Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Dan Richard

Second Advisor

Dr. Dong-Yuan Wang

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick


Revenge, the act of retaliating against a person or group in response to a perceived wrongdoing, appears to be a human universal. Those who research culture, revenge, and forgiveness have indicated cultural differences, but no clear patterns have emerged that could be useful in mediating conflicts. Thus, a meta-analysis was conducted of studies in which people from two different countries were compared on a measure of revenge or forgiveness. The countries represented were also coded based on Geert Hofstede's national culture dimensions, to test whether any specific cultural characteristics moderated desire for revenge. The final sample was made up of 16 studies, including data from 9416 participants across 16 countries. The largest cultural differences in revenge and forgiveness were observed between countries also showing the largest differences in Uncertainty Avoidance and Power Distance. Participants from countries higher in Uncertainty Avoidance and Power Distance were more likely to seek revenge and less likely to forgive, though the pattern was not statistically significant. These results indicate that, when working toward reconciliation, divergent strategies might be required for different countries and cultures based on the level of Uncertainty Avoidance and Power Distance that exist within those cultures.