International Journal of Group Tensions

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 161–181

Interpersonal Forgiveness Among Lebanese: A Six-Community Study

  • Fabiola Azar
  • Etienne Mullet

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005204408575

Cite this article as:
Azar, F. & Mullet, E. International Journal of Group Tensions (2001) 30: 161. doi:10.1023/A:1005204408575


The willingness to forgive a severe offense was studied in a sample of 48 participants from the three Lebanese Islamic communities of Druze, Shiite, and Sunni. Results were compared with those obtained by Azar, Mullet, and Vinsonneau (1999) based on a sample of Catholics, Maronites, and Orthodox Christians. The study considers the effects of a number of circumstances on the willingness to forgive such as intent to harm, cancellation of consequences, religious and social similarity to the offender, and apologies from the offender, as well as variations of these effects as a function of age, gender, and educational level. We employed an application of Norman Anderson's functional theory of cognition. Twenty-four stories were constructed by varying systematically the levels of each of the four circumstances quoted above. In each case, participants were asked to rate their willingness to forgive on a forgiveness scale. The more important results concern (a) the overall level of willingness to forgive, which was practically equivalent in each of the six religious subgroups, (b) the impact of the religious similarity factor (Christian versus Islamic), which was very weak in every group, and (c) the effect of the apologies factor which remained consistently important.


Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabiola Azar
    • 1
  • Etienne Mullet
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychologie SocialeUniversité René-DescartesFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Cognition et DécisionEcole Pratique des Hautes EtudesFrance