Publication Date

2008-01-01

Availability

Open access

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2008-05-07

First Committee Member

Dr. Blaine Fowers - Committee Member

Second Committee Member

Dr. Matthias Siemer - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Dr. Michael McCullough - Mentor

Abstract

In this project I evaluated the effect of social dominance on reconciliation and forgiveness. Based on studies of nonhuman primates, it was hypothesized that humans would be more likely to accept and reciprocate conciliatory gestures when made by more socially dominant people. It was also hypothesized that the moderating effect of relative dominance on a victim?s decision to forgive would not be as strong as relative dominance?s effect on a victim?s decision to reconcile. This hypothesis was based on the expectation that reconciliation is most essential for gaining access to transgressor-controlled resources. However, conciliatory gestures by less dominant transgressors more effectively elicited forgiveness and reconciliation, as these gestures were evidently more successful at making victims feel safe. Also, relative dominance did not have a greater effect on victims? conciliatory behaviors than on forgiveness.

Keywords

Social Dominance; Conciliatory Gestures; Reconciliation; Forgiveness

Share

COinS