Dispositional forgiveness of self, others, and situations

J Pers. 2005 Apr;73(2):313-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2005.00311.x.


Six studies regarding forgiveness are presented. The Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS), a self-report measure of dispositional forgiveness (with subscales to assess forgiveness of self, others, and situations) was developed and demonstrated good psychometric properties. Forgiveness correlated positively with cognitive flexibility, positive affect, and distraction; it correlated negatively with rumination, vengeance, and hostility. Forgiveness predicted four components of psychological well-being (anger, anxiety, depression, and satisfaction with life); forgiveness of situations accounted for unique variance in these components of psychological well-being. Forgiveness and hostility demonstrated equivalent, inverse associations with relationship duration, and forgiveness accounted for unique variance in relationship satisfaction, even when controlling for trust. Forgiveness level correlated positively with decreased negativity in statements written about transgressions in the present versus the past tense.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Attitude*
  • Cognition
  • Demography
  • Depression / psychology
  • Ego*
  • Female
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychometrics
  • Social Desirability
  • Social Environment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires