Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Forgiveness and happiness. the differing contexts of forgiveness using the distinction between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness

  • John MaltbyEmail author
  • Liza Day
  • Louise Barber


The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between forgiveness and happiness using a two-dimensional model of happiness (hedonic and eudaimonic happiness). 224 United Kingdom students were administered the Enright Forgiveness Inventory, The Depression–Happiness Scale and the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire – Short-form. The present findings suggest that forgiveness accounts for statistically significant variance, albeit quite low, in both hedonic and eudaimonic happiness and the relationships may vary depending on which aspect of happiness is being considered. In terms of shorter-term hedonic happiness, the present findings suggest it is important not to engage in negative cognitions about the transgression. In terms of maintaining eudaimonic happiness, engaging in positive behaviours and feelings may lead to, be the result of, or be very much part of longer-term happiness.


forgiveness happiness psychological well-being subjective well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Sheffield Hallam UniversityUK

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