Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
In this study, participants = 74) read a scenario about an imaginary romantic partner cheating on him/her by having sex with someone else and responded to a short survey concerned with infidelity forgiveness and a measure of narcissism. The method of how the infidelity was revealed to the victim was manipulated between participants. A high narcissism score was predicted to be indicative of a low forgiveness score regardless of the method of infidelity discovery. A significant main effect was predicted in the infidelity discovery method; specifically that unsolicited partner discovery will be more likely to be forgiven than "redhanded" discovery. A significant main effect was predicted for participant sex, with males showing lower scores overall on the forgiveness scale. A significant interaction effect for sex and forgiveness was predicted, with males in the "red-handed" discovery condition being the least likely to forgive their partners. Results indicated that forgiveness was most likely when the imaginary partner openly confessed to the infidelity as opposed to the participant catching the partner in the act of cheating. Male participants were more likely to forgive partners who were caught "red-handed" in the act of cheating, as opposed to having their partners admit to the infidelity. The findings suggest that more research should be conducted with an adequate range of narcissism scores to determine the relationship that specific personality traits, such as narcissism, play in the role of predicting the likelihood of forgiveness.
BF1 .M63 v. 18 no. 1 2012
Ball, Stephanie J. and Pettijohn, Terry F. II
"An investigation of the relationship between narcissism and forgiveness of imagined relationship identity in college students,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 18
, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol18/iss1/12