The Enright Group Forgiveness Inventory
The Enright Group Forgiveness Inventory (EGFI) is a newly-developed research tool that takes forgiveness from its traditional focus on individuals to a higher magnitude by concentrating on group forgiveness—an area of intervention that has dramatic implications for its ability to enhance peace efforts in the world.
A team of 16 international researchers led by Dr. Robert Enright collected data from 595 study participants in three different geographic and cultural settings of the world in order to develop and validate this totally new measure of intergroup forgiveness. Test sites included Mainland China and Taiwan, Slovenia, and the US. The study team’s findings documented that this new measure has strong internal consistency as well as convergent and discriminant validity.
The new Inventory has 56 items across seven subscales and each subscale has eight items. Those subscales measure a group’s motivation and values regarding forgiveness, peace, and friendliness toward the other group. Similar to the Enright Forgiveness Inventory (EFI)—developed in 1995 and now the worldwide measurement tool of choice for assessing one person’s forgiveness of another—the EGFI has five questions at the end of the scale that are intended to assess pseudo-group-forgiveness or false forgiveness.
While the bulk of past forgiveness research with groups has simply extended measures of forgiveness between individuals to groups, the EGFI scale is based on a definition of forgiveness between groups and is operationalized using group behaviors rather than individual cognition and emotion.
That distinct difference opens up a nearly endless list of possible research applications. The EGFI tool could be used, for example, to:
- Assess where and when to intervene with conflicting groups;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of conflict resolution efforts;
- Assess where groups have been unjust to one another and, therefore, where they could benefit from conflict reduction efforts;
- Assess group forgiveness interventions;
- Evaluate progress when groups go through interventions such as peace and reconciliation commissions;
- Assess change in forgiveness from pre to post intervention; and,
- Advance our understanding of effective group interventions.