Forgiveness and Trust Recovery

by on June 8th, 2011


It is in the human nature to make mistakes and it is also in the human nature to forgive, but how do often people practice the saying – Forgive and Forget? Well it is a relative question with justified answers on both sides, Yes and No.

Some people practice forgiveness very easily. They seem t understand that people make mistakes and deserve forgiveness. Many a times. these type of people’s forgiveness is not a lesson towards others and these types of people are very often an easy target for lies and deceit. There are those that forgive, without a doubt, but the scars from a previous mistake is not to be forget easily; in fact it is not to be forget at all. So where the line between is forgive and forget? Is that line thick or thin enough? Is it plausible to measure the strength of the pillars that hold the bridge of forgiveness?

Maurice Scheitzer, and Psychological scientist decided to look in to the trust “blood flow”. Along with Michael Haselhuhn and Alison Wood, his colleagues, explored weather the basics of moral character are capable of influencing the collapse of trust and forgiveness.


These scientists gathered a large group of people, volunteers, to participate in a game of breeches of reparations and trust. Of course, before the game started, all of them revealed their view about trust and forgiveness. As expected, some stated that are easy on giving someone forgiveness and have no problem of reforming the mutual trust. Others said that once some people lose mutual trust, it is very hard to rebuild it and move forwards.

The game goes like this: You are given $6 which you choose whether o keep or give it to another person (in this research a computer). If you decide to give that $6 away, the sum triples to $18 which you split in half with the recipient ($9 each). So, the initial choice is weather to trust the person (computer0 with your own money under the assumption that you’ll receive back triple the value. The scientist made the game go for several rounds, in which the computer doesn’t split the total sum right away. It makes you reconsider the choice you made. After a while, computer splits the money, apologies for being late and promises that from now on he’ll be trust worthy. And the final decision rest with you- Wheather you forgive the recepients delay and retain the trust, or you simple decide that his clumsiness doesn’t deserve your trust.

The result where as expected: people without trust issues have no problems of giving a second chance and agree to go continue the trust bridge; other simple confirmed the fact that people have trust issues once their belief is damaged.

Second chance is an option, but people are free to choose whether to give that chance or not. There is a saying though: If something happens once, it may happen twice. But, if it happens three times, that it is bound to repeat itself over and over again.