Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 4-28-2016

Advisor

Pam Bacon, Psychology

Abstract

People differ in the degree to which they are able and willing to forgive themselves after they have committed a transgression against another person (Thompson et al., 2005). The purpose of the current study was to see if individuals with lower levels of dispositional forgiveness would experience more attitude change toward a boring task than those who have higher levels of dispositional forgiveness, as a result of cognitive dissonance being induced. Participants completed a boring task that involved moving beads back and forth on an abacus, and then were either asked or told to mislead the next participant by telling them that the task was enjoyable in order to induce cognitive dissonance in the participant. They were then asked to complete a questionnaire designed to measure their attitudes toward the abacus task. It was predicted that the participants with lower levels of dispositional forgiveness would end with more positive attitudes toward the abacus task than those with higher levels of dispositional forgiveness. The study did not yield any statistically significant results. The limitations of the study will be discussed.

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