How to Cite the HFS

The Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS) was first developed in 1998, and the current version was finalized in 1999. In 2003, the HFS was published in Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures in a chapter by Laura Y. Thompson and C. R. Snyder. In 2005, Thompson et al. published an article in the Journal of Personality. The 2005 article included the HFS and a series of six studies regarding the psychometric properties of the HFS. Either source can be cited for the HFS. The article contains the psychometric data.

Thompson, L. Y., & Synder, C. R. (2003). Measuring forgiveness. In Shane J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures (pp. 301-312). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

In this chapter, we explore the differences and similarities among seven self-report measures of the granting of forgiveness and the conceptualizations of forgiveness on which those measures are based. Although all of these measures assess a person’s propensity to grant forgiveness, there are substantial differences among the measures and among the conceptualizations of forgiveness that these measures were designed to assess. The authors’ Heartland Forgiveness scale is appended.

Thompson, L. Y., Snyder, C. R., Hoffman, L., Michael, S. T., Rasmussen, H. N., Billings, L. S., Heinze, L., Neufeld, J. E., Shorey, H. S., Roberts, J. C, & Roberts, D. E. (2005). Dispositional forgiveness of self, others, and situations. Journal of Personality, 73, 313-359.

Six studies regarding forgiveness are presented. The Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS), a self-report measure of dispositional forgiveness (with subscales to assess forgiveness of self, others, and situations) was developed and demonstrated good psychometric properties. Forgiveness correlated positively with cognitive flexibility, positive affect, and distraction; it correlated negatively with rumination, vengeance, and hostility. Forgiveness predicted four components of psychological well-being (anger, anxiety, depression, and satisfaction with life); forgiveness of situations accounted for unique variance in these components of psychological well-being. Forgiveness and hostility demonstrated equivalent, inverse associations with relationship duration, and forgiveness accounted for unique variance in relationship satisfaction, even when controlling for trust. Forgiveness level correlated positively with decreased negativity in statements written about transgressions in the present versus the past tense.


Download The HFS

If you want to use the HFS for research or clinical purposes, and you will not profit directly from use of the HFS, you may use the HFS. Click the button to download a PDF file that contains:

  • The HFS
  • The scoring instructions for the HFS
  • Guidelines for interpreting HFS scores