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Orathinkal Article Critique

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Critique of Title

When reviewing a title, it is important to understand the audience one is trying to reach. The title ‘Forgiveness: a Perception and Motivation Study Among Adults Who Are Married’ clearly addresses the targeted group. It would have helped if it were more specific by giving age bracket, race, or religious background in the study, mainly because we all come from different backgrounds. The author’s decision of not using a title that requires a simple yes or no answer and not describing the results in his title are both appropriate, since they support his statement that it was a research, and that means there had to be a procedure to follow that will not warrant a yes or no answer. In addition, utilizing a sufficiently specific title also helps bring out the topic, and the specific area of the research is based on. On the other hand, the title is concise and does not give out any information that could be considered excessive. The title also clearly identifies those who participated in the study, namely the adults that are married.

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Critique of Abstract

Throughout the abstract, the purpose of study was clearly implied, mainly in the first sentence, by stating that this cross-sectional study analyzed the motivation and perception of forgiveness among 785 adults who are heterosexually married and who come from the Flanders region in Belgium. The abstract still mentions methodology highlights that are evident in the second phase of the study, in which the t-test clearly showed evidence of a significant difference between the remarried adults and first married perceptions of forgiveness. However, there seems to be a confusion regarding what the study means when it examines the motivations of forgiveness. It is agreeable that the authors do a good job of explaining the importance of perception in forgiveness, but the article itself is more ambiguous in addressing the importance of motivation as a subject. As a result, when it highlights the results related to perception in the abstract column, it is not clear whether they hold any significance in the larger aspect regarding to forgiveness (Orathinkal, Vansteenwegen, & Burggraeve, 2008).

Critique of Literature Review

The researcher begins to identify the problem area in the beginning of the text, and states it as forgiveness, specifically with married couples. The researchers use this as part of introductions, mainly to get A: a clear understanding as to why they chose to write about this topic and B: the reader’s attention. The use of key terms gave a clearer understanding of the participants in the research, that is, those who separated or divorced and live with a partner or are remarried are classified as remarried, while those still in their first-marriage are classified as first-married couples. Throughout the whole literature, there was no use of more than one source by the researcher in overall; the whole literature from the introductions review is thorough and adequately provides cited insets and relevant sources. The study refers to a number of useful terms but avoids overusing direct quotations from the research. In addition, operational definitions of perceptions of forgiveness and actual forgiveness are offered, but a clear conceptual definition of forgiveness is missing. The researchers note a gap in literature where research on forgiveness has only university students involved, and not married couples (Orathinkal, Vansteenwegen, & Burggraeve, 2008).

Critique of Research Questions

The research questions are mainly centered on trying to understand the nature of forgiveness, that is, to find out how well the concepts of forgiveness are understood by the respondents, the motivations behind forgiveness, and to discover the ability of the respondents to distinguish between reconciliation and forgiveness. This shows what the researcher was thinking about in his analysis. The research questions also stated the thesis clearly, which was to study the empirical link between actual forgiveness and the perception of forgiveness. In framing the research question, the researchers attempted to identify the specific area of interest in the study of forgiveness. They identify the goal of understanding how couples who are first married and remarried perceive forgiveness and the extent to which it influences their behavior towards their spouse. In general, the research design needs to be improved, since it depends mainly on researcher-developed instruments that have not been empirically tested. Help from untrained college students may be unacceptable in the research design.

Population & Sampling

The research employed a snowball sampling technique; snowball sampling consists of identifying respondents who then refer researchers to other respondents and still includes sorting out the help of regular college students for its statistics while reviewing population and sampling. In the study, the researcher clearly states its limitations, which proves that this is not a random study. The study did not have relevant demographics, although the research is stated to have been done in Belgium, mainly the Flanders region. This target group sample clearly raises many arguments, but the study can be generalized as accurate due to the sample size used for the study. In an overview, the sampling and population that were selected for the study were appropriate for a preliminary study on the topic. A population segment ignored by the previous researchers was chosen, which helped to expand the scope of the topic. The sample size was appropriate, considering the logistics involved in reaching out to the respondents.

Critique of Procedures

The groups were broken down into two main groups in the study. One group was called remarried while the other one first married. The college students separated the participants according to their marriage conditions and randomly selected them. The efficiency of the treatment description is evident in the first part of the study, which employed a descriptive analysis in examining the motivation of forgiveness and the conceptual clarity of the research. In the second part of the data collection, the use of a t-test was implemented to get the groups compared. In addition, the relationship duration between the perception of actual Forgiveness and forgiveness was determined by the use of Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation. In general, the experiment was properly conduced, as evident by the treatments being politically acceptable, and the favorable outcomes.

Critique of Instrumentation

The actual questions and items provided to the participants were distributed to them in envelopes. The Human Development Study Group and Enright at the University of Wisconsin-Madison called the instrument used the Enright Forgiveness Inventory. They stated it is a 60-item self-report measure of interpersonal forgiveness with items equally divided among six subscales: mainly the Positive and Negative Behavior, Positive and Negative Cognition, and Positive and Negative Affect. An rt-type scale measures each item giving it a score of 1 to 6, which is ranging from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree, with scores ranging from 60 to 360. The Perception Checklist and Forgiveness Motivation (FMPC) measured respondents’ Motivation and Perception on forgiving. It utilizes a 1 to 5 like range scale in each analysis that records from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree, with its range of scores from 25 to 125. A high score represents clearer perception regarding forgiveness and clearer perception regarding forgiveness. It is important to note that the FMPC is a researcher-generated 25-item questionnaire that is inclusive of the above-described features. The methods used to collect the data are clear, as part of their study requirement students were required to take one envelope containing two questionnaires each and get it duly filled in by a remarried or first-married couple of their choice (Orathinkal, Vansteenwegen, & Burggraeve, 2008).

Critique of Result

Underlying number of cases was not shown in percentages the reports provided. However, utilizing example on the provided table makes it easier to understand how the percentages were reached, and in this manner they are not deceptive. As evidently shown, the findings are cohesive in both paragraphs that are before and after the table. The percentages contained in the paragraphs provide statistics that explain the findings in detail. The highlights in the table are well discussed in the narrative mainly by stating, as shown in Table 4, both Negative Perception Scale (p < 0.001, r = −0.12 and Positive (PPF) (p < 0.001, r =0.08) strongly correlated with the total forgiveness (EFI-TOT). However, the coefficient of determination (r2) is 1% for the Negative Perception, indicating a very small level of relation and less than 1 percent (0.06%) for the Positive Perception.

Critique of Discussion

During the discussion, the researcher chose to briefly summarize the results and the purpose of the study by stating that the first part of the study was focused on gathering information on the participants’ perception of forgiveness. There was a confirmation of some of the popular beliefs or notions on forgiveness. Only 40 percent of the participants were able to distinguish between reconciliation and forgiveness, and about 60 percent still maintained that reconciliation and forgiveness were identical. In addition, more than 90 percent of the respondents agreed that forgiveness is part of marital life. The research also brought out methodological limitations: mainly since the perception and motivation scale are researcher-developed and therefore needed readjusting on its psychometric properties before it could be of use in the future. The study’s implemented methods of collecting data can also affect the interpretation of the findings, because the married couples with whom the university students have connections might be systematically different from other married couples in general (Orathinkal, Vansteenwegen, & Burggraeve, 2008).

Critique of Entire Article

The topic picked by the researcher is definitely of clear importance. This is mainly since the divorce rate is increasing at an alarming rate and as Christians we are tasked with the responsibility of setting high standard that will not let marriages end in divorce. The study showed clearly that most people forgive because it is a part of marital life; however, the research could not determine how many of them actually forgive. This research could be helpful in decision making due to the importance it places on forgiveness as a first step to move on. Some methodological flaws could be education, family, age, demographic factors, and the number of children. A consensus of the article is that it presents a first step in the study of forgiveness, but the nature of forgiveness needs further clarification, if it were to be used as a useful technique in psychotherapy.

The article’s follow up study could include the severity of demographics of different ethnic groups and the effects it has on their cultures. In comparison to other countries, America does not easily forgive transgressions. In other countries, the results of forgiveness may be varying, since it might be viewed as a weakness. Therefore, with this understanding, this study could have different results if done in a different country.

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