"Letting myself go forward past wrongs": How regulatory modes affect self-forgiveness

Pierro, Antonio; Pica, Gennaro; Giannini, Anna Maria; Higgins, Edward Tory; Kruglanski, Arie W.

The present research addresses the question of whether regulatory-mode orientations affect self-forgiveness. We expected that people with a strong locomotion orientation would be more inclined to self-forgiveness because of their tendencies toward movement and change, which focus them on the future, whereas people with a strong assessment orientation would refrain from self-forgiveness due to their evaluative tendencies which focus them on the past. These hypotheses were supported by the results in four studies that tested the relation between regulatory modes and self-forgiveness by measuring (Studies 1, 3 and 4) and manipulating (Study 2) regulatory-mode-orientations. Finally, in Study 4 we examined more closely our hypothesis that the relation between self-forgiveness and regulatory modes is mediated by past and future temporal foci. The implications of the results for regulatory mode theory are also discussed.


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April 3, 2018