Tough love: The behavior control justice motive facilitates forgiveness in valued relationships

Peter Strelan*, Jan Willem Van Prooijen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

When individuals in valued relationships are transgressed against, how are they able to protect the relationship while at the same time restore justice for themselves? Study 1 (N = 137) employed a recall design to demonstrate that when victims restore justice, the well-established association between relationship value and forgiveness can be explained indirectly through a motivation to control future behavior. Studies 2 (N = 122) and 3 (N = 115) replicated this finding using experimental designs, manipulating two distinct facets of valued relationships: the fact that they are continuing and close. There were no indirect effects for two alternative justice motives, just deserts and revenge. We discuss implications for relations between justice and forgiveness in the context of interpersonal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-553
Number of pages18
JournalPersonal Relationships
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

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