The Relationship between Analytic and Holistic Styles of Thinking and Forgiveness

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between styles of thinking (analytic vs. holistic) and willingness to forgive. Previous research has uncovered a qualitative difference in how individuals attend to their worlds: analytic thinkers focus on objects and their attributes while holistic thinkers focus on the context as a whole in which objects are viewed in relation to each other. As a result of this difference, analytic thinkers tend to make dispositional attributions for other people’s transgressions while holistic thinkers tend to perceive situational attributions for those transgressions (Heine, 2012). As analytic and holistic thinking may influence the way people perceive the cause of others’ behaviors, they seem likely to be related to a person’s willingness to forgive. We therefore hypothesized that people who apply analytic thinking would be less forgiving because they are more likely to understand others’ transgressions as a result of their underlying dispositions. On the other hand, people who apply holistic thinking would be more likely to forgive because they view behavior as more strongly influenced by situational factors. Study participants answered online surveys regarding their way of thinking (analytic vs. holistic) and their willingness to forgive. The cross-sectional, correlational data will be used to test this hypothesis. Findings will be discussed in relation to previous findings of cultural differences in forgiveness. The therapeutic implications of the findings will also be discussed.



Author Information
Loan Bui, Asian University for Women, Bangladesh
Sharon Flicker, Independent Researcher, Bangladesh

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2013
Stream: Psychology

This paper is part of the ACP2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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