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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


PINHO, Vanessa Dordron de; FALCONE, Eliane Mary de Oliveira  and  SARDINHA, Aline. The predictive role of empathic skill on interpersonal forgiveness. Temas psicol. [online]. 2016, vol.24, n.4, pp. 1507-1518. ISSN 1413-389X.

Current research point to personal and interpersonal benefits associated to empathy, a social interaction ability that includes cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects. Empathy involves the ability to adopt the other's affective and cognitive perspective (perspective taking), to care genuinely with the welfare of others (affective sensitivity) and to behave in a consistent manner, expressing understanding and concern to the one whom you are talking to. Recent studies have linked this ability to interpersonal forgiveness, which is characterized by cognitive, affective and behavioral change in relation to a specific offender, from a negative polarity to a positive one. This study aimed to evaluate the predictive power of empathy on forgiveness, using self-report multidimensional instruments. The Empathy Inventory and the Enright Forgiveness Inventory were applied to a Brazilian sample composed of 172 participants. Regression analysis indicated three dimensions of empathy - Perspective Taking, Affective Sensitivity and Altruism - as predictors of affective and behavioral aspects of forgiveness. Results support the important role of empathy for the occurrence of forgiveness and they suggest investing in this ability is a promising means of promoting forgiveness in interventions to overcome grief.

Keywords : Empathy; forgiveness; perspective taking.

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