Self-Control and Forgiveness: A Meta-Analytic Review


Journal Article

In the 12 years since scholars first investigated the link between self-control and forgiveness (Finkel & Campbell, 2001), the literature investigating this relation has grown rapidly. The present article reports a meta-analytic review of this link across 40 independent samples and 5,105 independent observations. In addition, it investigates an array of potential moderators. Results revealed that the overall link between self-control and forgiveness is statistically robust and small to moderate in magnitude (r = .18). Consistent with the prevailing theoretical models, this link is stronger when forgiveness is assessed in terms of low vengeance (resisting retaliation: r = .31) rather than in terms of high benevolence (fostering prosociality: r = .16). Discussion focuses on the potentially crucial role of forgiveness, especially vengeance inhibition, in linking self-control to relationship well-being. © The Author(s) 2013.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Burnette, JL; Davisson, EK; Finkel, EJ; Van Tongeren, DR; Hui, CM; Hoyle, RH

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 443 - 450

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1948-5514

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1948-5506

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1948550613502991

Citation Source

  • Scopus