The Multidimensional Forgiveness Inventory: Developing a Dimensional Measure of Forgiveness
The present research sought to develop a dimensional model of forgiveness, and develop a questionnaire consistent with this model. Drawing from the tripartite theory of attitudes, this dimensional model focused on three aspects of forgiveness: behavioural, cognitive, and affective. In Study 1, I collected a set of 64 items from volunteers who generated potential items based on definitions of the three dimensions of forgiveness, and reduced the number of items to 43 by assessing item-total correlations. In Study 2, I reduced the items and assessed factor structure with factor analysis. I also assessed correlations between dimensions and transgression severity. In Study 3, I further reduced the scale while also assessing correlations with transgression severity (as rated by the participants and as rated by independent coders), self-esteem and attachment orientation. In Study 4, I assessed the fit of the reduced set of items with confirmatory factor analysis. I also assessed the convergent validity with the Transgression-Related Interpersonal Motivations and Rye forgiveness scales and further explored correlations with the big five personality traits. The hypothesized three-dimensional scale showed acceptable fit indices and convergent validity with other forgiveness measures. I refer to this final scale as the Multidimensional Forgiveness Inventory (MDFI). The dimensions of the MDFI also showed unique relationships with several individual difference variables. For instance, only affective forgiveness was consistently negatively correlated with subjective and objective transgression severity. As another example conscientiousness was correlated with behavioural and cognitive forgiveness but not affective forgiveness. These relationships demonstrate the merit of differentiating these three dimensions instead of measuring forgiveness as a global construct. Preliminary findings offer many future directions for the assessment of forgiveness, particularly the specification of existing associations (e.g., what specific dimensions of forgiveness correlate relationship satisfaction, commitment and longevity?). Future research could also use this dimensional model as a common language to integrate and contrast existing ideas of incongruent forgiveness.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/26440
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