Strelan, P., & Van Prooijen, J.-W. (2016). Tough love: The behavior control motive facilitates forgiveness in valued relationships. Personal Relationships, 23, 536-553. 


When individuals in valued relationships are transgressed against, how are they able to protect the relationship while at the same time restore justice for themselves? Study 1 (N = 137) employed a recall design to demonstrate that when victims restore justice, the well- established relation between relationship value and forgiveness can be explained indirectly through a motivation to control future behaviour. Studies 2 (N = 122) and 3 (N = 115) replicated this finding using experimental designs, manipulating two distinct facets of valued relationships: the fact that they are continuing, and close. There were no indirect effects for two alternative justice motives, just deserts and revenge. Implications for relations between justice and forgiveness in the context of interpersonal relationships are discussed.