The focus of this article is the perception of forgiveness among married adults. The article introduces the study by providing the angle of forgiveness that was used which is forgiveness in the context of interpersonal violations—“intimate violence” (Orathinkal, Vansteenwegen, & Burggraeve, 2008), with hurts ranging from a simple lie to brutal attack, incest, infidelity, and even rape.
The researchers declare that there is “ample evidence that forgiveness is therapeutically effective and beneficial” (Orathinkal et al. , 2008).Consequently, the study has two goals: to understand the nature of forgiveness and to examine the possibility of an empirical link between perception of forgiveness and actual forgiveness. The method of the study included measuring forgiveness of 787 married couples using a variety of measurement tools including the Enright Forgiveness Inventory, a one-item forgiveness scale, and the Forgiveness Motivation and Perception Checklist.
This information was gathered by a snowball sampling technique. The study resulted in 731 respondents taking part in the final analysis.In regard to how people perceive the concept of forgiveness, more than 90% perceived forgiveness as part of marital life (Orathinkal et al. , 2008) and overall, the respondents have a positive perception of forgiveness. The motivation for forgiving was also viewed to be positive and healthy. Article Critique Title The title of this article accurately reflects the contents of the article.
The title is sufficiently specific and states the primary variables of the subject and focus of the study. The title identifies the types of individuals who participated—married adults.The title does not have more than fifteen words and is fairly concise. It is also free of jargon and acronyms that would otherwise be unknown or confusing to the audience of the report. Overall, the title is satisfactory in effectiveness and appropriateness.
Abstract The purpose of the study is explained in the abstract along with what type of study it is: a cross sectional study. The method of the study is not explained in detail, instead, it is generally referenced as “a descriptive analysis” (Orathinkal et al. , 2008). The researcher included the titles of measures (t-test).The study is not tied to a theory but a concept; the concept of forgiveness.
The researchers did not reference implications and future research directions but concluded the abstract section with the study results. Literature Review The researchers begin the introduction by discussing the past and present views of forgiveness and the aspect of forgiveness this study is focusing on which is forgiveness as psychological and therapeutic (Orathinkal et al. , 2008). The researchers then transition into discussing aspects of forgiveness such as justification, excuse making, mercy, exoneration and reconciliation.In addition, they provide definitions for the concepts and where they fit in the world of forgiveness. Along with the researchers providing adequate conceptual definitions of key terms that are associated with forgiveness, they also provide the same for the way they categorized their groups.
For example, they categorized and defined “first married” couples and “remarried” couples. The researchers were interested in doing a comparative investigation between first-married and remarried adults not only because it was under-reported in forgiveness research and the area of married couples.Therefore, conclusions were sought in order to be able to contribute the outcomes to counseling and relationship therapy (Orathinkal et al. , 2008). Sources were cited for factual statements made in the study but the researcher did not avoid citing a large number of sources for a single point. The introductory material of research purposes, questions, and hypotheses logically flowed.
Overall, the literature review portion of the introduction is satisfactory in effectiveness and appropriateness. Research Questions (Hypothesis) The research hypothesis is not clearly stated, but rather the goal of study is specified.The researchers have two goals for the study: to understand the nature of forgiveness and to examine the possibility of an empirical link between perception of forgiveness and actual forgiveness. From the findings of the perception of forgiveness, the researchers further intend to explore whether there is a significant difference between first-married and remarried adults’ perception of forgiveness and likewise for men and women. (Orathinkal et al. , 2008).
The goal of the study flows clearly from the literature review and the design of investigation is appropriate as well. Methodology Critique of Population and SamplingRandom sampling was not used in this study. All of the potential participants were obtained by a snowball sampling technique. Since the sample was not random, it was at least drawn from the target group for the generalization but the diversity of the sources is unknown. The researchers specifically chose participants who were married (Orathinkal et al.
, 2008) Other than explaining their reasoning behind the specificity of their sample; the researchers do not address this limitation. The researchers specifically chose adults who were in heterosexual marriages and used college students for data collection.In total, 988 questionnaires were distributed with only 785 responses. The overall size of the sample is adequate for their statistical purposes and the overall size in addition to the size of each subgroup is sufficiently large enough to appropriate for generalizing. Overall, the sample is not appropriate for generalizing. Critique of Procedures Seven hundred eighty five married couples responded to the survey.
The surveys are not described in sufficient detail and instead, the process of how the researchers distributed the survey was provided.The researchers explain how they used college students to distribute the surveys and the participants responded out of “goodwill” and mailed the survey back to the researchers (Orathinkal et al. , 2008). As a result, a treatment was not used and neither was a monitoring system. Even though a monitoring system was not used, the researchers sought the approval of the author of the questionnaire used when they translated into another language and back (Orathinkal et al.
, 2008). The setting is unknown, as the participants filled the survey out at their leisure and attrition was not considered.The survey was ethical and politically acceptable. Overall, for the results that the researchers were trying to obtain, the experiment was properly conducted.
Critique of Instrumentation Multiple methods were not used to collect data/information on each variable. The instruments used are described in detail and sample of actual items and questions are provided. The researchers do provide information on reliability and validity of the instruments, as well as the numeric scores for internal consistency. The researchers do not discuss any limitations of their instrumentation.Overall, the instrumentation is adequate.
Results & Discussion Critique of Analysis & Results The Analysis and Results section is concise and in the form of a cohesive essay. The researchers initially refer back to the hypothesis that was originally stated in the Introduction and transition into providing the statistical results for their forgiveness testing. The statistical results are presented in tables and highlighted and discussed in the narrative of the Results section. Overall, the presentation of the results is comprehensible and adequate.Critique of Discussion In the opening of the Discussion section, the researchers briefly summarize the purpose and results.
The researchers acknowledge methodological limitations, one being the sampling technique they used (Orathinkal et al. , 2008). Citation of new references was avoided in this section while the literature that was cited in the Introduction is discussed. The results are discussed and summarized. The Discussion section is closed out by suggestions for future research, which is, in short, looking at forgiveness in different contexts (Orathinkal et al.
2008). Critique of Entire Article The researchers have selected a topic of increasing interest to the therapeutic research world: forgiveness. Research on forgiveness is increasing and therefore I believe the study will be of some value to many. The researchers were reflective in their study, their report was cohesive and they attempted to expand the topic by testing it in a new context. The methodological flaws that are in the study were unavoidable and forgivable but could easily be addressed in future research.That being the case, the research will likely inspire additional research.
All things considered, the report is worthy of publication in an academic journal. Follow-up Research Improvement Plan The main area of improvement that would be useful in this study is to conduct more personal interviews or questionnaires to have more control over the sampling population and its entities. The method that the researchers used to conduct the surveys was one based on good faith (Orathinkal et al. , 2008). A good faith system is not one that can be guaranteed or confirmed.