Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Kumi Ishii (Director), Cecile Garmon, Blair Thompson

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study sought to conceptualize forgiveness-granting communication as a facework phenomenon through utilizing the concepts of face concerns, degree of face loss, and facework strategies. Participants from public speaking courses (N = 248) completed a self-report survey questionnaire asking them to recall a recent forgiveness episode. Statistical analyses were conducted to discover the relationship between face and forgiveness-granting communication. The results of this study indicated the following important findings: (a) the greater one’s self-face concern, the less likely one’s forgiveness-granting communication is to be direct; (b) self-face concern positively predicted conditional forgiveness-granting communication; (c) degree of face loss was a positive predictor of non-expressive forgiveness-granting communication; and (d) facework strategies were the best predictors of forgiveness-granting communication. This study revealed face as a useful theoretical paradigm for understanding forgiveness-granting communication. Although the sample was fairly homogenous and three scales had undesirable reliabilities, this study has provided greater understanding of both the role of face within the forgiveness process and how communicators choose certain strategies to grant forgiveness. Based on this study, future directions were also discussed.


Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology