Gratitude when it is needed most: social functions of gratitude in women with metastatic breast cancer.
ABSTRACT 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.
SourceAvailable from: Christian E Waugh[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The few studies examining the impact of positive emotions on discrete stressors suggest that positive emotions improve stress responding. We hypothesized that merely anticipating a positive event would be sufficient to harness these benefits. In Study 1, we found that the anticipation of funny (relative to unfunny) cartoons increased positive emotions immediately following the offset of a social stressor. In Study 2, we found that the post-stress mood elevation was greater when anticipating a positive event than when having experienced the same positive event prior to the stressor, but that both positive emotion groups reported more adaptive thoughts during the stressor itself compared to participants receiving a neutral emotion induction. In Study 3, we found that this boost in post-stress positive emotion predicts decreases in concurrent negative emotion. In sum, these findings suggest that anticipating a positive event is uniquely able to induce positive emotions both during and after stress, and that this boost subserves improved coping and recovery.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jesp.2014.12.003 · 2.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Elevation has garnered empirical support as the emotional response to witnessing moral beauty. The current studies investigated elevation's construct validity by experimentally testing whether feelings of elevation are distinct from gratitude, another moral and 'other-praising' emotion. Study 1 demonstrated that feelings of elevation are distinct from gratitude, serenity (i. e. a secondary comparison condition), and boredom (i.e. a control condition). Study 2 added a behavioral outcome measure in the form of monetary donations to a moral charity. The third study expanded on Study 2 by randomly assigning participants to an elevation or gratitude mood induction and then randomly assigning them to have the opportunity to donate to either a moral or an amoral charity. Together, these studies support Haidt's conceptualization of elevation, clarify Algoe and Haidt's qualitative assessment of the emotional differences between elevation and gratitude, and reveal that elevation results in different behavioral responses than gratitude.The Journal of Positive Psychology 04/2014; 9(5):414-427. DOI:10.1080/17439760.2014.910825 · 1.67 Impact Factor
Emotion Review 09/2013; 5(4):356-368. DOI:10.1177/1754073913489750 · 2.90 Impact Factor