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|The development of an implicit association test for measuring forgiveness.
|School of Psychology
|The majority of psychological research on forgiveness has relied on self-report instruments as the primary mode of collecting data; there is a recognised need for alternative approaches to forgiveness measurement. This need is accentuated by the inherent/perceived ‘prosocial’ nature of forgiveness: there is a chance that people will self-report as more forgiving in order to present themselves as more socially desirable. Furthermore, a person may not always be consciously aware of their forgiving motivations, intentions or attitudes. Additionally, theorists typically frame forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate, controlled process, but it may also be comprised of more unconscious, spontaneous, and automatic components. Thus, self-report scales may be insufficient for exploring forgiveness. This thesis aimed to address these shortcomings by developing an Implicit Association Test (IAT: Greenwald, McGhee & Schwartz, 1998) suitable for the measurement of forgiveness. This forgiveness IAT was developed across 9 studies, with a total of 1304 participants. Studies 1 to 5 assessed the validity of the forgiveness IAT against several criteria: the choice of words and categories used to represent and compare with forgiveness; resistance to socially desirable responding; and convergence with self-reported forgiveness measures. Studies 6 to 9 assessed the forgiveness IAT’s utility in predicting behavior, on the basis of recalled, hypothetical, and laboratory-based transgressions. Results suggest that the IAT is a valid, reliable, and useful measure of forgiveness attitudes, and may be able to predict some types of post-transgression behaviour that are not accounted for by existing self-report forgiveness measures. These findings will help psychologists to better understand the processes that drive forgiveness, particularly those operating at the automatic level.
|Strelan, Peter Gerhard
McKee, Ian Robert
|Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2011
|forgiveness; revenge; implicit association test; IAT; implicit attitude; implicit self-concept
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