Information about our
Reconciliation and Forgiving Measure

 
To create the questionnaire, we generated a list of 45 or so items.  Click here to see the original item list.  After administering the questionnaire to participants in some of our groups, we used statistical techniques (primarily an exploratory factor analysis), to create a shorter, more methodologically sound questionnaire.    Click here for a brief technical summary of the factor analysis.
This shorter, more methodologically sound measure contained 21 of our original items. 

Click here to view the final 21-item Reconciliation and Forgiving Measure.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Back to research page Go to  top Original Items list Final 21-item measure Technical Information

Original 45-items on Reconciliation/Forgiveness Measure (v. 1.1)
copyright 1999 TREATI, South Windsor, CT.  All rights reserved

To use items on this scale or to obtain scoring information, please contact the authors.

1. I have a relationship with God.
2. God will punish those who did terrible things to the other group.
3. I try to see God in everyone.
4. Each group has harmed the other.
5. I blame my group for what happened.
6. Members of other group are human beings, like everyone else.
7. Not all Hutu participated in the genocide.
8. There were complex reasons for the violence in Rwanda.
9. I feel bad about my group’s acts against the other group.
10. It is impossible to understand how a group can commit genocide.
11. I blame the other group for what has happened.
12. I can’t accept that some people who might have helped did nothing during the genocide.
13. I feel like a victim.
14. I forgive bystanders who did not try to help during the genocide.
15. I forgive the other group.
16. I have been able to mourn family members who have died.
17. I need to be forgiven for my group’s actions against the other group.
18. I need to be forgiven for my actions against other group.
19. I often think about revenge.
20. I need to be forgiven for not acting in a helpful way.
21. I think each group should make amends to the other.
22. I could begin to forgive members of the other group if they requested forgiveness of my group.
23. I think my group should ask for forgiveness/make reparations to the other group.
24. I would feel no sympathy if I saw a member of the other group suffer.
25. I would like my children to be friends with members of the other group.
26. I would not help a member of other group who was suffering.
27. I would work with members of the other group on projects that benefit us all.
28. It was too dangerous for most Hutu to help Tutsi during the genocide.
29. My group needs to be forgiven for its actions against the other group.
30. By working together, the two groups can help our children heal and have a better life.
31. The actions of some of the people in my group damaged our whole group.
32. Some Hutu endangered themselves by helping Tutsi.
33. A person from the other group helped me during the genocide.
34. The acts of perpetrators do not make all Hutu bad people.
35. The violence has created great loss for everyone.
36. There can be a better future with the two groups living together in harmony.
37. I can forgive members of the other group who acknowledge the harm their group did.
38. I can begin to forgive those of the other group who make amends for what their group did.
39. I feel closer to God.
40. God would like me to forgive the other group.
41. God has forgotten me.
42. I need God’s help to forgive the other group.
43. I can forgive members of the other group who acknowledge that their group has done bad things.
44. I can forgive members of the other group, knowing justice will be done by God.
45. To forgive the perpetrators, I need society to punish those who harmed my group.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Back to research page Go to  top Original Items list Final 21-item measure Technical Information

Final 21-item Reconciliation and Forgiving Measure

1 I have a relationship with God.
2 Each group has harmed the other.
3 Members of other group are human beings, like everyone else.
4 Not all Hutu participated in the genocide.
5 There were complex reasons for the violence in Rwanda.
6 It is impossible to understand how a group can commit genocide.
7 I blame the other group for what has happened.
8 I can’t accept that some people who might have helped did nothing during the genocide.
9 I feel like a victim.
10 I could begin to forgive members of the other group if they requested forgiveness of my group.
11 It was too dangerous for most Hutu to help Tutsi during the genocide.
12 Some Hutu endangered themselves by helping Tutsi.
13 The acts of perpetrators do not make all Hutu bad people.
14 The violence has created great loss for everyone.
15 There can be a better future with the two groups living together in harmony.
16 I can forgive members of the other group who acknowledge the harm their group did.
17 I can begin to forgive those of the other group who make amends for what their group did.
18 I feel closer to God.
19 God would like me to forgive the other group.
20 I need God’s help to forgive the other group.
21 I can forgive members of the other group who acknowledge that their group has done bad things.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Back to research page Go to  top Original Items list Final 21-item measure Technical Information

Brief technical summary of scale construction

Guided by the results of a series of exploratory factor analyses and changes in our treatment and control groups, we created a 21-item, theoretically meaningful subscale.  NB, these factor analyses were particularly ‘exploratory’ in that we did not have the suggested number of participants to conduct such an analysis with confidence.

More specifically, we conducted a principal components analysis with varimax rotation on all items.  We ran this analysis on data from wave 2, using data from Tutsi only. (See below for a discussion of why we chose to use only Tutsi for this analysis.)

Twenty two items scored above .40 on the first factor yielded by the analysis; this factor accounted for 18% of the total variance.  The factor was theoretically coherent in that all of the items addressed how respondents saw the other group and their actions during the genocide, how they saw the roots of  violence (complex and involving both parties), addressed “conditional forgiveness,” or the willingness to forgive under certain conditions, and their turning to God for help.  All but one of the items were retained in the resulting scale; one item: “I always think about revenge” was dropped to increase reliability.  The final scale was adequately reliable (alpha=.76 at Time 1, .87 at Time 2 and .75 at Time 3.)

We chose to use data from Tutsis only in our factor analyses for several reasons.  First, many of the items had different meanings depending on the ethnicity of the person answering them.  For the purposes of creating a meaningful scale, we wanted to be sure all the people answering the questions interpreted them in as close to the same way as possible.  Second, there were many more Tutsi than Hutu or Twa; so to boost the statistical power of the analyses we chose to use the Tutsis only for the factor analyses.