Wisdom and Post-Transgression Responses: A Cognitive and Behavioural Perspective
Tehrani, Amirnikan Eghbali
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Despite psychologys renewed interest in the ancient notion of wisdom, few studies have examined how wisdom influences victims post-transgression responses (PTRs). It was hypothesized that wiser (vs. low-wisdom) victims of transgressions would respond to an interpersonal transgression using more forgiveness and inhibition, and less grudge, revenge, and behavioural aggression (hypothesis 1). It was also predicted that the relation between victims wisdom and their PTRs would depend on the intent of the transgressor (unintentional, intentional) (hypothesis 2). Results (N = 137) confirmed that wisdom was associated with higher forgiveness, and lower unforgiveness. However, wisdom did not predict inhibition and behavioural aggression. In addition, the interaction between victims wisdom and transgressors intent predicted forgiveness and grudge, but not inhibition, revenge, and behavioural aggression. A reconciliation index was also predicted by wisdom directly, and by the interaction of wisdom and intent. Overall, wiser individuals appear to be more prosocial following a transgression.