Saurabh Tripathi / October 19, 2018


Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings . It als0 offers attitude regarding an offense. Lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, forswears recompense from or punishment of the offender. However legally or morally justified it might be, and with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), pardoning (granted for an acknowledged offense by a representative of society, such as a judge), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).


Although there is presently no consensus for a psychological definition of forgiveness in the research literature. It’s agreement has emerged that it is a process and also a number of models. It also include one from a radical behavioral perspective.

Dr. Robert Enright from the University of Wisconsin–Madison founded the International Forgiveness Institute. He developed a 20-Step Process Model of Forgiveness. Recent work has focused on what kind of person is more likely to be forgiving. A longitudinal study showed that people who were generally more neurotic, angry, and hostile in life were less likely to forgive another person even after a long time had passed. Specifically, these people were more likely to still avoid their transgressor and want to enact revenge upon them two and a half years after the transgression.

Religious views

In Judaism, if a person causes harm, but then sincerely and honestly apologizes to the wronged individual. But tries to rectify the wrong. The wrong individual is encouraged. But not required, to grant forgiveness:

  • “It is forbidden to be obdurate and not allow yourself to be satisfied. On the contrary, one should be easily pacified and find it difficult to become angry. When asked by an offender for forgiveness, one should forgive with a sincere mind and a willing spirit. It says forgiveness is natural to the seed of Israel.”

Forgiveness is central to Christian ethics and is a frequent topic in sermons and theological works. It is a duty of Christians to forgive everyone.

In Vedic literature and epics of HinduismKsama or Kshyama (Sanskrit: क्षमा) and fusion words based on it, describe the concept of forgiveness. Kripa (tenderness), daya (kindness) and karuna (करुणा, compassion) together called as Kasma. In Rg Veda, forgiveness is discussed in verses dedicated to deity Varuna, both the context of the one who has done wrong and one who is wronged.  Forgiveness is considered one of the six cardinal virtues in Hinduism.

Forgiveness Interventions

Both negative and positive affect play a role in forgiveness interventions. It is the general consensus across researchers in the field of psychology, that the overarching purpose of forgiveness interventions is to decrease overall negative affect associated with the stimulus and increase the individual’s positive affect.


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