Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Shawn Utsey


Although the scientific study of forgiveness has flourished in recent years, the study of the effects of culture on forgiveness has been minimal. The present thesis reviews the literature examining the effects of individualism and collectivism on forgiveness. In Study 1, four scales are created that are hypothesized to relate to the study of culture and forgiveness. Evidence for the reliability and validity of these scales are presented. In Study 2, the effects of individualism and collectivism are empirically tested. Collectivistic forgivers understand forgiveness within the context of reconciliation, social harmony, and relational repair. Collectivistic forgiveness primarily involves a decision to forgive, but this decision often does not result in the reduction of negative emotions associated with unforgiveness.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons