The Relationships between Positivity, Forgiveness, Happiness, and Revenge

Fatıma Firdevs Adam Karduz, Hakan Saricam


Vengeance is negative structure for interpersonal relationship and personality. Therefore, alternative models should be developed for lessening it. The basic purpose of this study was to examine the probable relationships between forgiveness, positivity, happiness, vengeance in university students. Participants were 330 (167 females, 163 males) university students in Turkey who volunteered to take part in this study. All of the participants were either 22 or 39 years old, with a mean age of 28.65 years. For gathering data, Oxford Happiness Questionnaire-Short Form, Positivity Scale, Trait Forgiveness Scale and Vengeance Scale were used. While analyzing the data, Independent sample t test, Pearson correlation analysis, and Multiple Regression analysis were used. According to the findings, there were statistical significant relationships between forgiveness, positivity, happiness, and vengeance. In other words, vengeance had negative links with forgiveness, positivity, happiness. Findings of multiple regression analysis indicated that the increase of forgiveness, positivity, and happiness lead to reduction of vengeance.


Forgiveness; Positivity; Happiness; Vengeance;

Full Text:

View PDF


Akın, M., Ozdevecioglu, M., & Unlu, O. (2012). The relationship between revenge intention and forgiveness tendency with mental health of employees in organizations. TODAİE’s Review of Public Administration, 6(1), 101-127.

Alessandri, G., Borgogni, L., Schaufeli, W. B., Caprara, G. V., & Consiglio, C. (2015). From positive orientation to job performance: The role of work engagement and self-efficacy beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16(3), 767-788. doi:10.1007/s10902-014-9533-4

Alessandri, G., Caprara, G. V., & Tisak, J. (2012a). The unique contribution of positive orientation to optimal functioning: Further explorations. European Psychologist, 17(1), 44-54. doi:10.1027/1016-9040/a000070

Alessandri, G., Caprara, G. V., & Tisak, J. (2012b). A unified latent curve, latent statetrait analysis of the developmental trajectories and correlates of positive orientation. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 47(3), 341-368. doi:10.1080/00273171.2012.673954

Alessandri, G., Vecchione, M., Tisak, J., DeIana, G., Caria S., & Caprara, G. V. (2012c). The utility of positive orientation in predicting job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 61(4), 669-698. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2012.00511.x

Bajwa, M. J., & Khalid, R. (2015). Impact of personality on vengeance and forgiveness in young adults. Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry, 2(5), 00088. doi:10.15406/jpcpy.2015.02.00088

Baumeister, R. F. (1997). Evil: Inside human cruelty and violence. USA: WH Freeman.

Berry, J. W., Worthington, E. L., Jr., O’Connor, L., Parrott, L. III, & Wade, N. G. (2005). Forgiveness, vengeful rumination, and affective traits. Journal of Personality, 73(1), 183-226. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2004.00308.x

Bono, G., McCullough, M. E., & Root, L. M. (2008). Forgiveness, feeling connected to others, and well-being: Two longitudinal studies. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(2), 182-195. doi:10.1177/0146167207310025

Bradfield, M., & Aquino, K. (1999). The effects of blame attributions and offender likableness on forgiveness and revenge in the workplace. Journal of Management, 25(5), 607-631. doi:10.1177/014920639902500501

Bright, D. S., Fry, R. E., & Cooperrider, D. L. (2006). Forgiveness from the perspectives of three response modes: Begrudgement, pragmatism, and transcendence. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 3(1-2), 78-103. doi:10.1080/14766080609518612

Brown, R. P. (2004). Vengeance is mine: Narcissism, vengeance, and the tendency to forgive. Journal of Research in Personality, 38(6), 576-584. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2003.10.003

Bugay, A., & Demir, A. (2011). The features of transgression as predictors of forgiveness of others. Turkish Psychological Counseling and Guidance Journal, 4(35), 8-17.

Bulbul, S., & Giray, S. (2011). Analysis of the relationship structure between socio-demographic features and happiness sensation. Ege Academic Review, 11, 113-123.

Bushman, B. J. (2002). Does venting anger feed or extinguish the flame? Catharsis, rumination, distraction, anger, and aggressive responding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(6), 724-731. doi:10.1177/0146167202289002

Caprara, G. V., Alessandri, G., Eisenberg, N., Kupfer, A., Steca, P., Caprara, M. G., & Abela, J. (2012). The Positivity Scale. Psychological Assessment, 24(3), 701-712. doi:10.1037/a0026681

Caprara, G. V., Steca, P., Alessandri, G., Abela, J. R., & McWhinnie, C. M. (2010). Positive orientation: Explorations on what is common to life satisfaction, self-esteem, and optimism. Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale, 19(1), 163-71. doi:10.1017/S1121189X00001615

Chan, D. W. (2013). Subjective well-being of Hong Kong Chinese teachers: The contribution of gratitude, forgiveness, and the orientations to happiness. Teaching and Teacher Education, 32, 22-30. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2012.12.005

Clark, L. A., Watson, D., & Leeka, J. (1989). Diurnal variation in the positive affects. Motivation and Emotion, 13(3), 205-234. doi:10.1007/BF00995536

Cohen, S., & Pressman, S. D. (2006). Positive affect and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(3), 122-125. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2006.00420.x

Cota‐McKinley, A. L., Woody, W. D., & Bell, P. A. (2001). Vengeance: Effects of gender, age, and religious background. Aggressive Behavior, 27(5), 343-350. doi:10.1002/ab.1019

Capan, B. E., & Arıcıoglu, A. (2014). Forgiveness as predictor of psychological resiliency. E-International Journal of Educational Research, 5(4), 70-82. doi:10.19160/e-ijer.05325

Cıkrıkcı, O., Ciftci, M., & Gencdogan, B. (2015). The psychometric properties of the Turkish form of the positivity scale. The Journal of Happiness & Well-Being, 3(1), 57-76.

Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal of a national index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34-43. doi:10.1037//0003-066x.55.1.34

Diener, E., Scollon, C. K. N., Oishi, S., Dzokoto, V., & Suh, E. M. (2000). Positivity and the construction of life satisfaction judgments: Global happiness is not the sum of its part. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1(2), 159-176. doi:10.1023/A:1010031813405

Diener, E., & Emmons, R. A. (1985). The independence of positive and negative affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47(5), 1105-1117. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.47.5.1105

Dogan, T., & Akıncı Cotok, N. (2011). Oxford Mutluluk Olcegi Kısa Formunun Turkce uyarlaması: Gecerlik ve guvenirlik calısması [Adaptation of the short form of the Oxford happiness questionnaire into Turkish: A validity and reliability study]. Turk Psikolojik Danısma ve Rehberlik Dergisi, 4(36), 165-172.

Dogan, T., & Sapmaz, F. (2012). Oxford Mutluluk Olcegi Turkce Formunun psikometrik ozelliklerinin universite ogrencilerinde incelenmesi [Examination of psychometric properties of Turkish version of Oxford happiness questionnaire in university students]. Dusunen Adam Psikiyatri ve Norolojik Bilimler Dergisi, 25(4), 297-304. doi:10.5350/DAJPN2012250401

Enright, R. D., & Coyle, C. T. (1998). Researching the process model of forgiveness within psychological interventions. In E. L. Worthington, Jr. (Ed.), Dimensions of forgiveness: Psychological research and theological perspectives (pp. 139-161). Philadelphia, USA: Templeton Foundation Press.

Eryılmaz, A., & Atak, H. (2011). An investigation of self-esteem and optimism inclination in adolescence. Journal of E-Social Science, 10(37), 170-181.

Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218-226. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218

Fujita, F., Diener, E., & Sandvik, E. (1991). Gender differences in negative affect and well-being: The case for emotional intensity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61(3), 427-434. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.61.3.427

Gocen, G. (2013). Pozitif psikoloji duzleminde psikolojik iyi olma ve dini yonelim iliskisi: Yetiskinler uzerine bir arastırma [The relationship between psychological well-being and religious orientation in the field of positive psychology: A research on adults]. Toplum Bilimleri Dergisi, 7(13), 97-130.

Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and wellbeing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348-362. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.85.2.348

Gross, J. J., & Levenson, R. W. (1997). Hiding feelings: The acute effects of inhibiting negative and positive emotion. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106(1), 95-103. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.106.1.95

Heikamp, T., Alessandri, G., Laguna, M., Petrovic, V., Caprara, M. G., & Trommsdorff, G. (2014). Cross-cultural validation of the positivity-scale in five European countries. Personality and Individual Differences, 71, 140-145. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.07.012

Hills, P., & Argyle, M. (2002). The Oxford happiness questionnaire: A compact scale for the measurement of psychological well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 33(7), 1073-1082. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00213-6

Kahneman, D. (1999). Objective happiness. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 3-25). New York, USA: Russell Sage Foundation.

Konstam, V., Chernoff, M., & Deveney, S. (2001). Toward forgiveness: The role of shame, guilt anger, and empathy. Counseling and Values, 46(1), 26-39. doi:10.1002/j.2161-007X.2001.tb00204.x

Korkut, F. (1996). İletisim Becerilerini Degerlendirme Olceginin gelistirilmesi: Guvenirlik ve gecerlik calısmaları [Development of communication skills assessment scale: Reliability and validity studies]. Turk Psikolojik Danısma ve Rehberlik Dergisi, 2(7), 18-23.

Kozma, A., Stone, S., & Stones, M. J. (2000). Stability in components and predictors of subjective well-being (SWB): Implications for SWB structure. In E. Diener & D. R. Rahtz (Eds.), Advances in quality of life theory and research (pp. 13–30). London, England: Kluwer Academic. doi:10.1007/978-94-011-4291-5_2

Koknel, O. (1995). Kaygıdan mutluluga kisilik [Anxiety of happiness personality]. Istanbul, Turkey: Altın Kitaplar Yayınevi.

Krentzman, A. R. (2013). Review of the appiction of positive psychology to substance use, addiction, and recovery research. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(1), 151-165. doi:10.1037/a0029897

Lamb, S. (2005). Forgiveness therapy: The context and conflict. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 25(1), 62-80. Doi: 10.1037/h0091251

Leung, K., Brew, F. P., Zhang, Z. X., & Zhang, Y. (2011). Harmony and conflict: a cross-cultural investigation in China and Australia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42(5), 795-816. doi: 10.1177/0022022110363474

Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. A. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46, 137-155. doi:10.1023/A:1006824100041

Maltby, J., Day, L., & Barber, L. (2005). Forgiveness and happiness. The differing contexts of forgiveness using the distinction between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6(1), 1-13. doi:10.1007/s10902-004-0924-9

McCullough, M. E. (2000). Forgiveness as human strength: Theory, measurement, and links to well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(1), 43-55. doi:10.1521/jscp.2000.19.1.43

McCullough, M. E., Bellah, C. G., Johnson, J. L., & Kilpatrick, S. D. (2001). Vengefulness: Relationship with forgiveness, rumination, well-being, and the big five. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(5), 601-610. doi:10.1177/0146167201275008

McCullough, M. E. (2008). Beyond revenge: The evolution of the forgiveness instinct. San Francisco, USA: Jossey-Bass.

McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1990). Personality in adulthood: A five-factor theory perspective. New York, USA: The Guildford Press.

McCrae, R., & Costa, P. (1987). Validation of the five factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(1), 81-90. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.52.1.81

Miller, A. J., Everett, L., Worthington, Jr., & McDaniel, M. A. (2008). Gender and forgiveness: A meta–analytic review and research agenda. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27(8), 843-876. doi:10.1521/jscp.2008.27.8.843

Morrison, R., & O'Connor, R. C. (2005). Predicting psychological distress in college students: The role of rumination and stress. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(4), 447-460. doi:10.1002/jclp.20021

Murray, R. J. (2002). Forgiveness as a therapeutic option. The Family Journal, 10(3), 315-321. doi: 10.1177/10680702010003008

Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Rusting, C. L. (1999). Gender differences in well-being. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener & N. Schwartz (Eds.), Well-being: Foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 330-352). New York, USA: Russell Sage Foundation.

Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Parker, L. E., & Larson, J. (1994). Ruminative coping with depressed mood following loss. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(1), 92-104. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.67.1.92

Orkibi, H., & Brandt, Y. I. (2015). How positivity links with job satisfaction: Preliminary findings on the mediating role of work-life balance. Europe's Journal of Psychology, 11(3), 406-418. doi:10.5964/ejop.v11i3.869

Phillips, L. H., Henry, J. D., Hosie, J. A., & Milne, A. B. (2006). Age, anger regulation and well-being. Aging and Mental Health, 10(3), 250-256. doi:10.1080/13607860500310385

Pinquart, M., & Sorensen, S. (2001). Influences on loneliness in older adults: A meta-analysis. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 23(4), 245-266. doi:10.1207/153248301753225702

Reed, P. G. (1991a). Self-transcendence and mental health in oldest-old adults. Nursing Research, 40(1), 5-11. doi:10.1097/00006199-199101000-00002

Reed, P. G. (1991b). Toward a nursing theory of self-transcendence: Deductive reformulation using developmental theories. Advances in Nursing Science, 13(4), 64-77. doi:10.1097/00012272-199106000-00008

Ryff, C. D., & Keyes, C. L. M. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(4), 719-727. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.69.4.719

Sakız, H., & Sarıcam, H. (2015). Self-compassion and forgiveness: The protective approach rejection sensitivity against. International Journal of Human Behavioral Science, 1(2), 10-21. doi:10.19148/ijhbs.58217

Sarıcam, H. (2015a). The psychometric properties of Turkish version of self transcendence scale. Eurasian Academy of Sciences Social Sciences Journal, 5(1), 25-34. doi:10.17740/eas.soc.2015-V5-3

Sarıcam, H. (2015b). Subjective happiness and hope. Universitas Psychologica, 14(2), 685-694. doi:10.11144/Javeriana.upsy14-1.shah

Sarıcam, H. (2015c). Metacognition and happiness: The mediating role of perceived stress. Studia Psychologica, 57(4), 271-283. doi: 10.21909/sp.2015.03.699

Sarıcam, H. (2016). Examining the relationship between self-rumination and happiness: The mediating and moderating role of subjective vitality. Universitas Psychologica, 15(2), 383-396. doi:10.11144/Javeriana.upsy15-2.errh

Sarıcam, H., & Akın, A. (2013). Affedicilik Olceginin Turkce Formu: Gecerlik ve guvenirlik calısması [Turkish Form of Affedivity Scale: Validity and reliability study]. HAYEF Dergisi, 10(1), 37-46.

Sarıcam, H., & Bicer, B. (2015). The predictive role of moral value and self-compassion on forgiveness. GEFAD / GUJGEF, 35(1), 109-122.

Sarıcam, H., & Canatan, A. (2015). The adaptation, validation, reliability process of the Turkish version orientations to happiness scale. Universitepark Bulten, 4(1-2), 7-15. doi:10.12973/unibulletin.412.1

Sarıcam, H., & Celik, İ. (2016). Why positive thinking skills predicts the life satisfaction? Meaning in life is an alternative view. Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Educational Sciences (pp.3081-3084). Antalya, Turkey.

Safaria, T. (2014). Forgiveness, gratitude, and happiness among college students. International Journal of Public Health Science (IJPHS), 3(4), 241-245. doi:10.11591/.v3i4.4698

Satıcı, S. (2016). Universite ogrencilerinin affetme, intikam, sosyal baglılık ve oznel iyi olusları: Farklı yapısal modellerin denenmesi uzerine bir arastırma [Forgiveness, revenge, social commitment and subjective well-being of university students: A study on testing different structural models]. Doctoral thesis. Eskisehir, Turkey: Anadolu University.

Satıcı, S., Can, G., & Akın, A. (2015). The vengeance scale: Turkish adaptation study. Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry, 16(1SI), 36-43. doi:10.5455/apd.170563

Schwartz, B. (1978). Vengeance and forgiveness: The uses of beneficence in social control. The School Review, 86(4), 655-668. doi:10.1086/443437

Szczesniak, M., & Soares, E. (2011). Are proneness to forgive, optimism and gratitude associated with life satisfaction? Polish Psychological Bulletin, 42(1), 12-19. doi:10.2478/v10059-011-0004-z

Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York, USA: Simonand Schuster.

Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. The American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14. doi:10.1037//0003-066x.55.1.5

Selim, S. (2008). An analysis on the values of individual happiness sources in Turkey: Multinomial logit model. C.U. Sosyal Bilimler Enstitusu Dergisi, 17(3), 345-358.

Stuckless, N., & Goranson R. (1992). The vengeance scale: Development of a measure of attitudes toward revenge. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 7(1), 25-42.

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). London, UK: Pearson Education Limited.

Toussaint, L., & Webb, J. R. (2005). Gender differences in the relationship between empathy and forgiveness. The Journal of Social Psychology, 145(6), 673-685. doi:10.3200/SOCP.145.6.673-686

Toussaint, L., & Friedman, P. (2009). Forgiveness, gratitude, and well-being: The mediating role of affect and beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10(6), 635-654. doi:10.1007/s10902-008-9111-8

Treynor, W., Gonzalez, R., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2003). Rumination reconsidered: A psychometric analysis. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 27(3), 247-259. doi:10.1023/A:1023910315561

Tripp, T. M., Bies, R. J., & Aquino, K. (2007). A vigilante model of justice: Revenge, reconciliation, forgiveness, and avoidance. Social Justice Research, 20(1), 10-34. doi:10.1007/s11211-007-0030-3

Tsang, J., McCullough, M. E., & Fincham, F. (2006). The longitudinal association between forgiveness and relationship closeness and commitment. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25(4), 448-472. doi:10.1521/jscp.2006.25.4.448

Walker, D. F., & Doverspike, D. (2001). The relationship between forgiveness experiences and the masculine gender role among Christian men. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 20(1), 29-39.

Uysal, R., & Satıcı, S. A. (2014). The mediating and moderating role of subjective happiness in the relationship between vengeance and forgiveness. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 14(6), 2097-2105. doi:10.12738/estp.2014.6.2207

Yıldız, M. A. (2016). Multiple mediation of emotion regulation strategies in the relationship between loneliness and positivity in adolescents. Education and Science, 21(186), 217-231. doi:10.15390/eb.2016.6193

Yılmaz, O. D. (2014). The effect of perceived victimization on forgiveness tendency and revenge intention: A research on lodging enterprises’ employees. Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, 16(1), 87-105. doi:10.5578/jeas.7489

Ysseldyk, R. L. (2005). Dispositions toward forgiveness and revenge in relation to coping styles and psychological well-being. Doctoral thesis. Ottawa, Canada: Carleton University. doi:10.22215/etd/2005-08007

Zel, U. (2001). Yonetimde kisilik ve kisilik ozellikleri [Personality and personality characteristics in management]. In S. Guney (Ed.), Yonetim ve Organizasyon [Management and organization]. Ankara, Turkey: Nobel Yayınları.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 The Authors & LUMEN Publishing House

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright © RREM | A LUMEN Peer Reviewed Open Access Journal

Covered in | Web of Sciences (WOS); EBSCO; Google Scholar; Index Copernicus; Ideas RePeC; Econpapers; Socionet; CEEOL; Ulrich ProQuest; Cabell, Journalseek; Scipio; Philpapers; SHERPA/RoMEO repositories; KVK; WorldCat; CrossRef; CrossCheck.