional characteristics and correlates of forgiveness. The overwhelming majority of studies has focused on interpersonal forgiveness, and indicates that personality and individual difference factors, particularly the Big Five, are related to a forgiving disposition. Highly agreeable and extraverted individuals have been found to be more likely to forgive. People who score high on Neuroticism and related affective traits of anger, chronic hostility, anxiety, and depression have been found to be less likely to forgive. The other Big Five factors, Openness and Conscientiousness, appear to be unrelated to interpersonal forgiveness (for a review, see Berry, Worthington, O’Connor, Parrott, & Wade, 2005). A closely-related construct, self-forgiveness, has, however, attracted relatively little empirical attention. Self-forgiveness is relevant when a person has done something to hurt another, is aware of the nature and extent of his or her actions, and may consequently experience debilitating degrees of guilt, shame, self-loathing, or some similar response. A person may also experience the same negative reactions in relation to self-inflicted hurts where the primary victim is the self, such as engaging in acts that violate one’s moral code or lead to failure or regret. Individuals may also inflict psychological harm on themselves through perceived wrongful thoughts, feelings or desires (Hall & Fincham, 2005). Irrespective of whether harm has been done to another or the self, self-forgiveness is conceptually quite similar to interpersonal forgiveness in that it involves prosocial motivational change (McCullough, Worthington, & Rachal, 1997). That is, the individual moves from being negatively motivated to positively motivated towards the self (Hall & Fincham, 2005). More specifically, self-forgiveness entails acknowledging and accepting one’s responsibility for a hurtful act or failure, overcoming self-resentment, and respecting and liking oneself again. Taking responsibility is a key aspect of self-forgiveness, distinguishing it from the related process of the self-serving bias, where individuals take responsibility for positive outcomes but not negative outcomes (Heider, 1958). Self-forgiveness may be confounded with a self-serving bias to the extent that in effect one absolves oneself of the negative emotions associated with an event. The difference, however, is that in forgiving the self, individuals do not abdicate responsibility for their part in a negative outcome, nor do they transfer blame to circumstances or another. The few self-forgiveness studies that have been conducted suggest that some of the personality and individual difference correlates of interpersonal forgiveness are also related to self-forgiveness. Individuals who score high on Neuroticism (Maltby, Macaskill, & Day, 2001), anxiety, depression (Maltby et al., 2001 and Thompson et al., 2005), and guilt (Zechmeister & Romero, 2002) have been found to be less likely to forgive themselves. There is some evidence that extraverted individuals may be more self-forgiving (Walker & Gorsuch, 2002). Researchers (Thompson et al., 2005) have recently argued for a third focus of dispositional forgiveness, situations. Situations represent that aspect of the source of a perceived transgression that might not be easily identified as being another or the self (Thompson et al., 2005). Individuals may blame an actual situation, for example, the circumstances surrounding a debilitating illness or accident. More likely, however, they may react to the perceived abstract source of the circumstances that led to the situation, by blaming what happened on ‘life’, or ‘an unjust world’, or ‘fate’. Situations might also be implicated in a transgression committed by the self or other. For example, an individual upset about the consequences and implications of a serious car accident may feel the need to blame a friend for suggesting they take a drive at that time; themselves, for not taking appropriate measures to prevent the accident; and also ‘the cruel world’ that brought about the circumstances which caused the accident. So long as an individual perceives intentionality on the part of the source behind the cause of the situation (e.g., as reflected in cognitions such as ‘the world is against me’; ‘life is so unfair’; ‘it was all due to fate’, in the case of an abstract source), then theoretically it is possible for individuals to in turn express a forgiving attitude towards a situation that they believe was the cause (or partial cause) of any hurt they are experiencing. One study (Thompson et al., 2005) has empirically addressed forgiveness of situations. Consistent with previous research on self and other forgiveness, individuals with a disposition to forgive situations were less likely to be depressed, angry, and anxious, and more likely to be satisfied with life. Although much is now understood about the personality and individual difference correlates of interpersonal forgiveness, relatively little is known about their relationship to self-forgiveness, and even less about their relationship to forgiveness of situations. The aim of the present study was to extend existing research by addressing the relationships between interpersonal forgiveness, self-forgiveness, forgiveness of situations, and personality, specifically, narcissism and proneness to guilt. Narcissism and proneness to guilt are the focus of the study because of their potential to differentiate the three forgiveness components. Put simply, narcissists are more concerned with their own well being, whereas guilt-prone individuals tend to be more concerned with others’ wellbeing. Little or no research has been done, however, to test their influence. Narcissism has not been studied in relation to either forgiveness of self or situations, and the few studies on narcissism and dispositional forgiveness of others yield conflicting results. Exline, Baumeister, Bushman, Campbell, and Finkel (2004) found a moderate negative association between narcissistic entitlement and dispositional forgiveness of others, whereas Eaton, Struthers, and Santelli (2006) reported a weak negative relationship between narcissism and dispositional forgiveness of others, and Brown (2004) found no relationship. The relationship between guilt and forgiveness of situations has not been examined, and only single studies have addressed the relationship between guilt and self-forgiveness (Zechmeister & Romero, 2002) and dispositional forgiveness of others (Konstam, Chernoff, & Deveney, 2001). Guilt is conceptualized as an emotional response to a behavior or failure that one perceives was hurtful and/or a violation of an internal moral code (Lewis, 1971). The response is usually experienced as some combination of tension, anxiety, regret and remorse, and is directed towards the behavior but not generalized to the self, i.e., a guilty person feels bad about a behavior, but not about themselves. The distinction is important, for two reasons. First, it distinguishes guilt from shame, which does reflect an impaired sense of self (Tangney, 1991). Second, guilty feelings encourage a desire to find a way to make amends for one’s wrongdoing (Tangney, 1991), through conciliatory behaviors such as apologizing, constructive or non-hostile discussion, and reparative or symbolic restitution. A defining aspect of guilt is that it is associated with increased empathy and awareness of another’s distress, and an awareness of being the cause of that distress. Such a link has implications for forgiveness theorizing to the extent that empathy has been shown to be an important component in the interpersonal forgiveness process (McCullough et al., 1997). Because people prone to guilt are highly attuned to their role in interpersonal transgressions, possess an elevated sense of empathy, and tend to be concerned with redressing a transgression, it was predicted that proneness to guilt would be positively related to a disposition to forgive others. Although a person might not experience empathy for a situation or its abstract cause, it was hypothesized that because a situation is external to the individual guilt-proneness would also be positively related to forgiveness of situations. Conversely, proneness to guilt was posited as a barrier to self-forgiveness. Individuals prone to guilt are more likely to experience emotions such as anxiety, remorse, and regret in response to perceived wrongdoings on their part. Because such emotional responses encourage guilt-prone individuals to seek to make amends for a transgression, they may do this by punishing themselves, i.e., not allowing themselves to get away with causing a hurt. Thus, it was hypothesized that proneness to guilt would be negatively related to self-forgiveness. Narcissism reflects an inordinate degree of self-love, i.e., a grandiose and inflated sense of self. Narcissists’ self-focus is loosely manifested in two ways (Watson & Morris, 1991). One is a general preoccupation with self-functioning, which reflects a heightened sense of self-confidence and esteem, and beliefs that one is special, unique, and superior to others (Raskin & Terry, 1988), for example, in terms of one’s attractiveness, intelligence, achievements, and contributions in groups (Campbell, 1999). Because narcissists have an inflated view of their own self-worth, they should be more likely to forgive themselves for apparent transgressions. Thus, it was hypothesized that the self-functioning component of narcissism (hereafter referred to as narcissism) would be positively related to self-forgiveness. The other is a sense of entitlement, which is more explicitly concerned with interpersonal relations with the focus on presumptions that one should be given special, preferential treatment by others (Exline et al., 2004). Narcissists’ elevated sense of entitlement has detrimental implications for their interpersonal relationships, which are characterized by indifference, a need for power and an eagerness for admiration, and a lack of empathy, perspective-taking, agreeableness, and intimacy (Campbell & Foster, 2002). At the same time, narcissists are overly sensitive to criticism, respond more aggressively than others to insults and negative feedback (Raskin & Terry, 1988), and are more likely to report that they encounter interpersonal transgressions in their everyday lives (McCullough, Emmons, Kilpatrick, & Mooney, 2003). Entitlement leads narcissists to believe that they should not be wronged. Consequently they should be less disposed to forgive others. Because situations are by definition external to the individual, theoretically the same prediction should apply to forgiveness of situations. The study also explored explanations for the different narcissism–forgiveness links. Much previous research (Berry et al., 2005) indicates that the Big Five factor, Agreeableness, consistently predicts forgiveness of others. That is, individuals predisposed to ensure harmonious social relationships are more likely to forgive others. Entitlement is also concerned with interpersonal relations, however, the focus is on how others should treat the self, and often at the expense of a relationship (Campbell, 1999). Consequently, it was predicted that entitlement would be negatively related to Agreeableness, which in turn would be positively related to forgiveness of others. That is, Agreeableness was expected to mediate the relationship between entitlement and forgiveness of others and also forgiveness of situations. Two factors were identified that may provide an insight into why narcissists may be more forgiving of the self. One is guilt-proneness. As noted earlier, guilt-prone individuals should be less forgiving of the self. Narcissists, however, are unlikely to feel guilty for apparently hurtful behavior, possibly because they are either unaware they have violated any moral standard, or they are too concerned with self-enhancement to allow the event to adversely affect their cognitions. Whatever the rationale, narcissism should be negatively related to guilt, which in turn should be negatively related to self-forgiveness. The second potential mediator is self-esteem, a variable long associated with narcissism (Brown, 2004). Almost by definition, narcissism is positively associated with a positive evaluation of the self, which in turn should be positively related to forgiving oneself. In short, it was predicted that guilt and self-esteem would mediate the relationship between narcissism and self-forgiveness.