Forgiveness and forgiving communication in dating relationships: An expectancy-investment explanation

Laura Guerrero, Guy F. Bachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In the present study we examined how expectancy violations theory (EVT) and the investment model (IM) work together to predict forgiveness and forgiving communication. Participants completed questionnaires before and following a relational transgression. Victims reported more forgiveness if they previously rated their relationship as high in quality, made greater relational investments, and perceived the transgression as less negative. Motivation to retaliate was associated with less investment and the perception that the partner had inflicted hurt intentionally. Distinct profiles of EVT and IM variables were related to each form of forgiving communication - nonverbal displays, explicit forgiveness, conditional forgiveness, discussion, and minimization - suggesting that an expectancy- investment theoretical framework is useful in predicting reactions to transgressions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-823
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


  • communication
  • expectancy violation theory
  • forgiveness
  • forgiving communication
  • hurt
  • investment model
  • relational transgression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Forgiveness and forgiving communication in dating relationships: An expectancy-investment explanation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this