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Abstract

Gratitude is conceptualized as a moral affect that is analogous to other moral emotions such as empathy and guilt. Gratitude has 3 functions that can be conceptualized as morally relevant: (a) a moral barometer function (i.e., it is a response to the perception that one has been the beneficiary of another person's moral actions); (b) a moral motive function (i.e., it motivates the grateful person to behave prosocially toward the benefactor and other people); and (c) a moral reinforcer function (i.e., when expressed, it encourages benefactors to behave morally in the future). The personality and social factors that are associated with gratitude are also consistent with a conceptualization of gratitude as an affect that is relevant to people's cognitions and behaviors in the moral domain.
... Unlike simple positive emotion like joy or happiness, gratitude has a unique conceptualization as a moral affect, and it plays three major roles in social interactions (McCullough, Kilpatrick, Emmons, & Larson, 2001). First, it serves as a moral barometer, a positive emotional response to indicate we have recognized the benefits from others' good behavior. ...
... The feeling of gratitude also fosters the habit to express thankfulness, such as saying thank you or acting for the benefits for the benefactor or other people, which in many cultures and religions is considered to be a moral virtue which promotes prosocial behaviors. Therefore, as mentioned previously, some researchers also define gratitude as a moral affect (McCullough et al., 2001). ...
... These findings in expectation and prediction error add a new dimension to traditional psychological theories on gratitude. According toMcCullough (2001), people would feel grateful if they receive help that is valuable, of high efforts/cost, intentional, and gratuitous. Wood and his colleagues (2008) developed this idea and proposed a social-cognitive theory of gratitude. ...
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Backgrounds: Gratitude and pride are both benefit-related emotions, whereby the pride attributes success to oneself and gratitude to another. Gratitude and pride are vital to the function of a society, allowing one to create interpersonal relationships and build self-confidence. Despite growing interest in the neural underpinnings of positive emotions and subjective feelings, we know very little about how these emotions are represented in the brain and computationally updated over time by new experience. Aims of the study: We aimed to fill the gap by finding the specific neural representations of the dynamic emotional experience of gratitude and pride, and the functional neural substrates for updating positive emotions in general. Furthermore, we also aimed to find the best computational models to give the best explanations how these two emotions are updated as the environmental factors change. Methods: We developed a novel behavioral task based on the gameshow “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, which we used together with functional MRI, and computational modeling. We investigated which brain regions are involved in representing gratitude and pride, how the human brain keeps track of these emotions over time and how it updates them when new information is available. 13 Results: We found that gratitude was more associated with neural activities in the bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ), which has previously been implicated in Theory of Mind. In contrast, pride was more associated with neural activities in the caudate nucleus, which is part of the reward system, and hippocampus. Importantly, when we look for neural activity parametrically modulated with the reported magnitude of gratitude feelings we found correlations mainly in the motor cortex (precentral gyrus), reward system (ventral striatum, putamen) and Theory of Mind network (temporal pole). In contrast, neural activity pertaining to the strength of the feeling of pride was found in the bilateral putamen. Moreover, activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was related to an emotional prediction error signal, suggesting that this region might be involved in the process of updating our level of gratitude and pride feelings. Computational modeling revealed different models for gratitude and pride. Gratitude model uniquely involved the prediction of others’ behavior, while pride model involved mainly the reward. Implications: Our findings delineate the computational mechanisms and neural circuitry for positive emotions that accompany the attribution of getting reward whether it is due to one's own effort or help of others. Besides, our studies contribute to theories of emotions in several different aspects, especially to the newest theory of constructed emotion. Our findings have clinical implications for developing new psychotherapies for patients with emotional disorders.
... Additionally, emotions promote the adoption of preventive behaviors (Loewenstein et al., 2001), given that fear and worry about health risks motivate protective actions (Baron et al., 2000;Harper et al., 2021). Further, moral affect in the form of sympathy and gratitude helps foster pro-social behaviors such as acting selflessly for others (Haidt, 2003;McCullough et al., 2001;Schnall and Roper, 2012). ...
... As seen in the NYT, fears exhibited resulted in suspension of classes and closure of businesses, reducing the likelihood of virus transmission. Positive emotions in the form of respect and gratitude promote pro-social behavior (Haidt, 2003;McCullough et al., 2001;Schnall and Roper, 2012), which resonate with our findings on how cheer for the public and respect for frontline workers in PD may have motivated them to work harder to stem the spread of COVID-19. ...
Article
This study compares the coverage of coping strategies and emotions portrayed in news regarding COVID-19 by The New York Times in the U.S. and People’s Daily of China via social media. By employing corpus assisted discourse analysis to scrutinize the text corpora, our study uncovered prominent keywords and themes. Findings indicate that a comprehensive range of themes relating to coping strategies was more common in People’s Daily while a relatively smaller number of themes was apparent in The New York Times. In terms of emotions exhibited in the news coverage, positive emotions such as cheer, gratitude, and good wishes predominated in People’s Daily whereas in The New York Times, negative emotions in the form of fears and anxiety were salient. The differences are explained with reference to the political context intertwined with the news environment and prior experiences in handling epidemics, with practical implications.
... Several theories have suggested that gratitude bring positive emotional Valence (McCullough et al., 2002). Gratitude is related to moral values in the same way as to anger, shame, and disgust is morally applicable (McCullough et al., 2001). Many studies have culminated that when employees identify that the organisation is doing something for their well-being, a response is likely (McCullough et al., 2001). ...
... Gratitude is related to moral values in the same way as to anger, shame, and disgust is morally applicable (McCullough et al., 2001). Many studies have culminated that when employees identify that the organisation is doing something for their well-being, a response is likely (McCullough et al., 2001). ...
... More specifically, when leaders show ethical characteristics such as honesty, caring others and integrity (Resick et al., 2011), followers will gratify their leaders' solicitude and admire their leaders' honesty and integrity, thereby presenting other-praising emotions (e.g., empathy and gratitude) (Greenbaum et al., 2019). Employees with strong empathy are inclined to help others through electronic communication instruments or other ways (Barsade & O'Neill, 2014;Dasborough et al., 2020), and employees with gratitude have a tendency to repay others kindness by helping those in need (Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006;McCullough et al., 2001) considered that gratitude served as a moral re-enforcer function, and it could drive the recipients to conduct moral behaviors in return for the present grace. In a similar vein, prior research suggested that gratitude was able to induce employees' helping behaviors (Wood et al., 2011), and the relationship between them was closely associated with employees' central position in the social network (Chang et al., 2012). ...
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Recently, home office and remote working have gained momentum triggering questions of the impact of ethical leadership on helping behavior and its ethical implication for employees and companies. In this study, we propose a moderated mediation model to clarify the mechanism of ethical leadership on online helping behavior, and tested this model using three-wave data from a sample of 481 employees in mainland China. We found that ethical leadership had a positive effect on subordinates’ other-praising moral emotion, and that these moral emotions significantly influenced online helping behavior. Subordinates’ other-praising moral emotion mediated the relationship between ethical leadership and online helping behavior. Moreover, the relationship between ethical leadership and other-praising moral emotion was more significant for employees with high moral identity. Finally, our findings provide new insights into how to motivate employees’ online helping behaviors through managerial practices for organizations.
... Watkins et al. (2009) define gratitude as an emotion that comes about when a person realizes something good has happened to them (or something bad averted) and they believe that someone has brought it about. McCullough et al. (2001) argued that gratitude is a moral emotion and motivator, citing Adam Smith's famous Theory of Moral Sentiments. Gratitude has benefits for the individual -"Grateful individuals tend to be agreeable, emotionally stable, selfconfident but less narcissistic, and non-materialistic" when compared with their peers (Watkins, et al. 2009, p.439). ...
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... Therefore, in this study the main focus was on the emotional state of gratitude. McCullough et al. (2001) and others argue that gratitude arises from the perception that one person benefits from another's costly, intentional, and voluntary actions and is a moral and pro-social emotion. Many studies have indicated that inducing gratitude promotes positive interpersonal relationships (Algoe et al., 2008;Duprey et al., 2020) and that it can enhance an individual's sense of well-being, facilitate interpersonal interactions, and build and strengthen social relationships (Emmons et al., 2003;Yu and Xia, 2013) and supports that people who prioritize social relationships will benefit more from gratitude than those who do not (Boehm et al., 2011). ...
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Gratitude, as one of the positive emotions associated with self-transcendence, is also a moral and pro-social emotion with a pro-social nature. Therefore, in order to verify whether gratitude has the same effect as pro-social in promoting connection with nature, this study (N = 890) divided subjects into three groups (gratitude, recreation, and control) and used a questionnaire to explore the effects of gratitude on positive emotions of self-transcendence, connection with nature, and pro-environmental tendencies (willingness to participate in environmental protection, willingness to sacrifice for the environment). The results found that (1) positive emotions of self-transcendence partially mediated the effect of the gratitude condition on connection to nature, and (2) positive emotions of self-transcendence and connection to nature were fully and continuously mediated, suggesting that the gratitude condition had an indirect effect on both (a) willingness to participate in environmental protection and (b) willingness to sacrifice for the environment. These findings imply that we may need to pay more attention to the connection between gratitude and nature to promote a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.
... Gratitude is known to be the act of attributing a positive outcome to others (Rudolph and Tscharaktschiew 2014). In other words, gratitude is an individual expression of acknowledging the benefits individuals receive from the actions of others downplaying their own contributions McCullough et al. 2001;Tsang 2006). The positive emotions expressed in the form of gratitude develop ethical leaders who discern prosocial, fair, and respectful behaviors (Ritzenhöfer et al., 2017). ...
Article
This study invokes social comparisons theory and researches mainly on leaders' downward envy at workplaces in a collectivist culture. The study aims to infer and explain the constructive and destructive behaviour of benign and malicious envy in the workplace by studying supervisor-subordinate dyads. A survey was conducted to test the proposed hypotheses. The sample included 352 randomly chosen supervisor-subordinate dyads from registered software houses in Pakistan. Partial least square (PLS) SEM was used to test the proposed model and hypotheses. This research identified that the leaders' gratitude and workplace friendship encourage leaders to adopt a leveling-up strategy to encounter benign envy. In contrast, subordinates' low level of loyalty and affect towards supervisors cause malicious envy. The study also found that benign envy motivates frustrated supervisors to behave positively, whereas malicious envy triggers the envious supervisor to threaten their aides with abusive supervision. However, envious supervisors with high core self-evaluation (CSE) and gratitude are more likely to reflect self-improvement. This study gives key insights to organisations on recognising the potential of downward envy, using it purposefully, and managing the consequences constructively.
... Instead, Paul envisions reciprocal relationships in which the gifts of the Macedonia Church will assist alleviate the material needs of the Jerusalem Church and this could be reversed in the future. This arrangement is likely to result in some form of equality (See 2 Corinthians 8: 14). It is obvious that Paul may have accepted as well as admitted the difficulties that existed within the Church, yet in order to achieve a true Christian fellowship, this practice had to be put in place. ...
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In recent times, concerns have been raised by section of the Church regarding the excessive demands for money by the Church. The argument is that the excessive demands are to the detriment to the personal needs of the congregants. What is more, the presence of Covid-19 has partially led to worsen economic situations, which has in a way affected the giving pattern of the Church. This situation drew the attention of this researcher to the generosity of the Macedonian Christians as found in 2 Cor. 8 & 9. Using secondary sources and the theory of gratitude this paper established that the Macedonian Christians exhibited prosocial behaviour and were energised to sustain their moral behaviour through giving in the midst of severe afflictions. They gave not only to show appreciation for the extension of the Gospel to them, but to aid in the mission work of the Church. In this regard, severe economic and social situations should not deter believers from giving to the Church.
... Gratitude is not the same as indebtedness and obligation. The obligation arises from a negative and uncomfortable feeling, whereas gratitude is usually related to well-being and contentment (McCullough et al., 2001). Both gratitude and indebtedness are self-oriented, but indebtedness comes from a need to discharge debts and reduce stress brought about by indebtedness. ...
Conference Paper
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