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A Good Man Is Hard To Find: Forgiveness, Terror Management, And Religiosity

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Chapter Summary

Forgiveness is associated with religiosity, and a few terror management theory studies have suggested a link between existential anxiety and religiosity. In this chapter, 123 Midwestern University undergraduates were reminded of their mortality and then asked to give their judgment of forgiveness in 10 different hypothetical scenarios. The chapter presents a study where the relationship of religiosity to forgiveness under conditions of mortality salience is explored. It was predicted that individuals with highest self-reported intrinsic religiosity would demonstrate a heightened level of forgiveness under conditions of mortality salience compared to those with high intrinsic religiosity who were not exposed to their own mortality. The study finds intrinsic religiosity to be correlated with forgiveness. It also finds that mortality salience increased the self-reported tendency toward forgiveness of only the more intrinsically religious individuals. Thus, the study extended previous findings linking religiosity and forgiveness and suggested a motivational underpinning of this relationship.

Keywords: forgiveness; religiosity; terror management



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