My research interests lie in the areas of social cognition and social motivation, or more specifically, the application of how individuals make sense of themselves and others in different interpersonal relationships (e.g., coworker, romantic, friendship). Although largely harmonious, these relationships are sometimes marred by an array of interpersonal offenses that can cause dissention, lead to grudges, and escalate into more serious and intractable conflicts. From time to time, however, individuals respond prosocially following such offenses, thereby restoring harmony to the relationship. Forgiveness is one interpersonal mechanism that can facilitate relationships interrupted by interpersonal offenses. Guided by an integration of ideas, theories, and research from social, personality, and evolutionary psychology, the primary aim of my research concerns answering three questions associated with victims' and transgressors' post-transgression responses: (1) How intrapersonal and interpersonal factors associated with victims and transgressors influence their decision to forgive, seek revenge, harbor grudges, and apologize (e.g., attributions, responsibility judgments, intent, power, attachment, regulatory focus, right wing authoritarianism)?; (2) Why intrapersonal and interpersonal factors influence victims' and transgressors' post-transgression responses (e.g., approach/inhibition motivation, self/other focus, welfare trade-offs)?; and (3) When intrapersonal and interpersonal factors influence victims' and transgressors' post-transgression responses. I believe that these ideas are relevant to a broad range of interpersonal relationships (e.g., romantic, familial, friendship, coworker see Eaton & Struthers, 2006).
Example publications from our laboratory:
Struthers, C. W., Weiner, B., & Allred, K. (1998). The effects of causal attributions on personnel decisions: A social motivation perspective. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 20, 155-166.
Struthers, C. W., Miller, D. L., Boudens, C., & Briggs, G. (2001). The effects of causal attributions on coworker interactions: A social motivation perspective. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 23, 169-181.
Eaton, J., & Struthers, C. W.(2006). The reduction of aggression in varied interpersonal contexts through repentance and forgiveness. Aggressive Behavior,32, 195-206.
Eaton, J., Struthers, C. W., & Santelli, A. G. (2006). The mediating role of self- and other-Evaluations in the repentance-forgiveness process. Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin,32, 1389-1401.
Struthers, C. W., Eaton, J., Santelli, A., G., Uchiyama, M., & Shirvani, N. (2008). The effects of attributions of intent and apology on forgiveness: When saying sorry may not help the story . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 983-992.
Santelli, A. G., Struthers, C. W ., & Eaton, J. (2009). Fit to forgive: Understanding the relationship among regulatory focus, repentance, and forgiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 381-394.
Phills, C., Santelli, A. G., Kawakami, K., Struthers, C. W., & Higgins, T. (2011). Reducing Implicit Prejudice: Matching Approach\Avoidance Strategies to Contextual Valence and Regulatory Focus. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 968-973.
Khoury, C., Struthers, C. W., Santelli, A. G., & Marjanovic, Z. (2012). The interrelationship among right wing authoritarianism, repentance, and forgiveness. Social Influence, 7, 304-326.
Young, R., Struthers, C. W., Khoury, C., Muscat, S., Phills, C., & Mongrain, M. (2013). The moderating role of dependency and relationship threat on the relation between self-criticism and forgiveness and revenge. Journal of Clinical and Social Psychology, 32(10), 1099-1119.
Struthers, C. W., van Monsjou, E., Ayoub, M., & Guilfoyle, J. R. (2017). Fit to forgive: Effect of Mode of Exercise Training on Capacity to Override Grudges and Forgiveness. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 538. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00538
Struthers, C. W., Khoury, C., Phills, C., van Monsjou, E., Guilfoyle, J. R.., Golenitski, V., & Sommer, C. (2019). The effects of social power and apology on victims’ post- transgression responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 25, 110-116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xap0000188
Guilfoyle, J. R., Struthers, C. W., van Monsjou, E., & Shoikhedbrod, A. (2019). Sorry Is the hardest word to say: The role of self-control in apologizing. Basic and Applied Social Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2018.1553715
Shoikhedbrod, A., Struthers, C. W., Guilfoyle, J. R., van Monsjou, E., Halilova, J., & Saleemi, S. (2019). The moderating role of victims’ post-transgression response on the relation between narcissism and motivation to apologize. Journal of Research in Personality, 78, 36-51.
Young, R., Goldberg, J., Struthers, C. W., McCann, D., & Phills, C. (2019). The Subtle Side of Stigma: Understanding and Reducing Mental Illness Stigma from a Contemporary Prejudice Perspective. Journal of Social Issues (special issue on Ableism),75, 1-29. doi/pdf/10.1111/josi.12343