Flying the unfriendly skies? The role of forgiveness and race in the experience of racial microaggressions.

Abstract

Because even subtle forms of racial discrimination can damage well-being, identifying individual differences that shape this stress process is important. Dispositional forgiveness has been shown to influence how people perceive and react to interpersonal transgressions, yet its role in the context of racial discrimination has not received much research attention. In the current study, participants completed an initial measure of dispositional forgiveness and then considered a scenario that could be deemed racially discriminatory. Next, participants' perceptions of the scenario, negative affect, and cognitive performance were assessed. Dispositional forgiveness predicted all three outcomes such that more forgiving individuals were less likely to view the event as racially discriminatory and showed lower negative affect and greater cognitive performance after reading the scenario. Moreover, race moderated these relationships such that forgiveness played a more beneficial role for ethnic minorities than for whites.

Cite this paper

@article{Burrow2012FlyingTU, title={Flying the unfriendly skies? The role of forgiveness and race in the experience of racial microaggressions.}, author={Anthony L. Burrow and Patrick L. Hill}, journal={The Journal of social psychology}, year={2012}, volume={152 5}, pages={639-53} }