Development of an implicit measure of dispositional forgiveness.
Buechsel, Ruth K.
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A number of self-report measures exist to assess forgiveness or attitudes towards forgiveness. However, little research exists to measure forgiveness at a dispositional and implicit level. The purpose of the current study was to develop and validate an implicit measure of forgivingness (or dispositional forgiveness) using the Implicit Association Test (IAT). This Forgiveness IAT (FIAT) was administered in conjunction with well established self-report measures of forgiveness, as well as with some measures (including an IAT for each) of spirituality and self-esteem. Other ratings about the participants' dispositional forgiveness were obtained through mail in surveys provided to the informants by the participant as an additional external measure to validate the FIAT. As predicted, the FIAT was found to be internally consistent and showed positive correlations with scores on the spirituality and self-esteem IATs. While the FIAT was found to be reliable, it was not significantly correlated with any explicit measures of forgiveness. This may indicate that the FIAT is assessing a different aspect of forgiveness than explicit measures quantify. Contrary to predictions, other report showed few correlations in either direction with self report. Other reports additionally showed poor predictive validity for the FIAT. Taking all of the findings into consideration, the continual task of exploring the various facets of dispositional forgiveness and the need for further study of predictive ability of behavior is revealed.