ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 104-111.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00104

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Does Forgiveness Increase or Reduce the Possibility of Further Offenses: The Discussion about the Consequences of Forgiveness Based on the Perspective of Offender

ZHANG Tian;DING Xuechen;WENG Jing;FU Hong;XUE Yan   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210024, China) (2 School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China)
  • Received:2013-08-20 Online:2014-01-15 Published:2014-01-15
  • Contact: FU Hong


The consequences of forgiveness involve two aspects. The first is the consequence to the victims, and the secend is to the offenders. From the aspect of the victims, the positive role of forgiveness has been well confirmed, but from the aspect of the offenders, there are several inconsistencies among previous studies. Some studies showed that forgiveness would deter repeat offenses, while other studies revealed that forgiveness would encourage them. The conflicting of views on the relationship between forgiveness and reconciliation, on the inner experience of offenders, and on the interaction between the victims and offenders may contribute to the inconsistencies. However, further analysis shows that the viewpoint of deterring further offenses is more reasonable, and forgiveness is an effective way in dealing with interpersonal hurt. Finally, when the victims decide to forgive or the offenders accept the forgiveness, some issues are of note.

Key words: forgiveness, consequences, deter repeat offenses, encourage repeat offenses