Over recent decades, research has consistently suggested that there are those among us who are oriented toward granting forgiveness across different slights and transgressors. This dispositional tendency, referred as forgivingness, reflects a new view on the classic virtue that emphasizes a less deliberative route that some follow toward releasing themselves from the potential for revenge or rumination. The promise of past research on this virtue though is tempered by its overreliance on self-reports, a concern that is particularly troublesome when studying such a socially desirable attribute, like forgivingness, that individuals will be biased toward reporting. Moreover, it fails to capitalize on the potential for implicit (non-deliberative) cognitive processing to play a greater role than typically suggested for forgiveness in its broader form. The proposed series of studies will help alleviate such concerns by developing a series of new assessments, focused on understanding forgivingness not merely as a trait, but a greater orientation that some follow when navigating their social encounters and transactions. In so doing, we intend to better understand the behavioural, emotional, and attentional signature of being a forgiving person.
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