Effect of Commitment on forgiveness investigated in the proposed large-scale replication

Effect of commitment on forgiveness investigated in large-scale replication project

Credit: Association for Psychological Science

After a betrayal of trust, which motivates an injured trying to solve the problem rather than away or seeking revenge partner? Many studies have indicated that how people respond to the betrayal of the pair is associated with the degree of commitment they feel their relationship, raising the possibility that increased feelings of commitment of people can lead to choose less destructive responses .

A new draft multi-laboratory research designed to reproduce the primary evidence of a causal relationship between commitment and betrayal confirmed the association between feelings of commitment and responses to betrayal. However, the project replication could not confirm causation because the experimental task used in the original study did not alter effectively the levels of commitment of people.

Project results are published replication as replication log Report (RRR) in the September issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The RRR project, proposed by psychological scientists Irene Cheung (Huron University College), Lorne Campbell (The University of Western Ontario) and Etienne P. LeBel (Transparency Initiative Berkeley in Social Sciences), aiming to replicate a 2002 study conducted by researchers at Eli J. Finkel psychology, Caryl E. Rusbult, Madoka Kumashiro, and Peggy A. Hannon.

Finkel and colleagues hypothesized that the commitment to promote the other spouse reasons for the relationship and, ultimately, forgiveness. In the 2002 study, the researchers designed an experimental manipulation to test their hypothesis. Participants grade randomized to a group of “high commitment” responded to requests intended to thoughts trigger about dependency and commitment (eg, “Describe two ways that you feel your life has become ‘linked to your couple.”).

Students then completed a second survey for a study ostensibly unrelated. They read descriptions 12 hypothetical acts of treason (for example, “Your partner lies to you about something important.”) And a classification of the probability that would be to respond in certain ways (eg, feels angry that the couple you can not be honest, talking to partner to resolve the situation, try to understand the point of view of the couple, find ways to get even).

Finkel and co-authors found that students who took to feel high levels of commitment reported less destructive and careless betrayal that made the students who had been encouraged to feel low levels of commitment answers. Contrary to the hypothesis of researchers, students in the group of high commitment were no more likely than others to choose responses aimed at understanding and resolution.

The researchers interpreted the results of the study conducted in 2002 as an indication that the highly committed people can choose not to participate in the reactions of destructive relationship with the intention to forgive the transgressions of their partners.

The study was innovative in the use of an experimental to induce different levels of commitment relationships self-report technique, and offered a critical view of the importance of commitment as a potential predictor of the outcome of relationship.

Although several studies an association between commitment and responses to betrayal opinion of self-report found, this experimental evidence for a causal role was not replicated directly. Cheung, Campbell, and LeBel developed a protocol for an initiative of the laboratory multi-robust replication, working closely with Finkel, author of the original study, to ensure that the RRR was so complete and consistent with the original study as possible. In total, 16 laboratories completed independent replications, you preregistered 2002 study, following the same protocol examined.

In line with previous correlation studies, the combined results of independent replications confirmed the existence of an association between feelings of commitment and responses to betrayal. People who reported feeling more committed to their relationships chose answers that were both less destructive and constructive time compared to those who were less committed.

However, the combined results were inconsistent with the findings of the original study to demonstrate a causal relationship; replays do not provide evidence that the individuals who caused think about the commitment affects the way they respond to betrayal, either constructively or destructively. This may be due to the fact that the command did not compromise the desired effect. – That is, groups of high and low commitment say they are not really different levels of commitment, in contrast to the original study

According to Cheung and his colleagues, the reason for the discrepancy in how people responded to the request of compromise between the original study and the RRR studies is not clear, but note that the results were consistent across 16 laboratories involved in the RRR. This suggests that differences in the context or cohort through laboratories are unlikely to account for the difference.

“The results of this RRR do not provide evidence for (or against) the causal role of engagement in the process of forgiveness,” Cheung, Campbell, and LeBel concluded in their report. They also recognize that future research using different experimental techniques however, can reveal a causal link between feelings of commitment and the process of forgiveness.

“Although I am surprised by the failure of handling checking and disappointed that the results of the RRR not confirm the causal effects my colleagues and I originally presented, I respect the process,” Finkel writes in a commentary accompanying the RRR . “It has given us great unanswered questions, but it has also left us wiser than we were before.”

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