The doormat effect: When forgiving erodes self-respect and self-concept clarity.

Luchies, Laura B.; Finkel, Eli J.; McNulty, James K. and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2010. The doormat effect: When forgiving erodes self-respect and self-concept clarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(5), pp. 734-749. ISSN 0022-3514 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

We build on principles from interdependence theory and evolutionary psychology to propose that forgiving bolsters one's self-respect and self-concept clarity if the perpetrator has acted in a manner that signals that the victim will be safe and valued in a continued relationship with the perpetrator but that forgiving diminishes one's self-respect and self-concept clarity if the perpetrator has not. Study 1 employed a longitudinal design to demonstrate that the association of marital forgiveness with trajectories of self-respect over the first 5 years of marriage depends on the spouse's dispositional tendency to indicate that the partner will be safe and valued (i.e., agreeableness). Studies 2 and 3 employed experimental procedures to demonstrate that the effects of forgiveness on self-respect and self-concept clarity depend on the perpetrator's event-specific indication that the victim will be safe and valued (i.e., amends). Study 4 employed a longitudinal design to demonstrate that the association of forgiveness with subsequent self-respect and self-concept clarity similarly depends on the extent to which the perpetrator has made amends. These studies reveal that, under some circumstances, forgiveness negatively impacts the self.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017838

Additional Information:

"This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record."

Keywords:

Betrayal, Forgiveness, Agreeableness, Amends, Self-Respect, Self-Concept Clarity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology
Research Office > REF2014

Dates:

DateEvent
May 2010Published
22 September 2009Accepted
18 November 2008Submitted

Item ID:

5360

Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2011 08:38

Last Modified:

07 Jan 2020 04:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/5360

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