Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Forgiveness--Lebanon; Forgiveness--Iowa; College students--Psychology--Cross-cultural studies;


Research suggests that the propensity to forgive expressed by societies is often influenced by the cultural orientation of the society. Collectivistic societies tend to express a higher level of willingness to forgive than individualistic societies. This study examined how two samples of different cultural orientations, Lebanese and American, define forgiveness and express their feelings, thoughts and behavior towards a specific offender who has hurt them in the past. In addition to that, the willingness to forgive of the two samples was measured. Measurement instruments for this study consisted of the Enright Forgiveness Inventory and the Willingness to Forgive scale. These two protocols were administered to 200 students at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon and 141 students at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, USA.

Results suggest that the student sample at the University of Northern Iowa demonstrated a higher level of willingness to forgive and of actual forgiveness towards a specific offender, compared to the student sample at the Lebanese American University, thus scoring higher on both instruments. The study also considered the effects of educational level and religious affiliation on the willingness to forgive and actual forgiveness which demonstrated no effect. Details regarding how the two samples defined forgiveness and how their definitions compare with each other and with experts' definitions are discussed thoroughly in the scope of this thesis.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Suzanne Freedman, Chair, Thesis Committee

Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 128 pages)



File Format