New Article Shows How Intergroup Forgiveness Relates To Positive Transformation in the Workplace 

January 18, 2022by Vanessa Chapman0

Summary of:

Intergroup Forgiveness: The Interplay Between Who We Are and What Tales We Tell 

Dinnick, I. (2019, July 2). Intergroup forgiveness: The interplay between … – springer. Intergroup Forgiveness: The Interplay Between Who We Are and What Tales We Tell . Retrieved January 13, 2022, from 

Background & Theory

This research article focuses on the power of forgiveness within ourselves, but more importantly how forgiveness impacts us in a positive manner through intergroup dynamics. This strategy is ultimately utilized for damaged group dynamics to foster unity and compassion for one another. The article addresses intergroup forgiveness through different methodologies such as: social identity approaches and victim beliefs. Overall, forgiveness can transform us from the inside out,  and can create peace in our relationships on a personal and professional level. 

Research Question(s)

Dinnick, I. (2019, July 2). Intergroup forgiveness: The interplay between … – springer. Intergroup Forgiveness: The Interplay Between Who We Are and What Tales We Tell . Retrieved January 13, 2022, from 

  1. How does forgiveness within ourselves translate into our intergroup dynamics?
  2. How are our beliefs and social identity intertwined? 


Collective Suffering:

According to the study, when we feel wronged or feel pain from someone else’s actions there is a sense of urgency for revenge. Collective suffering comes into play when one’s social identity is ambiguous and undefined. These feelings and beliefs then translate into collective suffering because this particular individual is reflecting their own negative bias onto others causing harm in a group. In order to asses the collective suffering in a group, it’s important to address the situation coming from a place of empathy and compassion to highlight positivity in a time of suffering. 

Interventions: How Victim Beliefs and Identity Interact: 

Victim belief systems correlate to the stories groups tell about their own suffering, and consider their impact in terms of intensifying or reducing conflict. The narratives we create and share with others can ultimately shape the group’s identity. The group can pull from one individual’s experience and relate to their story through their own lens. This can create chaos in a workplace environment by setting negative beliefs around generic topics. Studies show that our own beliefs correlate to our behavior around others. If we are able to understand our core beliefs, we can ultimately shift to positive behavioral changes. 

Intergroup Forgiveness: 

This strategy focuses on reducing the amount of revenge we feel and replacing that emotion with forgiveness. Intergroup forgiveness is surrounded by the decision for a victimized group to suppress their desire to seek retaliation against a particular individual. One study shows that we must be able to regulate our negative emotions and thoughts around the perpetrator of the group. We then determine the values and the relationship behavioral patterns the perpetrator emulates and whether or not that resonates with the group. Once the group assesses those facets, forgiveness and compassion can come into play if the dialogue is facilitated effectively. 


When we individuals focus on positive interventions around common suffering, the intergroup is more interconnected and able to share deep belief systems. Forgiveness is key in any relationship in order to thrive. In intergroup dynamics, resentment and revenge can be a common theme if individuals have created negative narratives around their identity. Through these research methods, it has been proven that intergroup forgiveness is a positive strategy to reduce feelings around suffering and pain in a group setting. 

What This Means

  • If we view our social identity negatively, this can motivate us to harm one another across multiple dimensions 
  • The way we perceive ourselves bleeds into our intergroup relationships 
  • We are our beliefs – we are able to shift our beliefs with consistency around positive psychology methods

Final Takeaway

For consultants: By addressing each problem with an empathetic and forgiveness approach, we will be able to reduce any negative or suppressed feelings in an intergroup.

For everyone: Forgiveness for ourselves and others will ultimately create peace in our world.

Vanessa Chapman

Vanessa is a legal consultant who focuses her time in the Criminal Defense Sector. She aids attorneys with the psychology-building aspect of cases. Vanessa has a background in Business, Psychology, and Mediation. She is currently building out a life coaching program with an emphasis on relationship transformation. Some of her hobbies include continuous learning, reading, writing, and participating in yoga retreats!

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