Gratitude When It Is Needed Most: Social Functions of Gratitude in Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Emotion
(Impact Factor: 3.88).
06/2011; 12(1):163-8. DOI: 10.1037/a0024024
Theory and evidence suggest that everyday positive emotions may be potent factors in resilience during periods of chronic stress, yet the body of evidence is scant. Even less research focuses on the adaptive functions of specific positive emotions in this critical context. In the current research, 54 women with metastatic breast cancer provided information about their emotional responses to benefits received to test hypotheses regarding the social functions of gratitude. One set of analyses provide support for the hypothesized role of ego-transcendence in feeling gratitude upon receipt of a benefit from another person. As predicted, in a second set of analyses, grateful responding to received benefits predicted an increase in perceived social support over three months only for women low in ambivalence over emotional expression. These findings add to evidence regarding the social causes and consequences of gratitude, supporting a view of gratitude as an other-focused positive emotion that functions to promote high-quality relationships. Discussion focuses on the chronically stressful context as an important testing ground for theory on gratitude and other positive emotions.
Available from: Karin Coifman
- ") and are generally adaptive across contexts (Algoe and Stanton, 2011; Papa and Bonanno, 2008; Tugade and Fredrickson, 2002). "
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ABSTRACT: Emotion context sensitivity is the ability to respond emotionally in a manner that is functionally appropriate for the context in which the emotion arises. This study examined the relationship between emotion context sensitivity and treatment adherence in adults with the chronic illness Thalassemia. Emotional responses were measured by examining the frequency of positive and negative emotional words used to answer two interview questions that created two different emotional contexts. Consistent with previous research on adaptive and contextually appropriate emotions, negative emotion words were related to adherence in the context of the disease itself, while positive emotion words were related to adherence in the context of coping.
Journal of Health Psychology 05/2014; DOI:10.1177/1359105314532152 · 1.88 Impact Factor
Available from: Arndt Büssing
- "Due to the adaptive role of positive emotions under chronic stress, Algoe and Stanton  suggested that gratitude could be regarded as a factor of resilience. In a study involving patients with metastatic breast cancer, feeling gratitude resulted in a readiness to accept help from supporting persons . "
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ABSTRACT: Feelings of gratitude and awe facilitate perceptions and cognitions that go beyond the focus of illness and include positive aspects of one's personal and interpersonal reality, even in the face of disease. We intended to measure feelings of gratitude, awe, and experiences of beauty in life among patients with multiple sclerosis and psychiatric disorders, particularly with respect to their engagement in specific spiritual/religious practices and their life satisfaction.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey with standardized questionnaires to measure engagement in various spiritual practices (SpREUK-P) and their relation to experiences of Gratitude, Awe and Beauty in Life and life satisfaction (BMLSS-10). In total, 461 individuals (41 +/- 13 years; 68% women) with multiple sclerosis (46%) and depressive (22%) or other psychiatric disorders (32%) participated.
Among participants, 23% never, 43% rarely, 24% often, and 10% frequently experienced Gratitude. In contrast, 41% never, 37% rarely, 17% often, and 6% frequently experienced Awe. Beauty in Life was never experienced by 8% of the sample, and 28% rarely, 46% often, and 18% frequently experienced it. Gratitude (F = 9.2; p = .003) and Beauty in Life (F = 6.0; p = .015) were experienced significantly more often by women than men. However, the experience of Awe did not differ between women and men (F = 2.2; n.s.). In contrast to our hypothesis, Gratitude/Awe cannot explain any relevant variance in patients' life satisfaction (R2 = .04). Regression analyses (R2 = .42) revealed that Gratitude/Awe can be predicted best by a person's engagement in religious practices, followed by other forms of spiritual practices and life satisfaction. Female gender was a weak predictor and underlying disease showed no effect.
Gratitude/Awe could be regarded as a life orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in life - despite the symptoms of disease. Positive spirituality/religiosity seems to be a source of gratitude and appreciation in life, whereas patients with neither spiritual nor religious sentiments (R-S-) seem to have a lower awareness for these feelings.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 04/2014; 12(1):63. DOI:10.1186/1477-7525-12-63 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Though interest in the emotion of gratitude has historically focused on its role in social exchange, new evidence suggests a different and more important role for gratitude in social life. The find-remind-and-bind theory of gratitude posits that the positive emotion of gratitude serves the evolutionary function of strengthening a relationship with a responsive interaction partner (Algoe, Haidt, & Gable, 2008). The current article identifies prior, economic models of gratitude, elaborates on unique features of the find-remind-and-bind theory, reviews the accumulating evidence for gratitude in social life in light of this novel perspective, and discusses how the find-remind-and-bind theory is relevant to methodology and hypothesis testing. In sum, within the context of reciprocally-altruistic relationships, gratitude signals communal relationship norms and may be an evolved mechanism to fuel upward spirals of mutually responsive behaviors between recipient and benefactor. In this way, gratitude is important for forming and maintaining the most important relationships of our lives, those with the people we interact with every day.
Social and Personality Psychology Compass 06/2012; 6(6). DOI:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2012.00439.x
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