Negative internal causal attributions of a specific offense and forgiveness

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Causal attributions are important social-cognitive predictors of forgiveness. This article presents the Transgression Attribution Questionnaire (TAQ), a measure of one's negative internal causal attributions of a specific offense. In 4 studies, scores on the TAQ showed initial evidence of estimated internal consistency, temporal stability, and construct validity. Negative internal attributions for the cause of a transgression predicted lower levels of empathy and forgiveness. Furthermore, scores on the TAQ predicted forgiveness over and above the hurtfulness of the offense, relationship commitment, and a general measure of internal causal attributions in relationships. The current research bridges research on internal causal attributions and forgiveness. Implications for the social-cognitive study of forgiveness and the measurement of causal attributions are discussed.