Understanding Others’ Mental State Makes it Easy to Forgive: Number of Friends Moderate the Process
Keywords:Behavioral measures, Forgiveness, Mental States, Theory of mind, Young adults
Objective: To investigate the association between theory of mind, ability and forgiveness, along with the moderating role of
various demographic influences.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of study: Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad Pakistan, from May to Aug 2020.
Methodology: Four hundred eighty-seven young adults with an age range of 20-30 years were included. Reading Mind in the
Eyes test and behavioural measures of forgiveness were explored. Correlation and moderation analysis were performed.
Results: Results presented that forgiveness and theory of mind were positively correlated (r=0.71, p<0.05) and also supported
the established demographic influences, i.e., women (11.59±5.39) score more than men on the indicator of Theory of Mind
(9.92±5.56). In addition, those who have interest in literature (11.30±5.56) tended reading others’ mental state to a greater
extent than others (9.49±5.41). Several friends emerged as a moderator for the relationship between the theory of mind and
forgiveness. In contrast, fewer friends depicted the best tendency to infer others’ mindsets or empathize, thus facilitating
Conclusion: Our findings depict that the number of friends has a moderating role in the relationship between the theory of
mind and forgiveness. It shows that an increase in forgiveness is associated with an increase in the theory of mind for all