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Gámiz, María ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8207-5919; Fernández-Capo, Maria ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0759-4633; Büchner, Vanessa L.; Martos, Carla; Worthington, Everett L. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5095-4588 and Recoder, Silvia ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9012-0951 (June 2022): The role of making a decision to forgive in the process of forgiveness. A longitudinal study. In: Current Psychology, Vol. 41: pp. 3363-3373

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Forgiveness is a positive method of dealing with an offense that includes a decisional and an emotional phase. How these two types of forgiveness interact in the forgiveness process remains unclear. In this longitudinal study we focused on decisional forgiveness. We provided evidence of how decisional forgiveness occurs over time; whether it is a deliberate choice or not; and the influence of making a decision to forgive on the forgiveness motivations. A total of 191 undergraduate students completed measures of forgiveness after receiving an offense and four more times over approximately two weeks (i.e. 2, 5, 8, and 12 days after the offense). Results indicated that decisional forgiveness is an early-phased step that occurred within the first two days after the offense; the decision to forgive was not conditioned by severity of the offense nor by the relationship with the offender; and that the decisional forgiveness predicted benevolence. Implications of how decisional forgiveness becomes an important step in the forgiveness process are discussed.

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