Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Mark M. Leach

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Virgil L. Zeigler-Hill

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Tammy F. Greer

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Jamie D. Aten

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Abstract

In the past three decades, there has been a burgeoning interest in the scientific study of interpersonal forgiveness. However, only a few studies have elucidated cognitive and affective variables related to intergroup forgiveness. Moreover, no study has examined the degree to which intergroup forgiveness may contribute to one’s psychological well-being, nor has any study thoroughly examined intergroup forgiveness in Israel. Current study results have shown a significant relationship between quality of intergroup contact between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs/Palestinians, and Israeli Jews’ forgiveness attitudes toward Palestinians, a relationship mediated by Israeli Jews’ trust, attitudes, and empathy toward Palestinians, as well as diminished anger and their ability to appreciate heterogeneity among Palestinians. Moreover, there was a significant relationship between superordiante religious identity/categorization and intergroup forgiveness attitudes, and attributionally complex Israeli Jews were less likely to embrace negative intergroup forgiveness attitudes than their attributionally simple counterparts. Finally, anger toward Palestinians was predictive of negative affect among Israeli Jews, but not when ones’ predisposition to forgive was controlled for. Practical implications of the study results are discussed.

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