Social Justice Research

, 24:126 | Cite as

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

Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Retributive justice Restorative justice Punishment goals Values Forgiveness 

References

  1. Bentham, J. (1962). Principles of penal law. In J. Bowring (Ed.), The works of Jeremy Bentham (p. 396). New York: Russell and Russell.Google Scholar
  2. Berry, J. W., Worthington, E. L., Jr., O’Connor, L. E., Parrott, L., I. I. I., & Wade, N. G. (2005). Forgivingness, vengeful rumination, and affective traits. Journal of Personality, 73, 183–250.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Braithwaite, J. (1989). Crime, shame, and reintegration. Sydney: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, R. P. (2003). Measuring individual differences in the tendency to forgive: Construct validity and links with depression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 759–771.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carlsmith, K. M., Darley, J. M., & Robinson, P. H. (2002). Why do we punish? Deterrence and just deserts as motives for punishment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 284–299.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Darley, J. M. (2001). Citizens’ sense of justice and the legal system. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 10–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Darley, J. M., & Pittman, T. S. (2003). The psychology of compensatory and retributive justice. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 324–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Keijser, J. W., van der Leeden, R., & Jackson, J. L. (2002). From moral theory to penal attitudes and back: A theoretically integrated modeling approach. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 20, 317–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ellsworth, P. C., & Gross, S. R. (1994). Hardening of the attitudes: Americans’ views on the death penalty. Journal of Social Issues, 50, 19–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Enright, R. D., & Fitzgibbons, R. P. (2000). Helping clients forgive: An empirical guide for resolving anger and restoring hope. Washington, DC: APA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Exline, J. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (2000). Expressing forgiveness and repentance: Benefits and barriers. In M. E. McCullough, K. Pargament, & C. Thoresen (Eds.), Forgiveness: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 133–155). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  12. Feather, N. T. (1975). Values in education and society. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  13. Feather, N. T. (1994). Human values and their relation to justice. Journal of Social Issues, 50, 129–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Feather, N. T. (1999). Values, achievement, and justice: Studies in the psychology of deservingness. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Feather, N. T. (2005). Values, religion, and motivation. In M. L. Maehr & S. A. Karabenick (Eds.), Motivation and religion. Advances in motivation and achievement (Vol. 14, pp. 35–73). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  16. Feather, N. T., & Souter, J. (2002). Reactions to mandatory sentences in relation to the ethnic identity and criminal history of the offender. Law and Human Behavior, 26, 417–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kant, I. (1952). The science of right (W. Hastie, Trans.). In R. Hutchins (Ed.), Great books of the Western world, Vol. 42. Kant (pp. 397–446). Chicago: Encyclopedia Brittanica. Google Scholar
  18. Karremans, J. C., & Van Lange, P. A. (2005). Does activating justice help or hurt in promoting forgiveness? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 290–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lerner, M. (1980). The belief in a just world: A fundamental delusion. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  20. Lucas, T., Young, J. D., Zhdanova, L., & Alexander, S. (2010). Self and other justice beliefs, impulsivity, rumination, and forgiveness: Justice beliefs can both prevent and promote forgiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 851–856.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McCullough, M. E. (2008). Beyond revenge: The evolution of the forgiveness instinct. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  22. McCullough, M. E., & Hoyt, W. T. (2002). Transgression-related motivational dispostions: Personality substrates of forgiveness and their links to the Big Five. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1556–1573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McCullough, M. E., Worthington, E. L., & Rachal, K. C. (1997). Interpersonal forgiving in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 321–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McKee, I. R. (2005). Modeling revenge: The roles of affect and cognition in personal retribution. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.Google Scholar
  25. McKee, I. R., & Feather, N. T. (2008). Revenge, retribution, and values: Social attitudes and punitive sentencing. Social Justice Research, 21, 138–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Orth, U. (2003). Punishment goals of crime victims. Law and Human Behavior, 27, 173–186.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Oswald, M. E., Hupfied, J., Klug, S. C., & Gabriel, U. (2002). Lay-perspectives on criminal deviance, goals of punishment, and punitivity. Social Justice Research, 15, 85–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Reed, A. I., & Aquino, K. F. (2003). Moral identity and the expanding circle of moral regard towards out-groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1270–1286.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ristovski, A., & Wertheim, E. H. (2005). Investigation of compensation source, trait empathy, satisfaction with outcome, and forgiveness in the criminal context. Australian Psychologist, 40, 63–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Roberts, J. V., & Stalans, L. J. (2004). Restorative sentencing: Exploring the views of the public. Social Justice Research, 17, 315–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rokeach, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  32. Rusbult, C. E., Hannon, P. A., Stocker, S. L., & Finkel, E. J. (2005). Forgiveness and relational repair. In E. L. Worthington (Ed.), Handbook of forgiveness (pp. 185–206). New York: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Schmitt, M., Gollwitzer, M., Maes, J., & Arbach, D. (2005). Justice sensitivity: Assessment and location in the personality space. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 21, 202–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 25, pp. 1–65). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  35. Schwartz, S. H., & Rubel, T. (2005). Sex differences in value priorities: Cross-cultural and multimethod studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 1010–1028.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sherman, L. W., Strang, H., Angel, C., Woods, D., Barnes, G. C., Bennett, S., et al. (2005). Effects of face-to-face restorative justice on victims of crime in four randomized, controlled trials. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 1, 367–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Strang, H., Sherman, L., & Angel, C. M. (2006). Victim evaluations of face-to-face restorative justice conferences: A quasi-experimental analysis. Journal of Social Issues, 62, 281–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Strelan, P. (2007a). Who forgives others, themselves, and situations? The roles of narcissism, guilt, self-esteem, and agreeableness. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 259–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Strelan, P. (2007b). The prosocial, adaptive qualities of just world beliefs: Implications for the relationship between justice and forgiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 881–890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Strelan, P., Feather, N. T., & McKee, I. (2008). Justice and forgiveness: Experimental evidence for compatibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1538–1544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Strelan, P., & Sutton, R. M. (2011). When just world beliefs promote and when they inhibit forgiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 163–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wenzel, M., Okimoto, T. G., Feather, N. T., & Platow, M. J. (2008). Retributive and restorative justice. Law and Human Behavior, 32, 375–389.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yamhure Thompson, L. Y., Snyder, C. R., Hoffman, L., Michael, S. T., Rasmussen, H. N., Billings, L. S., et al. (2005). Dispositional forgiveness of self, others, and situations. Journal of Personality, 73, 313–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations