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Suffering need not beget suffering: Why we forgive


Suffering need not beget suffering: Why we forgive Thumbnail



The concept of intergroup forgiveness has gained a research momentum. Here, I examine its utility as a viable conflict resolution strategy. After advancing a more refined definition of intergroup forgiveness than had been previously proposed by researchers, I review research testing the efficacy of social psychological interventions aimed at fostering forgiveness between historical as well as ongoing adversarial groups. While several interventions based on social identity processes and the re-categorization of the victimhood category seem to offer potential promise for increasing forgiveness, some research also highlights that forgiveness may come at the cost of suppressing motivation to seek justice and demand restitution. The conclusion reminds that while forgiveness is not a panacea for resolving intergroup conflict, it may offer one of the rare strategies for curtailing the impulse for revenge and thus reducing conflict escalation.

Acceptance Date Jun 30, 2016
Publication Date Oct 1, 2016
Journal Current Opinion in Psychology
Print ISSN 2352-250X
Publisher Elsevier
Pages 100 - 104
Keywords forgiveness; conflict resolution; psychological interventions
Publisher URL