School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Keena Cowsert


personality traits, infidelity, openness, forgiveness, neuroticism, marriage


Counseling | Psychology


This correlative phenomenological study aims to discover the relationship between personality traits and forgiveness, specifically when infidelity has taken place. The purpose is to identify personality traits that are positively associated with forgiveness after infidelity. The research analyzed responses from both married and divorced couples that participate in a Facebook event. The theory guiding this study is the Big Five personality traits model with the analysis of those traits related to forgiveness, specifically for infidelity. The study took a close look at each personality trait within the Big Five Personality Model as it relates to forgiveness for the couple for infidelity. The research design uses forgiveness as the moderator and utilizes Everett Worthington’s work as a basis for assessing forgiveness. Furthermore, there was an analysis of forgiveness for partner infidelity as the moderator in the relationship between neuroticism and relationship satisfaction. Higher relationship satisfaction is found in individuals who are forgiveness-minded (Sauerheber & Ponton, 2017). There was also an analysis of forgiveness as the moderator between the personality trait openness and marital satisfaction. The research design used the Emotional Forgiveness Scale (EFS), Decisional Forgiveness Scale (DFS), and the Big Five Personality Test (BFI) for the statistical data. The platform used for final analyzation was the professional service Survey Monkey, which will be gathered and synthesize the information.