The Role of Future Time Perspective on Forgiveness: A Study of Transgressions Among Undergraduate University Students
Undergraduate Honours Theses
The present study examined the effect of future time perspective (FTP) on interpersonal forgiveness. Specifically, whether varying the degree of the perceived amount of time that individuals have left with a close friend in university would influence the forgiveness of that friend if he or she transgressed against them. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three versions of a questionnaire, which either encouraged them to view their time left at university with a close friend as limited, neutral, or extensive. It was hypothesized that perceiving future time left with a friend as limited would encourage individuals to focus on emotion-related goals, and in turn lead to an increased likelihood of forgiveness. Alternatively, perceiving future time left with a friend as extensive would encourage individuals to focus on knowledge-related goals, and thus lead to a decreased likelihood of forgiveness. The results revealed that there was no significant effect of FTP on forgiveness. In addition, there was no significant effect of forgiveness on the types of goals that individuals favoured. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.