Forgiveness and Big Five Personality traits among Taiwanese undergraduates
Ta-Wei Wang (National Changhua University of Education), 2008, 36(6), 849–850

Benefits of forgiveness have been shown to exist in a number of studies in social psychology. Not only may it contribute to reconciliation and restoring interpersonal relationships, but it may also have a significant impact on our psychological well-being and health. Forgiveness can be an effective coping strategy for an offended victim, as it has been suggested that it may help the forgiver as much, if not more so, than the forgiven offender.

Given the potential benefits, forgiveness proves to be an interesting variable for study. In past years, one such piece of research is summarized for our readers in this 2008 article by Dr Wang. The focus of this study was on how the Big Five personality traits were related to forgiveness. Which personality traits would have a significant relation to this potentially positive and useful strategy, among a group of Taiwanese participants?

Dr Wang’s results indicate a positive, significant relationship between Agreeableness and forgiveness, whereas Neuroticism and forgiveness are negatively and significantly related. The results provide a new view on Asian cultures in the forgiveness literature, as these may be some of the first results to show a relationship between Western personality measures (the Big Five) and forgiveness within an Asian sample.

This work links well with a study soon to be published in our first issue of 2013, Volume 41, Issue 1. The authors look at whether or not apologies are always effective: can an apology backfire? In the days of very public apologies by prominent individuals, it is an interesting contrast between the benefits of forgiveness and the potential risks of an apology!  

We encourage you to read the latest in Volume 41, Issue 1, available in early February.

Alex Cheyne | Managing Editor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal