Undergraduate Honours Theses
The present study examined guilt as a possible mediator between transgression severity and feelings of forgiveness in transgressors. First-year university students who were currently in a relationship were randomly assigned to describe a minor or a major transgression that they had committed against their romantic partner. They then filled out a questionnaire that assessed their feelings and expressions of guilt following the transgression, their perceptions of how their partner responded to the transgression, and finally how forgiven they felt by their partner. The results did not support the hypothesis of guilt as a mediator between transgression severity and feelings of forgiveness. However, it was found that participants perceived more constructive responses from their partners than destructive ones following the transgression. Implications of the findings are discussed.