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«ijcrb.webs.com APRIL 2013 VOL 4, NO 12 INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH IN BUSINESS Cognitive Emotional Regulation and Forgiveness ...»

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ijcrb.webs.com APRIL 2013

VOL 4, NO 12


Cognitive Emotional Regulation and Forgiveness

Muhammad Mussaffa Butt

Lecturer, Department of Psychology, GC University, Lahore, Pakistan

Fareena Sanam

Department of Psychology, GC University, Lahore, Pakistan

Shazia Gulzar

Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Lahore Business School, The University of Lahore, Pakistan Farzan Yahya (Corresponding Author) Department of Finance, Lahore Business School, The University of Lahore, Pakistan


This present study aimed to investigate the effect of cognitive emotional regulation on forgiveness among young adulthood. Convenient sampling was used to collect data from young adulthood with age range 20 – 30 (M = 22.99, SD = 2.32), from different Universities of Lahore.

Sample comprised of 100 participants (50 men and 50 women). Urdu version of Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS; Butt, Sanam, Gulzar and Yahya 2012) was used to assess the forgiveness among young adulthood. Urdu version of Cognitive Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ; Butt, Sanam, Gulzar and Yahya 2012) was used to assess the cognitive emotional regulation among young adulthood. Both the questionnaires were translated using standardized scientific procedure by the researcher themselves. The results indicated CERQ is not a predictor of HFS. CERQ across gender suggested a significant difference, t (98) = -3.11, p=.002.The results are discussed in the social-cultural context of Pakistan.

Keywords: CERQ, HFS, Positive Psychology, SES COPY RIGHT © 2013 Institute of Interdisciplinary Business Research 769 ijcrb.webs.com APRIL 2013 VOL 4, NO 12


1.Introduction Positive Psychology is the one of the evolving field with competing school of thought.

The latest progress in psychology found in 1998 is positive psychology by number of researchers. The basic aim of the new branch of positive psychology is to give change in psychology from a concern only with repair the worst things in life to building the best individuality in life (Snyder & Lopez, 2002). It helps in preventing the pathologies that happens when life is worthless and meaningless (Sheldon & King, 2001). It ultimate aim to enable more people to live lives filled with flourishing health, well-being and free of illness and diseases (Linley, Joseph & Seligman, 2004).

Although the field of positive psychology is reasonably well defined, there is no single factor or theory that provides a complete approach to positive psychology theory, research and application (Linley, Joseph & Seligman, 2004) many positive psychologists suggested the ways of achieving psychological well-being, contentment and enhancing happiness. Synder and Lopez (2002) emphasizing a range of factors such as humanity, hope, empathy, positive response to lose, creativity, and emotional regulation in enhancing forgiveness. However, the basic focus of this research is to investigate the effect of cognitive emotional regulation on forgiveness among young adulthood.

Every person has been upset by the act of another these wound can leave you by means of permanent feeling of annoyance and even retribution but if you don’t put into practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most extremely (Freedman and Enright, 1996).

Forgiveness carries a sort of harmony that helps out you to exit with life (Shiver, 1995).

Forgiveness is described as a move from pessimistic effect, attention awareness, and the behaviors to further optimistic effect, behavior and thinking (Enright, 2001).

Forgiveness means make a decision not to discipline a supposed discrimination, taking act on that choice, and put up the emotional calming that go behind (Affinito, 1999). It is also distinguished as a motivational procedure, where an inspiration is to keep away from the offender is change by inspiration to accommodate with the lawbreaker (McCullough et al., 1998). Different theories believe pardon replacing the pessimistic emotions with optimistic attitudes including kindness and goodwill (Tangney et al., 1999).

COPY RIGHT © 2013 Institute of Interdisciplinary Business Research 770 ijcrb.webs.com APRIL 2013 VOL 4, NO 12


Forgiveness is an agreement to see further than the restrictions of another’s individuality.

It is an approach that involve that you are ready to agree to obligation for your observation, recognize that your observation are a variety and not an unbiased verity. Forgiveness is a procedure that needs changing your observation over again and hardly ever a onetime occurrence. Basically, it’s a method of life with the purpose of on a regular basis alter us from individual weak victims of our occurrence to individual commanding and affectionate cocreators of our authenticity. Forgiveness is not concerning what we do, it is regarding the way we recognize groups and event (Casarjian, 1992).

Moreover, the second variable under consideration of the current study is emotional regulation. The study of feeling regulation isn’t latest. Freud considered it in the shape of ego defenses, which he viewed as non-conscious procedure that could, depending on the particular method used, outcome in reality deformation, overload energy use, and avoidable nonfulfillment–to him, these forms of emotional regulation were maladaptive (Gross, 1998).

Emotion regulation refers to all the approach that is used to decrease, sustain, or increase an emotion. Emotion regulation approaches are caught up in personality and emotional, cognitive, and social development. When they are unfair, they also co-operate a famous task in the progress and protection of emotional disorders. Here fact, the idea of emotion regulation is extremely wide and encompasses a broad series of aware and unaware physiological, behavioral, and cognitive process (Gross, 2001).

Cognitive emotion regulation (CER) refers to the aware, cognitive method of conduct the intake of expressively affecting in sequence (Kraaij, Garnefski & Spinhoven, 2001; Thompson,

1991) and can be considered part of the broader idea of emotion regulation defined as that all the exterior and interior process answerable for examine, evaluate, and modify emotional reactions, mainly their concentrated and sequential features (Gross, 1999; Thompson, 1994).

Literature Review

Wadlinger & Isaacowitz (2011) study sympathetic reappraisal and emotion repression as alternatives to offense-focused reflection. Implications for forgiveness and psycho physiological well-being show that emotion control reserved the experience and expression of negative

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Manzi & González (2007) show that forgiveness and recompense were positively correlated only in the case of the group related with perpetrate political suppression. Forgiveness was predicted mostly by the emotional factors (collective anger and blame) whereas reward was predicted by a combination of cognitive and emotional factors. Brown & Phillips (2005) show the results from this study strongly supported the discriminate validity of the tendency to forgive scale with regard to both mental health (depression and emotions) and state forgiveness.

Garnefski et al. (2004) studied emotion regulation strategies and depressive symptoms among men and women. Significant differences were found in the strategies Rumination, Catastrophizing and Positive refocusing. Women report to use these strategies more frequently than men. However, no differences were found in the degree to which particular cognitive strategies were connected to the exposure of depressive symptomatology. In both groups, advanced extents of exposure self-blame, rumination and/or catastrophizing as strategies were strongly linked to higher depression score, whereas higher extents of use positive reassessment were related to lesser depression scores.

Martin and Dahlen (2005) results support the convergent and distinguish validity of the CERQ and confirmed that, self-regulating of respondent gender, self-blame, rumination, catastrophizing, and positive reappraisal were among the most valuable predictors of negative emotion.

Rationale of this study:

The rationale of the study is based upon the assumption that forgiveness is the universal phenomenon and its benefits occur across culture. Different researches have been conducted to see its prevalence in both individualistic and collectivistic cultures. In the present study it was aimed to investigate the importance of cognitive emotional regulation

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Objective of the study  To investigate if score of participants on HFS is a predictor of their CERQ  To determine the impact of demographic variables on scores of forgiveness and emotional regulation.

 To compare the difference in cognitive emotional regulation among men and women  To compare the difference of forgiveness among men and women  To investigate the effect of social economic status on HFS  To investigate the effect of social economic status on CERQ Hypotheses  Cognitive emotion regulation will be an important predictor of forgiveness among young adulthood.

 Demographical variable like sibling would be would be important determinants of forgiveness and cognitive emotion regulation  There would be a significant gender difference of forgiveness among young adulthood.

 There will be a significant gender difference in the Cognitive emotion regulation among young adulthood.

2. Methodology

2.1. Participants:

A convenient sample of 100 individual (50 men & 50 women) was drawn from three different universities of Lahore with an age range 20-30 years (young adulthood) for the correlation study.

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2.2 Measures:

The measures for the present study were used with the permission of the author and both the measures; Heartland Forgiveness Scale and Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire were translated by authors themselves using standardized scientific methods.

2.2.1 Bio Date Form:

A bio-data form was used for the adolescents to record the essential demographic information age, socio-economic status, gender and siblings.

2.2.2 Semi-Structured Interview:

A semi-structured interview was used to gather the desired information and confirm that participants were getting the items correctly and responding as well.

2.2.3 Heartland Forgiveness Scale:

Urdu version of Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS), translated by Butt, Sanam, Gulzar and Yahya 2012 was used to measure forgiveness. It has 18-item, self report questionnaire that measures a person’s dispositional forgiveness, rather than forgiveness of a particular event or person. The HFS consists of the three six-item subscales (Forgiveness of Self, Forgiveness of Others, and Forgiveness of Situations. Consists of the Total HFS and 3 subscales: Total HFS (18 items). Cronbach’s alpha were translated reliability was α =.60 which is slightly reliable.

2.2.4 Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire:

To measure the specific cognitive emotion regulation approach participants used in reaction to the practice of frightening or stressful life events, the Cognitive Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ) was translated into Urdu by Butt, Sanam, Gulzar and Yahya 2012 was used. The CERQ is a 36-item questionnaire consisting of the following nine theoretically separate subscales, each consisting of four items and each referring to what someone thinks after COPY RIGHT © 2013 Institute of Interdisciplinary Business Research 774 ijcrb.webs.com APRIL 2013 VOL 4, NO 12


the practice of frightening or traumatic life events: self blame, other blame, rumination, catastrophizing, putting into perspective, positive refocusing, positive reappraisal, acceptance, and planning. Cognitive emotion regulation approach were calculated on a 5-point Likert scale variety from 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always). Individual subscale scores were obtained by summing the achieved belong to the exacting subscale (ranging from 4 to 20). Previous research on cognitive emotion regulation approach has exposed that all subscales have good internal consistencies series from.68 to.86 (Garnefski et al., 2004) and Cronbach’s alpha α=.83 which is highly reliable.

2.3 Procedure:

Data was collected from the age range 20 to 30 (young adulthood) years’ individuals from three universities of Lahore. The scales were translated into Urdu language by Butt, Sanam, Gulzar and Yahya 2012 for better understanding. Data were collected by after obtaining informed consent form participants. The data was collected during the exam days therefore many students refused to participate, but there were many cooperative students who agreed to fill the questionnaires and a bio data form. Participants were group/individually administered that there was no standardize procedure for administered of questionnaire was carried out. Participants were given with a brief description about the purpose of study and were given the basic instructions about how to fill the questionnaires. Participants were required to fill the informed consent form that described the purpose of the study and also assured the confidentiality of participant’s information and allow the participant to If they don’t want to fill the questionnaires at any time of the study. Participants were informed about the objectives of the study; they were assured about the confidentiality of information sought from them. Informed consent form was given to the participants before proceeding. Few participants were very excited and want to know about the results of the study. Some participants were interested only in their own result Overall it was a good experience while collecting data and interacting with the students of different departments. The debriefing sessions were conducted with the participants after they accomplished the task in which their feedback was taken regarding the present study. They were asked to respond whether the study was boring or interesting, did they find something threatening or problematic in the task? They were also briefed about the outcome of the study.

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