Social Justice Research

, 24:126 | Cite as

Retributive and Inclusive Justice Goals and Forgiveness: The Influence of Motivational Values

  • Peter Strelan
  • N. T. Feather
  • Ian McKee


Who is more likely to forgive, given that justice is important and motivating for people? In this article, we argue that the relation between justice and forgiveness depends on the type of justice involved; specifically, the goals of justice, i.e. retributive versus inclusive. We also explored the influence of motivational values on justice goals and forgiveness. Using data from 178 undergraduate psychology students who responded to measures of retributive and inclusive justice attitudes, forgiveness attitudes and dispositions, and values, we found support for our hypotheses that retributive justice goals are negatively related to forgiving attitudes and dispositions; inclusive justice goals are positively related to forgiveness; and benevolence and power values play the dominant role in predicting forgiveness. The results have implications for how the relation between justice and forgiveness is conceptualised and applied.


Retributive justice Restorative justice Punishment goals Values Forgiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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