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It takes more to forgive: The role of executive control

  • Johan C. Karremans (a1) and Reine C. van der Wal (a1)
Abstract

The target article's evolutionary approach provides an excellent framework for understanding when and why people retaliate or forgive. We argue that recent findings on the basic processes in forgiveness – particularly, the role of executive control – can further refine the authors' proposed model. Specifically, the lack of executive control may restrict the explanatory power of relationship value and exploitation risk.

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Finkel, E. J. & Campbell, W. K. (2001) Self-control and accommodation in close relationships: An interdependence analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 81:263–77.
Finkel, E. J., Rusbult, C. E., Kumashiro, M. & Hannon, P. A. (2002) Dealing with betrayal in close relationships: Does commitment promote forgiveness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82(6):956–74.
Friedman, N. P., Miyake, A., Young, S. E., DeFries, J. C., Corley, R. P. & Hewitt, J. K. (2008) Individual differences in executive functions are almost entirely genetic in origin. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 137:201–25.
Karremans, J. C. & Aarts, H. (2007) The role of automaticity in determining the inclination to forgive close others. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43:902–17.
Karremans, J. C., Regalia, C., Paleari, F. G., Finham, F. D., Cui, M., Takada, N., Ohbuchi, K., Terzino, K., Cross, S. E. & Uskul, A. K. (2011) Maintaining harmony across the globe: The cross-cultural association between closeness and interpersonal forgiveness. Social Psychology and Personality Science 2:443–51.
Pronk, T. M., Karremans, J. C., Overbeek, G., Vermuist, A. A. & Wigboldus, D. H. J. (2010) What it takes to forgive: When and why executive functioning facilitates forgiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 98(1):119–31.
Van der Wal, R. C., Karremans, J. C. & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2012) A dual-process perspective on interpersonal forgiveness. Unpublished data.
Watts, D. P. (2006) Conflict resolution in chimpanzees and the valuable-relationships hypothesis International Journal of Primatology 27:1337–64.
Wilkowski, B. M., Robinson, M. D. & Troop-Gordon, W. (2010) How does cognitive control reduce anger and aggression? The role of conflict monitoring and forgiveness processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 98(5):830–40. doi: 10.1037/a0018962
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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