Tuesday, January 9, 2018

FORGIVENESS: Trait Forgiveness Scale (TFS)




There are several questionnaires that can help individuals, clinicians, and researchers discover levels of forgiveness. As you might suspect, the different measures reflect different ideas about forgiveness.

In this post I will look at trait forgiveness rather than state forgiveness. I am using trait in a psychological sense to mean a disposition or tendency—a behavior pattern that we might consider a part of someone’s personality. Psychological scientists sometimes refer to trait forgiveness as dispositional forgiveness or forgivingness.


Trait forgiveness stands in contrast to a particular state of forgiveness. For example, a person may think about a specific offender and a specific event and respond to questions on a “state” scale to indicate their current progress in forgiving the offender.

We should also keep in mind that most older forgiveness scales focused on victims forgiving another person rather than forgiving themselves.

Trait Forgiveness Scale

The trait forgiveness scale was developed by several psychological scientists (Berry, Worthington, O’Connor, Parrott, & Wade, 2005). There are 10-items, which are rated on a 5-point likert-type scale from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. As you can see, scores could range from 10 to 50. 

Following are the phrases for each numerical rating.

5 = Strongly Agree
4 = Mildly Agree
3 = Agree and Disagree Equally
2 = Mildly Disagree
1 = Strongly Disagree


Reliability data have been reported in the range of .74 to .80 using Chronbach’s alpha. Two colleagues and I found alpha = .81 in a Christian sample (Sutton, Jordan, & Worthington, 2014).

Forgiveness items

Following are two items that will give you a sense of how the developers think about trait forgiveness.

_______    1.  People close to me probably think I hold a grudge too long.
_______    2.  I can forgive a friend for almost anything.

In the Berry et al. article, the authors provide average scores for men and women in four samples. The mean scores for men ranged from 30.4 to 36.3 and for women, 31.3 to 34.9.

You can find the full 10-items of the Trait Forgiveness Scale on pages 222 - 223 of the Berry et al., (2005) reference listed below.


Learn more about scales and survey items in Creating Surveys. A handy reference for clinicians and researchers.







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References

Berry, J. W., Worthington, E. R., O'Connor, L. E., Parrott, L., & Wade, N. G. (2005). Forgivingness, vengeful rumination, and affective traits. Journal of Personality, 73, 183-225. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2004.00308.x Click for Online link

Sutton, G. W., Jordan, K., & Worthington, E.L., Jr. (2014). Spirituality, hope, compassion, and forgiveness: Contributions of Pentecostal spirituality to godly love. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 33, 212-226. ResearchGate 


Counselors and students in counselor education programs may find Applied Statistics for Counselors also relevant.  See Applied Statistics on AMAZON.




Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors






Learn more about forgiveness in Chapter 6 of  Living Well














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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Measuring Attitudes about Trust


Recently, I read a Gallup survey reporting the views of Americans about ethics and honesty of people in various professions. In a sense, the findings indicate how much Americans trust the people in the professions. Nurses won the top spot at 84% "very high" ratings—they have been #1 for 15 years in a row. Clergy are in the middle at 44% and Members of Congress at the bottom of their list at 8%.  
Read the survey for more details of this 2017 study.

I was surprised by the clergy data. And found another survey, which produced similar results in the UK. The Ipsos MORI poll reported that school-age children highly trusted doctors to tell the truth (88%). But clergy came in at 46%, which is below Scientists at 53%.

Levels of trust can vary. And trust can be defined in different ways.

How do you measure trust?

I found two short trust scales at the Fetzer organization, which are available in a pdf document (see below). You will find references to studies in addition to a description of the scales.

The General Trust Scale was developed by Yamagishi (1986). It uses a 5-item Likert type rating scale where 1 = Strongly Disagree and 5 = Strongly Agree.

Two sample items are:

1.) Most people are basically honest.
2.) Most people are trustworthy.

The scale is score by adding the items together.

The 5-item Trust Scale is also available and rated on the same 5-item Likert-type scale of agreement.

Two sample items are:

1.) Most people tell a lie when they can benefit by doing so.
2.) Those devoted to unselfish causes are often exploited by others.

Following is a link to the Fetzer document where you can download the measures and research summaries.


Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index


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Some readers may find this reference guide helpful. It is recommended for first year graduate students in counseling programs.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Presenting Survey Results








We can learn a lot about presenting survey results by looking at what experts do. The scientists at Pew Research presented findings from a Christmas in America survey. Take a look at their work.

1. Focus on highlights. For general audiences, select the most important facts. For example, it is no big news to say over 90% of Christian Americans celebrate Christmas. But to learn there’s a drop in celebrating Christmas as a religious rather than a cultural holiday is news (46% down from 51% in 2013). It’s also interesting to learn that younger persons are lower on the religious emphasis than are older adults. Of course, to focus on highlights, you have to create good survey questions in the first place. So, check out the items Pew reports to make their findings more meaningful (e.g., include age groups and religious affiliation in your survey).

2. Use percentages and graphics to depict trends. On fact 2, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” Pew shows a change in the trend for “it doesn’t matter” what people say in stores or businesses. Endorsing the phrase “It doesn’t matter” rose from 45% in 2005 to 52% in 2017. Percentages make sense to most educated readers. Means and standard deviations are not as widely understood. Simple line and bar graphs also help readers avoid losing focus in dense text. Again, see the Pew examples: Christmas in America survey.

3. Pew does a good job of presenting different answers to a complex question about Christian displays (e.g., Nativity scenes) on government property. Some think the displays should never be allowed (26%), others think its fine if there are other symbols (29%), while most think they should be allowed without other symbols (37%). By presenting years 2014 and 2017 on two different lines, we see how the views have changed. In addition, the report uses color to help us compare the different group responses.

4. Present controversial beliefs with enough detail to make it clear who believes what. Pew asked questions about the historicity of the Christmas story events—things like virgin birth and visitors guided by a star. The key words for each item are printed next to the data presented for two recent years (2014 and 2017). We see that belief in the virgin birth dropped from 73 to 66% from 2014 to 2017. You do have to read the text to learn that the findings are different among those in the sample who identify as Christian.


For those wanting more detail, Pew includes a link to their “Religion & Public Life” page. If you follow the link, you will see much more detail in the tables. The tables also provide another example of how to present data to a general audience.

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Assessment of Spirituality and Religious Sentiments (ASPIRES) scale- Short Form

  Scale  name: Assessment of Spirituality and Religious Sentiments (ASPIRES) scale- Short Form Scale overview : The Assessment of Spirit...