Charlotte Witvliet Summary

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Ph.D. Charlotte Witvliet at Hope College, along with her colleagues, hooked up seventy-one student participants (36 female & 35 male) to monitors in order to examine the physiological and emotional effects of imagining hurtful memories and harboring a grudge as opposed to exhibiting forgiveness to personal offenders. Each student participant was asked to complete a two-part test. First they were asked to imagine a particular person that they assigned blame to for either offending or hurting them, followed by a questionnaire about the nature of the offense and response to it. Then each student participant was asked to actively imagine either forgiving or not forgiving (the independent variables) the perpetrator.

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