Until recently, researchers operationalized and measured the psychological construct of forgiveness at the individual, rather than the group, level. Social psychologists started applying forgiveness to groups and examining the role intergroup forgiveness may have in conflict resolution and peace efforts. Initial attempts to define and measure forgiveness at the group level either assumed individual and group capacities were the same, or insufficiently described what intergroup forgiveness meant. We developed a new measure of intergroup forgiveness, and a novel group administration process, that operationalized the construct in a philosophically coherent way. Our conceptualization of intergroup forgiveness was rooted in what groups, as opposed to the individuals who compose them, have the capacity to do. We collected data on the psychometric properties of the measure with 595 participants in three different geographic and cultural settings. We assessed the factor structure, internal consistency, and validity of the measure. We also assessed a novel group-based method of administering the measure to better understand the relationship between group based reports and self-reports of intergroup forgiveness. The factor structure of the measure was supported, and the measure had strong internal consistency, as well as convergent and discriminant validity. The group administration process revealed important group dynamics and was not statistically different than a standard self-report administration; this finding has important implications for research and practice.
intergroup forgiveness, measurement, intergroup peace, group dynamics
Enright, Robert D.; Johnson, Julie; Na, Fu; Erzar, Tomaz; Hirshberg, Matthew; Huang, Tina; Klatt, John; Lee, Chansoon (Danielle); Boateng, Benjamin; Boggs, Preston; Hsiao, Tung-En; Olson, Chelsea; Shu, Mei Ling; Song, Jacqueline; Wu, Peiying; and Zhang, Baoyu
"Measuring Intergroup Forgiveness: The Enright Group Forgiveness Inventory,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 27:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol27/iss1/1