Article

The Social Functions of the Emotion of Gratitude via Expression

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Abstract

Recent theory posits that the emotion of gratitude uniquely functions to build a high-quality relationship between a grateful person and the target of his or her gratitude, that is, the person who performed a kind action (Algoe et al., 2008). Therefore, gratitude is a prime candidate for testing the dyadic question of whether one person's grateful emotion has consequences for the other half of the relational unit, the person who is the target of that gratitude. The current study tests the critical hypothesis that being the target of gratitude forecasts one's relational growth with the person who expresses gratitude. The study employed a novel behavioral task in which members of romantic relationships expressed gratitude to one another in a laboratory paradigm. As predicted, the target's greater perceptions of the expresser's responsiveness after the interaction significantly predicted improvements in relationship quality over 6 months. These effects were independent from perceptions of responsiveness following two other types of relationally important and emotionally evocative social interactions in the lab, suggesting the unique weight that gratitude carries in cultivating social bonds. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

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... Research has documented how gratitude can enhance the well-being of individuals who experience or express it (Fredrickson, 2004;Wood et al., 2010), as well as strengthen social bonds between individuals and their benefactors (e.g., Bartlett et al., 2012;Ma et al., 2017). While insightful, this stream of research has limitationsfirst, previous studies have largely focused on the benefits of experiencing or expressing gratitude (e.g., Algoe et al., 2013;Davis et al., 2016;Emmons & Mishra, 2011), with less research examining how receiving gratitude may too generate resources for recipients (for exceptions, see Grant & Gino, 2010;Lee et al., 2019). Second, research on the outcomes of gratitude at work is typically constrained to its effects for employees' workplace outcomes (e.g., Clark et al., 1988;Converso et al., 2015), and we do not know whether the effects of receiving others' gratitude may persist beyond the workplace and influence employees' family lives. ...
... Compared to other types of positive interactions with service beneficiaries (e.g., receiving social support or positive emotional displays), receiving gratitude could perhaps have greater impact for service providers because it confers a sense of social worth and conveys the importance of their services to beneficiaries' lives (Grant & Gino, 2010). Drawing from this research, we posit that gratitude from service beneficiaries is particularly meaningful for service providers (Algoe, 2012;Algoe et al., 2013;Fredrickson, 2004), and therefore generates relational energy for them. ...
... Our paper contributes to research on gratitude and the work-family literature in several important ways. First, our studies go beyond prior gratitude research that has predominantly focused on the benefits of feeling or expressing gratitude (e.g., Algoe et al., 2013;Williams & Bartlett, 2015) and heeds calls for research on the benefits of receiving gratitude in the organizational setting (Grant & Gino, 2010;Lee et al., 2019). Across two withinperson (i.e., ESM) studies, we found that receiving gratitude from service beneficiaries generated relational energy for service providers. ...
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Conventional research on gratitude has focused on the benefits of expressing or experiencing gratitude for the individual. However, recent theory and research have highlighted that there may too be benefits associated with receiving others’ gratitude. Grounded in the Work-Home Resources model (W-HR), we develop a conceptual model to understand whether, how, and for whom service providers (i.e., healthcare professionals) benefit from receiving service beneficiaries’ (i.e., patients) gratitude in their daily work. We hypothesize that perceived gratitude from service beneficiaries enhances service providers’ relational energy at work, which spills over to benefit their family lives later in the day. In addition, we hypothesize that the effect of gratitude on relational energy and its subsequent spillover effect to the family, are contingent on employees’ occupational identity. Two experience sampling studies with data collected from healthcare professionals and their spouses for two consecutive weeks (each) provided support for our hypothesized model. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of our work.
... Two prominent examples of positive interpersonal processes in intimate relationships include gratitude and capitalization interactions. For present purposes, gratitude interactions refer to those moments when people express appreciation for the praiseworthy actions of their partners (Algoe et al., 2013(Algoe et al., , 2016, and capitalization interactions refer to those moments when people share good news with their partners . Two crucial outcomes of gratitude and capitalization interactions include positive emotions and perceived partner responsiveness: when partners engage in expressed appreciation, or share good news, it lays the groundwork for better relationships via enhanced positive emotions and greater perceptions of partner responsiveness (Algoe, 2012;Algoe et al., 2016;Gable et al., 2006;Peters et al., 2018;Reis et al., 2010). ...
... As the target of Jim's gratitude expression, Pam also tends to experience unique benefits depending on the nature of Jim's behavior during the gratitude interaction (e.g., Algoe et al., 2016). Most importantly for our purposes, however, despite the fact that prior research suggests that each individual in gratitude and capitalization interactions has a distinct role, prior research suggests that both individuals involved in these interactions tend to experience enhanced affective and relational outcomes regardless of which role they enact (Algoe et al., 2010(Algoe et al., , 2013Lambert et al., 2010;Lambert & Fincham, 2011). That is, when Jim is the expresser and Pam is the target in a gratitude interaction, they both tend to experience beneficial outcomes in response to these positively valenced interactions. ...
... That is, because prior research suggests that people high in approach motivation tend to experience a number of benefits in their relationships (Gable & Impett, 2012;Impett et al., 2010), it is possible that their partners may treat them fundamentally differently during positive interpersonal interactions, which could explain why people high in approach motivation respond especially strongly to these interactions. In the case of gratitude, supposing Pam is the target of Jim's gratitude expression, prior research suggests that, although these interactions tend to be generally beneficial (Algoe et al., 2013), one contributor to Pam's experience of positive outcomes of the interaction is the extent to which Jim's expression of appreciation conveys other-focused praise (Algoe et al., 2016). When expressers convey greater otherfocused praise, targets more readily experience positive emotions and perceived partner responsiveness. ...
Article
In intimate relationships, greater social approach motivation is associated with a host of personal and relational benefits. Why is this the case? Although previous research suggests approach motivation primarily influences relational outcomes via increased exposure to positive relational events, in this research, based on approach-avoidance motivational theory, we revive the upward reactivity hypothesis, which suggests approach motivation upwardly enhances people's affective and relational experiences in response to positive social events. Specifically, we hypothesized that people with greater social approach motivation would react more positively to positively valenced interactions with their partner, and that this would occur even when accounting for their global levels of key outcomes. We tested these ideas across three studies. In all three studies, couples first reported their approach motivation toward the relationship, then engaged in a gratitude interaction. In Study 3, participants additionally engaged in a capitalization interaction, and provided nightly reports of positive relational events across the course of 14 days. We found robust support for the upward reactivity hypothesis: In lab-based interactions and in daily life, individuals with greater approach motivation reported enhanced outcomes in response to positive social events. We also found support for upward observability: When individuals were high in approach motivation, their partners observed them as experiencing greater positive emotion during the laboratory interactions. Moreover, we found evidence for upward crossover, as the upward reactivity experienced by people with greater approach motivation indirectly predicted enhanced partner outcomes. These results provide suggestive evidence that approach motivation can make already good relational moments extra sweet. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... For example, Green and colleagues (2012) found that experiences of positive affect had proximal and positive effects on indicators of social network size and satisfaction with social relationships. Further, positive emotional experiences like gratitude predict greater relationship quality in longitudinal studies (e.g., Algoe et al., 2013). Hence, we were interested in the ways earlier measures of adjustment may inform later reports of social support. ...
... Lastly, we addressed a question on possible bidirectionality effects between social support and psychological adjustment between two time points. This question was shaped by existing theories and research pointing to a) how facets of social connectedness fulfill fundamental needs and should promote satisfaction and purpose in life (Deci & Ryan, 2000;Lahey & Orehek, 2011;Leary & Baumeister, 2000;Ryan & Deci, 2001;Patrick et al., 2007), and b) how positive experiences should broaden psychological resources and opportunities to explore and appreciate domains of life, including by finding cause for positive evaluations of one's relationships (Algoe et al., 2013;Fredrickson, 2001Fredrickson, , 2002. Across two studies with two monthly data collections, we found support for unidirectional-but not bidirectional-effects from earlier adjustment (subjective well-being in Study 2; psychological well-being in Study 3) to later social support. ...
... For example, such considerations could be important for emerging adults' romantic relationships, which can experience systematic declines over longer spans of time and with major transitions in the nature of the relationship (i.e., entry to parenthood; see Mitnick et al., 2009). Incorporating approaches that encourage feelings of satisfaction, purpose, and fulfillment broadly (Tay & Kuykendall, 2013) and approaches that facilitate feelings of gratitude and receptivity toward appreciating others' benefits (Algoe et al., 2013) could strengthen existing interventions for repairing and strengthening relationships for adults. ...
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Introduction: We were interested in building on previous studies showing the promotive and buffering roles of social support for emerging adults. We tested the associations of multiple domains of social support (i.e., family, friends) with measures of adjustment and adversity. Methods: Across four studies, U.S. college adults reported on domains of social support (family, friends, significant other), psychological adjustment (i.e., life satisfaction, flourishing), and psychological adversity (i.e., recent stress, depressive symptoms). Studies 1 and 4 were cross- sectional, whereas Studies 2 and 3 involved two, monthly survey reports. Study 4 was completed against the backdrop of early COVID-19 disruptions for college adults in spring 2020. Results: In each study, each domain of social support was positively correlated with measures of adjustment and negatively correlated with measures of adversity. Partial correlations indicated that support from friends was incrementally associated with nearly every outcome, whereas support from family was incrementally associated with a majority of outcomes. Multiphase studies supported unidirectional, but not bidirectional, effects from earlier adjustment onto later social support. Discussion: Overall, findings reinforce the importance of social support for young adults and highlight the distinct importance of family and friends. Findings also suggest that a lack of perceived social support may contribute to risks fitting views such as the stress generation theory among emerging adults.
... How appreciation is expressed also matters. People who do this best use their felt appreciation to identify and express what they value in the person (Algoe, Fredrickson, & Gable, 2013). As seen in the example above, the manager expressed her gratitude and was specific in her appreciation of the team's commitment, teamwork and long hours. ...
... As seen in the example above, the manager expressed her gratitude and was specific in her appreciation of the team's commitment, teamwork and long hours. This recognition of a person's qualities becomes a gift in itself and highlights care, understanding and validation for the other person (Algoe et al., 2013). It makes people feel understood and cherished, again creating an upward spiral (Algoe et al., 2013). ...
... This recognition of a person's qualities becomes a gift in itself and highlights care, understanding and validation for the other person (Algoe et al., 2013). It makes people feel understood and cherished, again creating an upward spiral (Algoe et al., 2013). ...
Article
The capacity to cultivate flourishing relationships has important implications for health and well-being (Reis & Gable, 2003). There is increasingly a focus in positive psychology, and related fields, on identifying the positive processes and skills that can be employed to foster warm, momentary connections with others, as well as long-lasting, life-enhancing social bonds. At the basis of many of these skills is a requirement to cultivate an interest and concern for others; an orientation towards supporting and promoting other people’s well-being. This orientation towards others has the potential to positively impact well-being beyond the participants in the interaction. The benefits of positive social connections have been found to ripple out to other people in the network (Fowler & Christakis, 2009). Therefore the potential positive impacts of developing and cultivating positive relationships are substantial and wide-reaching.
... Gratitude is defined as a feeling of thankfulness and indebtedness for the positive actions and contributions of another person or group (Algoe, 2012). Much of the work on gratitude has focused on verbal rather than nonverbal expressions (Algoe & Haidt, 2009;Algoe et al., 2013), with research showing that when indebted, people express being thankful with words of appreciation (Williams & Bartlett, 2015). There are also findings pointing to gratitude being expressed via handshakes, meaning that touch could be employed in some contexts (Hertenstein et al., 2009). ...
... We predicted that people would report that gratitude (Algoe et al., 2013) is most regularly expressed using words and the voice, when contrasted against the other modalities. ...
... Participants were first shown a list of the four positive emotions and provided with definitions for each emotion (shown in Table 2), derived from commonly used definitions in the literature (e.g., Algoe et al., 2013;Cova & Deonna, 2014;Silvia, 2008;Tracy & Matsumoto, 2008). The participants were then asked to think about how members of their nation in general express each positive emotion, and were asked to select options denoting various modalities of expression: (1) with the voice, (2) on the face, (3) using body movement, (4) with words, (5) via touch, (6) in other ways. ...
Article
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While much is known about how negative emotions are expressed in different modalities, our understanding of the nonverbal expressions of positive emotions remains limited. In the present research, we draw upon disparate lines of theoretical and empirical work on positive emotions, and systematically examine which channels are thought to be used for expressing four positive emotions: feeling moved, gratitude, interest, and triumph. Employing the intersubjective approach, an established method in cross-cultural psychology, we first explored how the four positive emotions were reported to be expressed in two North American community samples (Studies 1a and 1b: n = 1466). We next confirmed the cross-cultural generalizability of our findings by surveying respondents from ten countries that diverged on cultural values (Study 2: n = 1826). Feeling moved was thought to be signaled with facial expressions, gratitude with the use of words, interest with words, face and voice, and triumph with body posture, vocal cues, facial expressions, and words. These findings provide cross-culturally consistent findings of differential expressions across positive emotions. Notably, positive emotions were thought to be expressed via modalities that go beyond the face.
... showing gratitude in response to a benefit indicates that a person values the present, sustaining the norm of reciprocity (Algoe et al., 2013). Or showing disgust when someone eats rotten pizza communicates that such behavior is inappropriate, reinstating the norm of purity (Heerdink et al., 2019). ...
... When colleagues are loyal to others and provide costly benefits, the emotion elicited is gratitude (Algoe et al., 2008;Tesser et al., 1968), suggesting that the CEO is grateful for the offer to collude. Grateful interactions strengthen team members' relationships (Algoe et al., 2013;McCullough et al., 2001), constituting the social function of gratitude (Algoe, 2012). Gratitude motivates supporting the benefactor, even when it might be displeasing and tedious (Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006). ...
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Corruption poses one of the biggest current societal problems that commonly originates in organizational settings. Most approaches explain corruption based on rational cost-benefit calculations, neglecting the role of emotions. This dominant approach stands in contrast to the observation that most corruption cases are emotionally charged. A growing set of articles, scattered across disciplines, documents that emotions predict corrupt behavior, that own corrupt conduct elicits emotions, and that third parties experience emotions in response to others’ corrupt acts. We propose that emotional antecedents drive or prevent corruption, whilst emotional consequences reinforce or deter future corrupt behavior. We integrated these diverse streams of research linking emotions and corruption in two steps: First, we distilled established empirical facts related to the link between emotions and corruption from articles (k = 53) identified in a systematic, pre-registered literature review. Second, we developed an integrative framework based on legal and social norms that accounts for these phenomena. Our novel norms framework (a) structures the literature on the link of emotions and corruption, (b) sets a new research agenda, and (c) complements previous evidence-based anti-corruption policies.
... Second, in contrast to the predominant focus on the affiliative (e.g., Algoe, 2012;Algoe, Fredrickson & Gable, 2013;Kong & Belkin, 2019a), wellness-promoting (Fredrickson et al., 2004), and prosocial (Ma, Tunney, & Ferguson, 2017) functions of felt gratitude under normal circumstances, we emphasize the adaptive, prosocial function of this emotion during a major crisis. The present research adds to the emerging line of inquiry about the significant role of felt gratitude as a protective factor that facilitates adaptation in major crises, due to its prosocial and wellness-promoting functions (Fredrickson et al., 2003;Tong & Oh, 2021), by testing it in work settings. ...
... Gratitude not only helps individuals find meaning and build relationships (Algoe, 2012;Algoe et al., 2013), but also reinforces prosocial behaviors (Haidt, 2003;Kong & Belkin, 2019b;McCullough et al., 2001). We draw upon broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions (including gratitude; Fredrickson, 2001Fredrickson, , 2004 to explain why subordinates who feel grateful toward their supervisor expand their in-role perceptions of voice and engage in this adaptive, prosocial behavior. ...
Article
Emerging research shows that moral emotions can promote individual prosocial behaviors and adaptation during adversity. Integrating Affective Events Theory (AET) with two functionalist theories of emotions (social functions of emotions and broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions), we extend this line of research by focusing on other-oriented moral emotions as facilitators of individuals’ adaptive behavior of voice during a major crisis. We conducted a four-wave survey study with 111 U.S. working adults during the early (acute) stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results indicated that supervisors’ companionate love expression elicited gratitude in subordinates, particularly when subordinates perceived high uncertainty of the crisis, which, in turn, broadened subordinates’ in-role perceptions of, and promoted engagement in, voice behaviors. Our findings extend AET in meaningful ways and contribute to research on the moral emotions of companionate love and gratitude, stressing their value in managerial practice.
... Importantly, these processes typically happen almost immediately, so that they are best reflected in second-to-second-basis measurements. A good example of this is positivity resonance, which describes how one person's positive emotion inspires and amplifies the other person's positive emotion (Brown et al., 2021), which in turn further inspires and amplifies the first person's positive emotions, resulting in a cycle of biobehavioral synchrony (peoples' nonverbal behaviors, autonomic physiology, and neural firings sharing the same tempo) and mutual care (Fredrickson, 2013). ...
... Perceived partner responsiveness, a core integrative construct that encompasses many processes in relationship science, describes a process in which individuals come to believe that their relational partner attends to and supports core aspects of their selves: their needs, goals, preferences, and personal welfare (Laurenceau et al., 1998;Reis et al., 2004;Reis & Shaver, 1988). Perceived partner responsiveness is intrinsically tied to emotional processes, as it becomes relevant whenever interactions have implications for the partners' concerns and well-being, and thus, when these interactions elicit emotions, the partner's response engenders further emotions (e.g., feeling loved or unloved, supported or unsupported, feeling gratitude; Algoe et al., 2013;Reis et al., 2004). ...
Chapter
To effectively regulate their emotions, people have to continually adjust their emotion regulation strategies to changes in internal and external demands. Flexibility and adaptivity are thus vital to emotion regulation. Flexibility refers to the context-sensitive deployment of emotion regulation strategies while regulating one's own emotions. By contrast, adaptivity refers to the learning taking place while regulating one's own emotions over time, and the control of this learning. Flexibility is increased by having a larger repertoire of strategies as this increases the odds that an appropriate strategy is available. On the other hand, having more emotion regulation strategies to choose from creates the need for a decision. Because this decision-making process occurs in real-time, it requires emotional stability and cognitive analysis. Over time, different experiences in choosing emotion regulation strategies give rise to learning which is one form of adaptivity. Flexibility in emotion regulation is provoked by the fluctuating contexts, whereas adaptations are induced by the frequency and intensity of emotion-regulatory activities. These adaptations are grounded in changes at a cellular and molecular level. The latter adaptations are often referred to by the term plasticity or first-order adaptation. Often some form of control is applied to such adaptation processes, determining when and under which circumstances the adaptations should take place; this is often referred to by the term meta-plasticity or second-order adaptation. The above concepts are illustrated by simulated example scenarios based on different computational network models. In the first simulated scenario, a varying context shows the flexibility in the choice of emotion regulation strategies. In the second and third scenarios, plasticity and metaplasticity are illustrated based on first- and second-order adaptive network models.
... Gratitude is a positive emotion evoked by receiving favors, which promotes relationship quality and prosocial behavior (Emmons and McCullough, 2004;Algoe et al., 2013). Indebtedness is a negative emotion experienced when people receive helps from others and feel an obligation to repay the "debts, " which is often undesirable (Greenberg and Westcott, 1983;Fredrickson, 2004;Shen et al., 2011). ...
Article
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Previous study suggests that gratitude intervention evokes indebtedness among people from an interdependent society. This study furtherly hypothesized that perceived social distance moderates the effect of gratitude intervention on felt indebtedness. A total of 275 adolescents were randomly assigned to three gratitude intervention conditions, namely, writing gratitude to significant others, the health of one’s own, or nothing. After completing the writing task, they rated their experienced emotions on ten dimensions, including gratitude and indebtedness. They also reported perceived social distance from surrounding people and other demographical information. Results indicated that participants in the condition of writing about gratitude to significant others felt indebted regardless of perceived social distance, while those in the condition of writing about gratitude to his/her own health and those in the control condition experienced lesser indebtedness as the perceived social distance with others becomes closer. Gratitude increases as perceived social connectedness increases across all conditions. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.
... Moreover, research has shown gratitude, to be a crucial determinant in cultivating social bonds (Algoe, Fredrickson and Gable, 2013), and as a catalyst for both relationship formation and maintenance (Algoe, Haidt and Gable, 2008). Further, research has also found that gratitude facilitated an increased affiliation even with previously unacquainted individuals (Williams and Bartlett, 2015). ...
Article
Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between gratitude and workplace friendship with affective well-being (AWB) at work amongst millennial employees. Specifically, it details the mediating effect of workplace friendship in explaining the linkages between gratitude and AWB at work.
... Recent studies in social sciences have shown that emotional expression serves as a vital underpin in coordinating social interaction and in shaping people's responses to their social environment [3]. Similarly, studies have also revealed that emotional expression has social effects which are dependent on the way these emotions are expressed and also on the peculiar features of the social and cultural context of the environment in which the interaction takes place [4,5]. CONTACT During human-human interaction (HHI), the six basic emotions (happiness, fear, anger, disgust, surprise and sadness) [6] are usually conveyed via a synchrony of facial expressions, body gestures and speech modalities [7]. ...
Article
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Recent studies in human–human interaction (HHI) have revealed the propensity of negative emotional expression to initiate affiliating functions which are beneficial to the expresser and also help fostering cordiality and closeness amongst interlocutors during conversation. Effort in human–robot interaction has also been devoted to furnish robots with the expression of both positive and negative emotions. However, only a few have considered body gestures in context with the dialogue act functions conveyed by the emotional utterances. This study aims on furnishing robots with humanlike negative emotional expression, specifically anger-based body gestures roused by the utterance context. In this regard, we adopted a multimodal HHI corpus for the study, and then analyzed and established predominant gestures types and dialogue acts associated with anger-based utterances in HHI. Based on the analysis results, we implemented these gesture types in an android robot, and carried out a subjective evaluation to investigate their effects on the perception of anger expression in utterances with different dialogue act functions. Results showed significant effects of the presence of gesture on the anger degree perception. Findings from this study also revealed that the functional content of anger-based utterances plays a significant role in the choice of the gesture accompanying such utterances.
... To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the predictive utility of the quality of gratitude expressions on helping behavior. In line with theoretical arguments that gratitude expressions are more likely to be effective in increasing a sense of social connectedness (Algoe et al., 2013) and signaling the impact of one's help (Grant & Sonnentag, 2010) when they include more elaborated linguistic signals of appreciation (Yoshimura & Berzins, 2017), our findings indicate that the quality of gratitude expressions matters to increase future help provision. More importantly, our work highlights that highquality expressions of gratitude can be more critical for helpers who experience low autonomous motivation in a helping episode. ...
Article
Moral identity has been considered an important predictor of prosocial behavior. This article extends prior research by investigating how and when moral identity predicts helping behavior. Specifically, we examine the mediating effect of episodic autonomous motivation on the relationship between moral identity and future helping intentions. We also test the moderating effect of an important contextual factor in helping episodes: the quality of the gratitude expression received by helpers. In two studies using autobiographical recall tasks with different samples (Study 1: N = 134, college students; Study 2: N = 192, adult workers), we found convergent evidence that helpers with high moral identity experience higher autonomous motivation in a helping episode, which in turn increases their willingness to help the same beneficiary in the future. We further found support for the interactive effects between autonomous motivation and gratitude quality on future helping intentions. High-quality gratitude expressions are particularly important in predicting subsequent helping for helpers with low episodic autonomous motivation. In this case, high-quality gratitude expressions can compensate for the lack of intrinsic motivation in a helping episode and increase future help provision.
... Moreover, sharing good news (Gable et al., 2004), and expressing appreciation (Algoe et al., 2013) have been found to amplify positive emotions. ...
Article
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Shared positive emotions involving caring and synchrony—termed “positivity resonance”—are associated with mental health (Major et al., 2018). We hypothesized that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, individual differences in trait resilience would be linked with better overall mental health in part because those higher in trait resilience experience more positivity resonance. We surveyed respondents nationally in April and May of 2020 (total N = 1,059), during pervasive stay-at-home orders. Participants completed self-reports of trait resilience and mental health and used the Day Reconstruction Method to describe their social and emotional experiences. Structural equation models showed perceived positivity resonance to mediate the links between trait resilience and mental health outcomes. Subsequent analyses showed these mediating effects to be independent of overall positive emotion and social interaction quantity (amongst nationwide adults). These results indicate that high-quality social connection played a uniquely important role in maintaining mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Acting as an emotional currency for the achievement of reward, gratitude and pride are vital to the function of a society, allowing one to create interpersonal relationships (Algoe, Fredrickson, & Gable, 2013;Algoe, Haidt, & Gable, 2008). and build self-confidence (Tracy & Robins, 2007b;Weiner, Russell, & Lerman, 1979). ...
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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.
... These findings provide support for collective emotion theories that emphasize the power of macro-level affect beyond individually-experienced affect (Goldenberg et al., 2020) and join a broader body of evidence linking shared positive affect and interpersonal synchrony with affiliation and social attachments in dyads and groups (Algoe et al., 2013;Gable et al., 2004;Hove & Risen, 2009;Mauss et al., 2011;Páez et al., 2015;Rennung & Göritz, 2016). Findings also provide empirical support for a critical claim of Positivity Resonance Theory (Fredrickson, 2016), that positive affect coexperienced between individuals is more strongly linked with relationship quality than is positive affect experienced solely by individuals. ...
Article
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Motivated by collective emotions theories that propose emotions shared between individuals predict group-level qualities, we hypothesized that co-experienced affect during interactions is associated with relationship quality, above and beyond the effects of individually experienced affect. Consistent with positivity resonance theory, we also hypothesized that co-experienced positive affect would have a stronger association with relationship quality than would co-experienced negative affect. We tested these hypotheses in 150 married couples across 3 conversational interactions: a conflict, a neutral topic, and a pleasant topic. Spouses continuously rated their individual affective experience during each conversation while watching video-recordings of their interactions. These individual affect ratings were used to determine, for positive and negative affect separately, the number of seconds of co-experienced affect and individually experienced affect during each conversation. In line with hypotheses, results from all 3 conversational topics suggest that more co-experienced positive affect is associated with greater marital quality, whereas more co-experienced negative affect is associated with worse marital quality. Individual level affect factors added little explanatory value beyond co-experienced affect. Comparing co-experienced positive affect and co-experienced negative affect, we found that co-experienced positive affect generally outperformed co-experienced negative affect, although co-experienced negative affect was especially diagnostic during the pleasant conversational topic. Findings suggest that co-experienced positive affect may be an integral component of high-quality relationships and highlight the power of co-experienced affect for individual perceptions of relationship quality. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Gratitude may lead to the development of more supportive environments, represented in conscious awareness as perceived social support (Wood et al., 2008b). Additionally, gratitude leads to characteristic attributions regarding social situations, with grateful people interpreting the help they receive as more valuable, more costly, and seeing their benefactors' intentions as more altruistic (Wood et al., 2008a;Algoe et al., 2013). As gratitude is involved in both encouraging actual supportive behaviors and in appraising situations positively, gratitude seems particularly likely to lead to perceived social support (Wood et al., 2008a;Kong et al., 2015). ...
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Background The pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has burdened an unprecedented psychological stress on the front-line medical staff, who are at high risk of depression. While existing studies and theories suggest that factors such as gratitude, social support, and hope play a role in the risk of depression, few studies have combined these factors to explore the relationship between them. Objective This study examined the mediating roles of social support and hope in the relationship between gratitude and depression among front-line medical staff during the pandemic of COVID-19. Methods This study used the Gratitude Questionnaire, the Perceived Social Support Scale (PSSS), the State Hope Scale (SHS), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale to examine the gratitude, social support, hope, and depression among 344 front-line medical workers in Wuhan, which was the hardest-hit area of COVID-19 in China. Results The results showed that the prevalence of mild depressive disorder was 40.12% and the prevalence of major depressive disorder was 9.59% among front-line medical staff during the pandemic of COVID-19; gratitude has a direct and negative effect on depression. Gratitude was negative predictors of depression through the mediating variables of social support and hope [β gratitude – social support – depression = −0.096, 95%CI(−0.129 to −0.064); β gratitude – hope – depression = −0.034, 95%CI(−0.055 to −0.013)], as well as via an indirect path from social support to hope [β gratitude – social support – hope – depression = −0.089, 95%CI (−0.108 to −0.070)]. Conclusion The study findings indicate that gratitude as a positive emotion can reduce depression in medical staff by promoting social support and hope, respectively. Gratitude also reduced depression in health care workers through a chain mediating effect of social support and hope. Overall, gratitude can directly foster social support and hope, and protect people from stress and depression, which has implications for clinical interventions among front-line medical staff during the pandemic of COVID-19.
... For Christian leaders, there are additional benefits associated with gratitude expression. When people in organizations have leaders who express gratitude, they view their leaders as more warm and caring (Ritzenhöfer et al., 2019;Williams & Bartlett, 2015) and thus more responsive to the followers' efforts (Algoe, Fredrickson, & Gable, 2013;Algoe et al., 2008). Such leaders cause people to feel more satisfied with the organization, less willing to leave, and more willing to cooperate with the leaders (Williams & Bartlett, 2015). ...
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Both the emotion of gratitude and the expression of gratitude produce benefits for the person who is thankful and the person being thanked. This study explores the degree to which various forms of gratitude expression are appreciated by those being thanked. In a survey-based study (N = 361), costly, private expressions of gratitude were more appreciated by people being thanked than less costly, public expressions. Higher levels of the HEXACO personality traits of Conscientiousness and Emotionality increased the degree to which people appreciated being thanked. Lower Honesty-Humility (e.g., narcissism) predicted a greater appreciation of receiving public expressions of gratitude while higher Honesty-Humility predicted a greater appreciation of receiving private expressions of gratitude. This information can be used by Christian leaders to help equip others for ministry.
... Studies 2 and 3 likely include touch in situations that are negative in valence, but we do not have direct evidence related to that question. Yet it is a theoretically interesting one, in part because some positive interpersonal processesthat is, social interactions fueled by positive valence (Algoe, 2019)have had more robust relationshippromoting effects than beneficial social interactions involving negative emotions in prior research (e.g., Algoe et al,., 2013;Gable et al., 2012). ...
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Affectionate touch is an important behavior in close relationships throughout the lifespan. Research has investigated the relational and individual psychological and physical benefits of affectionate touch, but the situational factors that give rise to it have been overlooked. Theorizing from the interpersonal process model of intimacy, the current studies tested whether perceived partner responsiveness forecasts affectionate touch in romantic couples. Following a preliminary integrative data analysis ( N = 842), three prospective studies use ecologically valid behavioral (Studies 1 and 2) and daily (Studies 2 and 3) data, showing a positive association between perceived partner responsiveness and affectionate touch. Furthermore, in Study 3, we tested a theoretical extension of the interpersonal process of intimacy, finding that affectionate touch forecasts the partner’s perception of the touch-giver’s responsiveness the next day. Findings suggest affectionate touch may be an untested mechanism at the heart of the interpersonal process of intimacy.
... For Christian leaders, there are additional benefits associated with gratitude expression. When people in organizations have leaders who express gratitude, they view their leaders as more warm and caring (Ritzenhöfer et al., 2019;Williams & Bartlett, 2015) and thus more responsive to the followers' efforts (Algoe, Fredrickson, & Gable, 2013;Algoe et al., 2008). Such leaders cause people to feel more satisfied with the organization, less willing to leave, and more willing to cooperate with the leaders (Williams & Bartlett, 2015). ...
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Both the emotion of gratitude and the expression of gratitude produce benefits for the person who is thankful and the person being thanked. This study explores the degree to which various forms of gratitude expression are appreciated by those being thanked. In a survey-based study (N = 361), costly, private expressions of gratitude were more appreciated by people being thanked than less costly, public expressions. Higher levels of the HEXACO personality traits of Conscientiousness and Emotionality increased the degree to which people appreciated being thanked. Lower Honesty-Humility (e.g., narcissism) predicted a greater appreciation of receiving public expressions of gratitude while higher Honesty-Humility predicted a greater appreciation of receiving private expressions of gratitude. This information can be used by Christian leaders to help equip others for ministry.
... As mentioned earlier, scholars have long argued that gratitude encourages prosocial behavior, with a number of studies supporting this claim (see Ma et al., 2017, for a meta-analysis). Building on the influential writings of 20th century theorists (e.g., Gouldner, 1960;Simmel, 1950;Trivers, 1971), contemporary scholars suggest gratitude may have an adaptive design from human beings' evolutionary past; that is, gratitude serves an important relational function in that it helps to build and maintain social bonds with others (e.g., Algoe, 2012;Algoe et al., 2008;Algoe et al., 2013). ...
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Gratitude plays an integral role in promoting helping behavior at work. Thus, cultivating employees' experiences of gratitude represents an important imperative in modern organizations that rely on teamwork and collaboration to achieve organizational goals. Yet, today's workplace presents a complex array of demands that make it difficult for employees to fully attend to and appreciate the various benefits they receive at work. As such, gratitude is difficult for employers to promote and for employees to experience. Despite these observations, the role of attention and awareness in facilitating employees' feelings of gratitude is largely overlooked in the extant literature. In this study, we examined whether one notable form of present moment attention, mindfulness, may promote helping behavior by stimulating the positive, other-oriented emotion of gratitude. Across two experimental studies, a semiweekly, multisource diary study, and a 10-day experience sampling investigation, we found converging evidence for a serial mediation model in which state mindfulness, via positive affect and perspective taking, prompts greater levels of gratitude, prosocial motivation, and, in turn, helping behavior at work. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our investigation, as well as avenues for the future research. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Findings regarding the reciprocal associations of gratitude and relatedness needs satisfaction resonates with prior evidence (Algoe et al., 2013;Lambert & Fincham, 2011;Zhang et al., 2021) on how gratitude can promote better interpersonal ties. There are a number of reasons that may account for the relational benefits of gratitude in challenging times. ...
Article
Objectives: Although gratitude relates to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) well-being outcomes in the United States, more evidence is needed to understand how this psychological strength reciprocally relates to mental health during this pandemic. This study examines the association of gratitude with stress, anxiety, and depression among undergraduate students in the United States via a longitudinal design. Methods: An online survey was administered to 643 undergraduate students in a public university located in the southeastern region of the United States. There was a 1-month interval between the first and second waves of data collection. Results: Cross-lagged panel structural equation modeling showed that whereas gratitude positively predicted subsequent relatedness needs satisfaction, it negatively predicted later stress, anxiety, and depression. Relatedness needs satisfaction was reciprocally linked to subsequent gratitude. Conclusion: Results suggest that gratitude might serve as a protective psychological resource against the detrimental mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
... These findings are consistent with the notion that being grateful reciprocates an upward spiral of enhanced interpersonal relationships with others and life satisfaction (Gruszecka, 2015). It might be that gratitude and appraisal of others' emotions act in a synergistic fashion to facilitate elevated social competencies that contribute to the development of meaningful and supportive social connections (Algoe et al., 2013;Hansson et al., 1984;Williams & Bartlett, 2015) that enhance one's satisfaction with life. On the other hand, our findings indicate that self-emotions appraisal, use of emotions, and emotion regulation do not interact with gratitude to enhance life satisfaction among older adults. ...
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The present study was concerned with how gratitude and facets of emotional intelligence (i.e., self-emotions appraisal, others-emotions appraisal, use of emotion, & regulation of emotion) are related to life satisfaction in older adults. Two models were examined in a sample of 191 Spanish older adults: (1) a broaden-and-build model, in which gratitude might be associated with greater life satisfaction by broadening and building facets of emotional intelligence; and (2) an amplification model, in which gratitude might interact with facets of emotional intelligence to amplify life satisfaction. In examining a broaden-and-build model, mediation analysis indicated that gratitude was associated with greater life satisfaction in older adults via broadening one’s use of emotions. In addition, in examining an amplification model, we found evidence of an Others-Emotions Appraisal × Gratitude interaction effect, such that the life satisfaction of older adults with an adept understanding of others’ emotions was enhanced by dispositional gratitude. The present study contributes to the extant literature by delineating specific pathways by which gratitude and emotional intelligence influence life satisfaction among older adults. Our findings provide evidence of potential strengths-based mechanisms to support older adult life satisfaction. In addition to existing therapies and psychoeducational interventions, it would seem valuable for practitioners to not only consider ways to promote older adults’ gratitude, but also the use of emotions, and adept appraisal of others’ emotions to facilitate their life satisfaction.
... Gratitude shared either from one person to another or mutually between persons helps form relationships between them, strengthens their social bonds, and promotes feelings of being socially integrated (Algoe, Fredrickson, & Gable, 2013;Algoe, Haidt, & Gable, 2008). It is also related to social support, a strong predictor of better health (August, Kelly, & Markey, 2016;Sun et al. 2014;). ...
Thesis
This dissertation examines how the relationship between eudaimonic well-being and health is contingent upon socio-cultural and personal factors. Although eudaimonic well-being has been thought to have salubrious health effects, this dissertation provides evidence in three separate papers that there may be conditions under which additional factors are necessary for eudaimonic well-being to be beneficial, as well as conditions under which it may backfire. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to eudaimonic well-being, a brief overview of the literature on cultural influences on psychological processes and their relation to health, and a brief explanation of how adverse life experiences negatively affect the nervous system and health. Chapter 2 assesses the association between purpose in life and health across cultures, addressing the possibility that a sense of purpose in life may not necessarily directly be beneficial for health in a collectivist culture. It finds that, among Americans, purpose in life consistently predicted better biological health. However, purpose only predicted better health among Japanese who are sufficiently high in gratitude. This is perhaps due to how some purposes may be perceived in collectivist culture, requiring a social virtue such as gratitude to mitigate any potential costs. The third chapter compares victims of sexual assault with their peers who have never experienced an assault with respect to well-being and health. It finds that the victims of sexual assault are lower in eudaimonic well-being than their peers and rate themselves as having having poorer health, although their biological health does not differ. Additionally, it finds that the relationship between assault history and self-rated health is mediated by eudaimonic well-being, as well as neuroticism. Chapter 4 focuses on victims of childhood sexual abuse, assessing the relationship between the severity of their abuse and their health, and whether this relationship is moderated by their eudaimonic well-being. It finds that, among those who experienced the most severe abuse, a high sense of well-being is associated with poorer health outcomes, perhaps due to a conflict between current beliefs and past experience. While eudaimonic well-being is generally thought to be beneficial for health, this effect is present only when one’s well-being is congruent with one’s culture and prior personal experiences. In the final chapter, I review the present findings and suggest the need for further research both on other conditions under which eudaimonic well-being is not directly linked with better health, as well as further investigation into why well-being appears to backfire under certain conditions.
... Gratitude feelings are intrinsic emotions (Algoe, Fredrickson, & Gable, 2013) which means positive and negative emotions that describe consumers feelings about any product and services (Laros & Steenkamp, 2005). Gratitude is a mechanism for building relationships (Algoe, Gable, & Maisel, 2010). ...
Article
The objective of the study was to examine the relationship between service quality (SQ), with mediating role of gratitude feelings (GF), and moderating role of corporate image (CI) on consumer repurchase intention (CRPI). For empirical analysis data was collected from 157 customers of restaurants of Pakistan. The findings disclosed the significant positive relationship between service and consumer repurchase intentions. The results revealed that customers do not follow their gratitude feelings for revisiting any restaurant, and corporate image also do not increase their interest for repeat purchases.
... What daily practices and habits can change happiness? Psychological research suggests that people become happier when they engage in practices such as maintaining a gratitude journal (but not updating it too often), valuing time over money, engaging in more social activity, and learning cognitive behavioral therapy (Algoe et al., 2013;Fava, 1999;Lyubomirsky, et al., 2005aLyubomirsky, et al., , 2005bSandstrom & Dunn, 2014a). Can this change be sustained? ...
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The Enduring Happiness and Continued Self-Enhancement (ENHANCE) program, a 12-week intervention, effectively enhances subjective wellbeing and reduces negative symptoms. The current study tested an abbreviated 7-week version, ENHANCE-II, that may better fit the needs and schedules of some people. In a longitudinal study, participants (n = 51) took part in the self-study program and completed psychological assessments at baseline, posttest, and follow up (5 weeks). Multilevel models were used to analyze the data, with treatment group data from ENHANCE treated as the comparison. Analyses showed improvements in all four outcomes: life satisfaction (statistically significant), positive affect, negative affect, and depression. These effects were about half as strong as those in ENHANCE, but this effect reduction was partially attributable to low adherence. Effects were much stronger among participants who adhered to the program, especially for negative symptoms. Although there were no assessments at later intervals, the study suggests that ENHANCE-II intervention is likely beneficial for participants who need brief programs.
... Finally, there is also ample evidence demonstrating that experiencing and expressing gratefulness supports the development and maintenance of high-quality relationships (e.g., Algoe et al., 2010;Grant and Gino, 2010;Lambert and Fincham, 2011;Algoe and Zhaoyang, 2016). Experiencing gratitude draws our attention to people who, by their small or major gesture, demonstrate that they care for us and are responsive to us (Algoe et al., 2013). By expressing appreciation, we confirm emotional closeness with the other person. ...
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This position paper proposes a model for systematic integration of positive psychology interventions (PPIs) in mental healthcare. On the one hand, PPIs can contribute to the decrease of dysfunctional processes underlying mental illness. This evidence is at the core of the new domains of positive clinical psychology and positive psychiatry. On the other hand, a growing number of studies demonstrate that mental health is not merely the absence of mental illness. Mental wellbeing represents a related but separate dimension of mental health. Mental wellbeing reduces the risk of future incidence of mental illness and is highly valued by people receiving psychological treatment as an important aspect of personal and complete recovery and personal growth. This makes mental wellbeing a vital outcome of mental healthcare. PPIs can directly increase mental wellbeing. The model of sustainable mental health is presented integrating the science of positive psychology and mental wellbeing into mental healthcare. This heuristic model can guide both practitioners and researchers in developing, implementing, and evaluating a more balanced, both complaint- and strength-oriented, treatment approach. The role of gratitude interventions is discussed as an example of applying the model. Also, three potential modalities for implementing PPIs as positive psychotherapy in treatment are as: positive psychotherapy as primary treatment, as combinatorial treatment, and as intervention for personal recovery of people with severe or persistent mental disorder. Finally, we argue that longitudinal studies are needed to substantiate the model and the processes involved.
... Guided by a resilience and life-course perspective, the present study investigated the trajectories of depressive symptoms from childhood to emerging adulthood among Chinese children affected by parental HIV and examined the between-trajectory differences in their psychosocial adjustment in emerging adulthood. In addition to the common indicators of psychosocial adjustment, such as psychological distress (e.g., anxiety, perceived stress), self-esteem, and subjective well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, positive and negative affect) [29,30], we also included resilience, gratitude, and self-compassion because these are crucial personal strengths that may promote the well-being of individuals [31][32][33]. ...
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The present study explored the trajectories of depressive symptoms over 12 years spanning from childhood to emerging adulthood and the between-trajectory differences in psychosocial adjustment among Chinese children (N = 492, 52.8% boys, aged 6 to 18 years at baseline) affected by parental HIV. Rebounding (12.6%), resilient (64.8%), and improving (22.6%) trajectories were identified. Individuals in the rebounding trajectory reported the highest levels of psychological distress and the lowest levels of subjective well-being, positive self-regard, and personal strengths in adulthood. Individuals in the resilient trajectory reported lower levels of psychological distress and negative affect than those in the improving trajectory. The findings support the development of programs by policymakers and practitioners to improve the psychosocial adjustment of children who have been affected by parental HIV while considering individual differences in the trajectories of depressive symptoms.
... Much of this work was devoted to uncovering negative emotional 262 qualities of marriages and their consequences (e.g., Gottman & Levenson, 1992;Kiecolt-Giaser 263 et al., 1993). More recently, another line of research has emerged documenting the positive 264 emotional qualities of marriage and close relationships (e.g., Algoe et al., 2013;Gable et al., 265 2004;Laurenceau et al., 2005), and the consequences these positive qualities have, independent 266 of the adverse effects of negative emotions (e.g., Algoe, 2019;Feeney & Collins, 2015; the context of long-term marriage, given the duration and importance of this relationship. Indeed, 270 individuals who rate their marriage as happier have significantly lower odds of dying (Whisman 271 et al., 2018). ...
Article
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The Positivity Resonance Theory of coexperienced positive affect describes moments of interpersonal connection characterized by shared positive affect, caring nonverbal synchrony, and biological synchrony. The construct validity of positivity resonance and its longitudinal associations with health have not been tested. The current longitudinal study examined whether positivity resonance in conflict interactions between 154 married couples predicts health trajectories over 13 years and longevity over 30 years. We used couples' continuous ratings of affect during the interactions to capture coexperienced positive affect and continuous physiological responses to capture biological synchrony between spouses. Video recordings were behaviorally coded for coexpressed positive affect, synchronous nonverbal affiliation cues (SNAC), and behavioral indicators of positivity resonance (BIPR). To evaluate construct validity, we conducted a confirmatory factor analysis to test a latent factor of positivity resonance encompassing coexperienced positive affect, coexpressed positive affect, physiological linkage of interbeat heart intervals, SNAC, and BIPR. The model showed excellent fit. To evaluate associations with health and longevity, we used dyadic latent growth curve modeling and Cox proportional hazards modeling, respectively, and found that greater latent positivity resonance predicted less steep declines in health and increased longevity. Associations were robust when accounting for initial health symptoms, sociodemographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, and individually experienced positive affect. We repeated health and longevity analyses, replacing latent positivity resonance with BIPR, and found consistent results. Findings validate positivity resonance as a multimodal construct, support the utility of the BIPR measure, and provide initial evidence for the characterization of positivity resonance as a positive health behavior. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... Perceived partner responsiveness, a core integrative construct that encompasses many processes in relationship science, describes a process in which individuals come to believe that their relational partner attends to and supports core aspects of their selves: their needs, goals, preferences, and personal welfare (Laurenceau et al., 1998;Reis et al., 2004;Reis & Shaver, 1988). Perceived partner responsiveness is intrinsically tied to emotional processes, as it becomes relevant whenever interactions have implications for the partners' concerns and well-being, and thus, when these interactions elicit emotions, the partner's response engenders further emotions (e.g., feeling loved or unloved, supported or unsupported, feeling gratitude; Algoe, Fredrickson, & Gable, 2013;Reis et al., 2004). ...
Chapter
Emotions are not only fundamentally dynamic in nature in the sense of varying across time, but they are also fundamentally social, originating in and shaping our interpersonal processes. Interpersonal emotion dynamics refer to the ways in which emotions and emotional self-regulation are dynamically influenced by interactional partners, given the interdependence that exists between them. We begin this chapter by describing the premise for interpersonal emotion dynamics in intimate relationships, what interpersonal emotion dynamics constitute, and the state of the art in the fields of emotion science, relationship science, and interpersonal emotion dynamics. Next, we discuss two key themes that we believe promote theoretical integration among seemingly disparate strands of research (in emotion and relationship research), emphasizing the importance of interdependence and perceived partner responsiveness in the interpersonal emotion dynamics that characterize intimate relationships. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future research in this promising area.
... Whilst gratitude has been conceived of as purely affective (e.g., Algoe et al., 2013;Tsang, 2006), more recently gratitude has been conceptualized and measured at cognitive, attitudinal and behavioral levels along with this well-emphasized emotive component . This multicomponent view of gratitude is adopted here and is informed by gratitude research across the disciplines of (positive) psychology, (moral) philosophy and (moral) education. ...
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Examinations of the influence of culture on how gratitude is experienced are sparse, as are studies that simultaneously explore developmental differences in understandings of gratitude. This paper presents three studies that examine whether perceptions and experiences of gratitude differ across children, adolescents and adults in two individualistic, WEIRD and Commonwealth cultures—Australia and the UK. Studies 1a ( N = 88, ages 17–39) and 1b ( N = 77, ages 17–25) provide initial insights into “features of gratitude” in Australia through two stages of a prototype analysis. These features are compared to a previous prototype study of gratitude in the UK, alongside a further comparison to the US. Study 2 employs vignettes to examine how perceptions of the benefactor, benefit and mixed emotions influence the degree of gratitude experienced across adolescents and adults in Australia ( N = 1937, ages 11–85), with a comparison to the UK ( N = 398, ages 12–65). In Study 3, factors examined in Study 2 are adapted into accessible story workbooks for younger children (Australia N=135, ages 9–11; UK N=62, ages 9–11). Results across these studies demonstrate similarities and differences in understandings and experiences of gratitude across cultures. While adults across Australia and the UK responded similarly to gratitude scenarios, cross-cultural differences are observed between children and adolescents in these two countries. Developmental differences are noted in relation to more sophisticated reasoning around gratitude, such as recognition of ulterior motives. These findings highlight the need for gratitude research and interventions to be cross-culturally, and developmentally, responsive.
... The find-remind-and-bind theory also indicates that expressed gratitude should make the bond between the beneficiary and the benefactor stronger rather than just increase prosocial behaviour between them (Algoe, 2012). For example, Algoe et al. (2013) found that hearing an expression of gratitude from a romantic partner predicted change in the hearer's relationship satisfaction over time. Lambert et al. (2010) also found that expressed gratitude to a friend was positively correlated with perceived communal strength. ...
Article
The core idea of the find‐remind‐and‐bind theory articulated by (Algoe, 2012, Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6, 455) is that receiving expressed gratitude facilitates positive attitudes toward the expressor such as increased prosocial behaviour. The current study tries to observe the phenomena in Japan where apologies are sometimes used when people express gratitude. In this experimental study, 671 Japanese participants received expressions of gratitude, apologies, both, or neither (control condition) in exchange for their help. The results showed that expressed gratitude had the most positive effect compared to the control, apology and both conditions; that is, expressed gratitude most strongly facilitated the message receiver's prosocial behaviour, self‐disclosure, predicted outcome values, and social worth. Expressed apologies showed a limited positive effect. A structural equation model further indicated that predicted outcome values and social worth functioned in unique ways to mediate the link between expressed gratitude and prosocial behaviour as well as self‐disclosure.
... From a psychological and social points of view, Sheldom and Lyobomirsky (2006) and have shown that expression of appreciation promotes a good interpersonal relationships and emotional balance among colleagues, marriage partners and with all people. This conclusion is confirmed by a much later study by Algoe, Fredrickson and Gable (2013) that relationships of partners improved drastically after participants continuously acknowledge their roles and express thanks to them for their roles in the relationship. No doubt that the expression of thanks has its place in social relationships and its absence can make relationships turn sour (Gordon, Arnnette and Smith, 2011;Williams and Bartllet, 2015;Algo and Zhaoyang, 2016). ...
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This paper investigates the literary etymologies of the expressions for appreciation and plea in the Ewe and Ga languages of Ghana. Applying the theory of literary etymology, which is originally employed for onomata, to the everyday expressions of appreciation and plea of Ewe and Ga, the study brings to the fore salient points about these everyday expressions of appreciation and plea. In both languages, it is discovered that the expression of appreciation is deep, giving the one being thanked an elevated position over the one expressing the thanks. Besides, the language of expressing thanks in Ewe and Ga is double-pronged-one denotative or explicit and the other connotative or implicit. Generally, the expressing of thanks is hyperbolic. Similar metaphoricities are employed in the expression of plea in both languages. The one pleading for mercy is in a contextual asymmetrical relationship with the one to whom he or she pleads where the former is considered inferior and the latter superior. The two languages display an almost perfect reflection of each other in the literary etymologies of the expressions in question. This resemblance could be as a consequence that these languages belong to the same language family of Kwa and have lived side by side each other for a long time.
Article
Introduction: Do people (i.e., metaperceivers) know their romantic partners' (i.e., perceivers') impressions, displaying meta-accuracy? Is it related to relationship well-being? We explored two components of meta-accuracy: 1) positive meta-accuracy (i.e., knowing the perceiver's positive impressions of the metaperceiver), and 2) distinctive meta-accuracy (i.e., knowing the perceiver's unique impressions of the metaperceiver). We first compared baseline levels of each component across three domains (personality, emotions, values), and then, examined and compared their links with relationship well-being. Method: A sample of 205 romantic couples were recruited. The Social Accuracy Model was adapted for analyses. Results: Metaperceivers displayed both positive and distinctive meta-accuracy across all domains, and displayed greater positive emotion meta-accuracy and distinctive personality meta-accuracy compared to the other domains. Positive meta-accuracy in general was related to metaperceivers' relationship well-being and distinctive meta-accuracy in general was related to relationship well-being for metaperceivers and perceivers. Further, positive personality meta-accuracy was related to relationship well-being for metaperceivers, and positive emotion meta-accuracy was related to relationship well-being for metaperceivers and perceivers. Conclusion: Overall, the present research broadens the meta-accuracy literature by expanding it to a novel domain (values) and highlighting the relative contributions of domains that has been previously explored in isolation (personality and emotions).
Article
In the present study, gratitude-expression skills were defined as repertoires of verbal and nonverbal behavior for expressing gratitude appropriately in social situations and effectively for the achievement of interpersonal goals, when individuals have received benefits from others. The aim of the present study was to examine effects of executing gratitude-expression skills on the reduction of loneliness. In Study 1, items for measuring the execution of gratitude-expression skills were developed. Undergraduate students (N=422) completed a questionnaire. The results suggested that executing gratitude-expression skills had an effect on reducing loneliness through the mediation of perceived social support. In Study 2, 18 participants were assigned to a group that would be given social skills training to promote gratitude-expression skills, and 18 were assigned to a waiting-list control group. The results showed a significant effect of executing gratitude-expression skills on the reduction of loneliness. In conclusion, the results suggested the educational effectiveness of executing gratitude-expression skills.
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Though gratitude research in organizational behavior (OB) is nascent, this emotion has a rich history in the social sciences. Research has shown gratitude to promote prosocial behaviors, encourage personal well-being, and foster interpersonal relationships. However, gratitude research has been siloed among these three outcomes of gratitude (moral, wellness, and relational). Similarly, past reviews of gratitude have focused on only one group of outcomes, one of its forms (trait, state, or expressed), or empirical findings without emphasis on the theoretical underpinnings. In contrast, this review recognizes that each type of gratitude, its functions, and outcomes are part of a single process model of gratitude. As such, in the current review we provide a comprehensive assessment of gratitude in the social sciences by distilling and organizing the literature per our process model of episodic gratitude. Then, we translate the insights for management scholars, highlighting possible differences and synergies between extant research and workplace gratitude thereby helping advance “gratitude science” in the workplace. In all, this review (a) examines definitions and operationalizations of gratitude and provides recommendations for organizational research; (b) proposes a process model of episodic workplace gratitude as a conceptual map to guide future OB research on gratitude; (c) reviews empirical gratitude research through the lens of our process model; and (d) discusses the current state of the literature, important differences for workplace gratitude, and future directions for organizational scholars.
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Based on the theory of planned behavior, this paper presents a study on the core components of attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavior control, and introduces a moral emotional variable, namely environmental indebtedness, as the emotional factors in the attitude variable to explore the influencing factors and mechanism of consumer green purchase behavior. To examine the predictors of consumer green purchase behavior, data were collected from Chinese consumers and a total of 408 responses were considered valid. Through comparative analysis, it is found that environmental cognition, descriptive norm, and self-efficacy have a highly significant positive impact on green purchase intention, and self-efficacy was found the best predictor of intention. In addition to that, when environmental indebtedness, self-efficacy, controllability, and green purchase intention jointly have significant effects on green purchase behavior, environmental indebtedness has the best effect. This research offers significant contributions and provides decision-making recommendations.
Article
Gratitude and pride are both positive emotions. Yet gratitude motivates people to help others and build up relationships, whereas pride motivates people to pursue achievements and build on self-esteem. Although these social outcomes are crucial for humans to be evolutionarily adaptive, no study so far has systematically compared gratitude and pride to understand why and how they can motivate humans differently. In this review, we compared gratitude and pride from their etymologies, cognitive prerequisites, motivational functions, and brain regions involved. By integrating the evidence from brain and behavior, we suggest that gratitude and pride share a common reward basis, yet gratitude is more related to theory of mind, while pride is more related to self-referential processing. Moreover, we proposed a cognitive neuroscientific model to explain the dynamics in gratitude and pride under a reinforcement learning framework.
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Contemporary thinking regarding the phenomenon of gratitude portrays it as a fundamental attribute of every human being as well as a commendable and beneficial human quality capable of enhancing human flourishing in society. This study demonstrates that although a variety of life experiences can elicit feelings of gratitude, there is evidence that the moral human society considers gratitude as a force capable of encouraging acts of beneficence. Apparently though, in the lens of ethics, gratitude is a purely person-to-person phenomenon, while ingratitude is seen as a profound moral failure. This research addresses issues of why moralists generally see gratitude as an obligation and stressed its dutiful aspects rather than its emotional quality. Findings show that until the advent of moral sentimentalism, gratitude interventions had always produced positive outcomes and benefits which in the heart of ethics is a duty and social obligation towards human benefactors and God.
Article
Helping acts, however well intended and beneficial, sometimes involve immoral means or immoral helpers. Here, we explore whether help recipients consider moral evaluations in their appraisals of gratitude, a possibility that has been neglected by existing accounts of gratitude. Participants felt less grateful and more uneasy when offered immoral help (Study 1, N = 150), and when offered morally neutral help by an immoral helper (Study 2, N = 172). In response to immoral help or helpers, participants were less likely to accept the help and less willing to strengthen their relationship with the helper even when they accepted it. Study 3 ( N = 276) showed that recipients who felt grateful when offered immoral help were perceived as less likable, less moral, and less suitable as close relationship partners than those who felt uneasy by observers. Our results demonstrate that gratitude is morally sensitive and suggest this might be socially adaptive.
Article
Although affective states are typically viewed as belonging to individuals, psychological theories have begun to emphasize collective affective states or interpersonal affective systems that emerge and resonate at the level of dyads and groups. Here, we build on these theories with a focus on co-experienced positive affective states. We distinguish co-experienced positive affect from intraindividual positive affect, and highlight research suggestive that co-experienced positive affect has characteristics that are distinct from intraindividual positive affect with important implications. We review recent advances that indicate co-experienced positive affect plays critical roles in the development of social skills, social bonds, and caring communities, and consider potential implications of co-experienced positive affect for health and well-being.
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Mindfulness appears to be one of the important predictors of relationship satisfaction. The degree of mindfulness displayed by a partner when involved in romantic relationship is known as relationship mindfulness. When it comes to the romantic relationship, researchers need to look at the specific type of mindfulness designed for the field of romantic relationships. Therefore, the present study seeks to show whether relationship mindfulness can predict relationship satisfaction directly. Moreover, there is a difference in mindfulness between males and females in the romantic relationship and how the relationship mindfulness can predict relationship satisfaction in this situation. In the present study, a multistage cluster sampling method was adopted to select participants from among the study population (n=386 individual). Structural equation modeling (SEM) and MANOVA was used for data analysis. Based on the results of the present study, relationship mindfulness predicted relationship satisfaction directly and significantly (p < 0.05). Further, the level of mindfulness in romantic relationship was higher for females in the present study. In addition, gratitude has been shown to be an appropriate mediator for the association between relationship mindfulness and relationship satisfaction.
Article
Gratitude science often conflates the processes of actors recalling and sharing gratitude, as well as neglecting to study targets (benefactors receiving gratitude) and witnesses (those witnessing gratitude). We explored the roles (actors, targets, and witnesses) and processes (recalling, sharing, receiving, and witnessing) involved in gratitude exchanges. In Study 1, undergraduate students (actors; N = 369) wrote letters about either gratitude or daily activities to their parents (targets; N = 247), with half instructed to share their letters with their parents, and half not to share. In Study 2, adolescents (witnesses; N = 267) read either gratitude, positive, or neutral letters written by hypothetical peers addressed to benefactors. Actors recalling gratitude showed improvements in state gratitude, mood, and satisfaction (partial rs = .11 to .15; Study 1); actors sharing gratitude experienced boosts in state gratitude and relationship closeness (rs = .13 to .19; Study 1); targets receiving gratitude demonstrated increases in state gratitude, indebtedness, and elevation (rs = .14 to .16; Study 1); and witnesses observing gratitude reported increased positive affect and elevation (rs = .24), but decreased state gratitude (r = −.12; Study 2). These studies provide initial evidence that different gratitude roles and processes have divergent effects.
Article
Although organizational crises, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, are shocks for employees, their expression of gratitude can be viewed as a silver lining. Drawing on social exchange theory and the social functions of emotion perspective, we develop a model that elucidates why and when benefactors who receive gratitude expression can perform better in the COVID-19 crisis. We propose that receiving gratitude expression as a potential consequence of providing crisis-related help to coworkers enhances one’s crisis self-efficacy and perceived social impact, which, in turn, positively relates to adaptation to a crisis, task performance, and helping behaviors toward leaders. The perceived novelty of the COVID-19 crisis strengthens the positive effect of receiving gratitude expression on crisis self-efficacy, and the perceived criticality of the crisis strengthens the positive effect of receiving gratitude expression on perceived social impact. A scenario-based experiment and five-wave field survey with Eastern and Western employees generally support our hypotheses.
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Brands regularly express gratitude to groups such as first responders, medical personnel, and teachers (i.e., third-party others). However, research investigating the effectiveness of these acknowledgments is lacking. Drawing from the gratitude, branding, and persuasion knowledge literature, we theorize that consumer reactions to advertised gratitude expressions to third-party others depend upon brand positioning, operationalized through brand personality. We empirically demonstrate that when exciting brands express gratitude to third-party others, such expressions reduce purchase intentions relative to advertisements not conveying gratitude or conveying gratitude to customers. As sincere brands are aligned with gratitude, gratitude expressions do not negatively affect purchase intentions. Consumer inferences of manipulative intent explain why gratitude expressions to third-party others lead to adverse effects for exciting but not sincere brands. Our findings signify that advertised gratitude expressions to third-party others need to be managed carefully, as brand personality plays a significant role in consumers’ interpretations of such acknowledgments.
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Social emotions appear to be behavior-regulating programs built by natural selection to solve adaptive problems in the domain of social valuation-the disposition to attend to, associate with, defer to, and aid target individuals based on their probable contributions to the fitness of the valuer. For example, shame functions to prevent and mitigate the costs of being socially devalued by others, whereas anger functions to correct those people who attach insufficient weight to the welfare of the self. Here we review theory and evidence suggesting that social emotions such as guilt, gratitude, anger, pride, shame, sadness, and envy are all governed by a common grammar of social valuation even when each emotion has its own distinct adaptive function and structure. We also provide evidence that social emotions and social valuation operate with a substantial degree of universality across cultures. This emotion-valuation constellation appears to shape human sociality through interpersonal interactions. Expanding upon this, we explore how signatures of this constellation may be evident in two spheres of human sociality: personality and the criminal justice system.
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The transition to parenthood can be a challenging time for new parent couples, as a baby comes with changes and stress that can negatively influence new parents’ relational functioning in the form of reduced relationship satisfaction and disrupted partner social support. Yet, the transition to parenthood is also often experienced as a joyous time. In this research, we draw on the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions to suggest that new parents' positive emotions are not merely an enjoyable distraction, but are instead central to their relational adjustment. Specifically, we hypothesized that new parents who experienced greater positive emotions would report enhanced relationship satisfaction and partner social support across time. To test these ideas, we drew on two dyadic and longitudinal studies of new parents. In Study 1, 104 couples (208 individuals) completed surveys across the course of 1 year, and in Study 2, 192 couples (384 individuals) completed surveys and a laboratory-based social support interaction over the course of 2 years. At each wave of data collection, participants completed assessments of positive emotions, relationship satisfaction, and partner social support. We examined how actor and partner positive emotions longitudinally predicted relational adjustment across time. Results demonstrated that, even when controlling for baseline levels of each outcome variable, greater actor reports of positive emotions prospectively predicted greater subsequent actor a) relationship satisfaction, b) perceptions of social support from the partner, and c) enacted social support as rated by independent observers, a pattern that was especially prominent for fathers. These results suggest positive emotions may be a resource that fosters healthy relational adjustment during chronically stressful periods that threaten intimate relationships, including during the transition to parenthood.
Article
Background Gratitude has received growing interest as an emotion that can bring greater happiness and health. However, little is known about the effects of gratitude on objective measures of physical health or the neural mechanisms that underlie these effects. Given strong links between gratitude and giving behavior, and giving and health, it is possible that gratitude may benefit health through the same mechanisms as giving to others. Thus, this study investigated whether gratitude activates a neural ‘caregiving system’ (e.g., ventral striatum (VS), septal area (SA)), which can downregulate threat responding (e.g., amygdala) and possibly cellular inflammatory responses linked to health. Methods A parallel group randomized controlled trial examined the effect of a six-week online gratitude (n = 31) vs. control (n = 30) writing intervention on neural activity and inflammatory outcomes. Pre- and post-intervention, healthy female participants (ages 35-50) reported on support-giving behavior and provided blood samples to assess circulating plasma levels and stimulated monocytic production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6)). Post-intervention, participants completed a gratitude task and a threat reactivity task in an fMRI scanner. Results There were no significant group differences (gratitude vs. control intervention) in neural responses (VS, SA, or amygdala) to the gratitude or threat tasks. However, across the entire sample, those who showed larger pre- to- post-intervention increases in self-reported support-giving showed larger reductions in amygdala reactivity following the gratitude task (vs. control task). Additionally, those who showed larger reductions in amygdala reactivity following the gratitude task showed larger pre-to-post reductions in the stimulated production of TNF-α and IL-6. Importantly, gratitude-related reductions in amygdala reactivity statistically mediated the relationship between increases in support-giving and decreases in stimulated TNF-α production. Conclusion The observed relationships suggest that gratitude may benefit health (reducing inflammatory responses) through the threat-reducing effects of support-giving.
Article
Es gibt Hinweise darauf, dass sich ältere Klienten in der psychotherapeutischen Beziehung als besonders dankbar erweisen. Dies hat Implikationen für den therapeutischen Prozess und das Therapieergebnis. Aus psychologischer Perspektive wird Dankbarkeit als konkrete Emotion (state) und überdauernde Lebenshaltung (trait) analysiert. Dann werden Theorien und empirische Befunde zur Bedeutung von Dankbarkeit im Leben älterer Menschen vorgestellt. Als nächstes wird gefragt, welche Bedeutung Dankbarkeit angesichts von chronischen körperlichen und depressiven Erkrankungen im Alter überhaupt haben kann. Für die konkrete psychotherapeutische Arbeit werden Übungen zur Förderung von Dankbarkeit vorgestellt. In der therapeutischen Beziehung stellt die Äußerung von Dankbarkeit eine Herausforderung für die Nähe-Distanz-Regulation des Therapeuten dar. Unter Berücksichtigung dieser potenziellen »Nebenwirkungen« wird die besondere Bedeutung von Dankbarkeit für die sozioemotionale Situation und die Psychotherapie von älteren Menschen diskutiert.
Article
Embracing failure for the purpose of learning is a key trait in successful teams. Failure, however, is not the only source of learning. The majority of interventions in healthcare are successful, yet our prevailing efforts to extract learning intelligence tend to focus almost exclusively on failures, such as harm and errors. By considering the learning potential across the whole landscape of work from success to failure, we can widen the range of learning opportunities. The key steps to learn from excellence are first to recognise excellence, which can be highly subjective, and second to provide positive feedback. Positive feedback enhances learning through a number of routes, including increasing self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. It may also help to improve relationships within teams and to offset negativity associated with blame cultures.
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We investigated the relationship between the emotional states of gratitude and indebtedness in two studies. Although many have suggested that these affects are essentially equivalent, we submit that they are distinct emotional states. Following Heider (1958), we propose that with increasing expectations of return communicated with a gift by a benefactor, indebtedness should increase but gratitude should decrease. The results of two vignette studies supported this hypothesis, and patterns of thought/action tendencies showed these states to be distinct. In addition, we found that with increasing expectations communicated by a benefactor, beneficiaries reported that they would be less likely to help the benefactor in the future. Taken together, we argue that the debt of gratitude is internally generated, and is not analogous to an economic form of indebtedness.
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This multimethod series of studies merges the literatures on gratitude and risk regulation to test a new process model of gratitude and relationship maintenance. We develop a measure of appreciation in relationships and use cross-sectional, daily experience, observational, and longitudinal methods to test our model. Across studies, we show that people who feel more appreciated by their romantic partners report being more appreciative of their partners. In turn, people who are more appreciative of their partners report being more responsive to their partners' needs (Study 1), and are more committed and more likely to remain in their relationships over time (Study 2). Appreciative partners are also rated by outside observers as relatively more responsive and committed during dyadic interactions in the laboratory, and these behavioral displays are one way in which appreciation is transmitted from one partner to the other (Study 3). These findings provide evidence that gratitude is important for the successful maintenance of intimate bonds.
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The emotion gratitude is argued to play a pivotal role in building and maintaining social relationships. Evidence is accumulating that links gratitude to increases in relationship satisfaction. Yet, there is currently little evidence for how gratitude does this. The present paper provides experimental evidence of gratitude facilitating relationship-building behaviours. Study 1 provides evidence that gratitude promotes social affiliation, leading one to choose to spend time with a benefactor. Study 2 offers further evidence of gratitude's ability to strengthen relationships by showing that gratitude facilitates socially inclusive behaviours, preferentially towards one's benefactor, even when those actions come at a cost to oneself.
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This study used an attachment theoretical framework to investigate support-seeking and caregiving processes in intimate relationships. Dating couples (N = 93) were videotaped while one member of the couple (support seeker) disclosed a personal problem to his or her partner (caregiver). Results indicated that when support seekers rated their problem as more stressful, they engaged in more direct support-seeking behavior, which led their partners to respond with more helpful forms of caregiving. Responsive caregiving then led seekers to feel cared for and to experience improved mood. Evidence for individual differences was also obtained: Avoidant attachment predicted ineffective support seeking, and anxious attachment predicted poor caregiving. Finally, couples in better functioning relationships engaged in more supportive interactions, and participants' perceptions of their interaction were biased by relationship quality and attachment style.
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Close relationship partners often share successes and triumphs with one another, but this experience is rarely the focus of empirical study. In this study, 79 dating couples completed measures of relationship well-being and then participated in videotaped interactions in which they took turns discussing recent positive and negative events. Disclosers rated how understood, validated, and cared for they felt in each discussion, and outside observers coded responders' behavior. Both self-report data and observational codes showed that 2 months later, responses to positive event discussions were more closely related to relationship well-being and break-up than were responses to negative event discussions. The results are discussed in terms of the recurrent, but often overlooked, role that positive emotional exchanges play in building relationship resources.
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The emotion of gratitude is thought to have social effects, but empirical studies of such effects have focused largely on the repaying of kind gestures. The current research focused on the relational antecedents of gratitude and its implications for relationship formation. The authors examined the role of naturally occurring gratitude in college sororities during a week of gift-giving from older members to new members. New members recorded reactions to benefits received during the week. At the end of the week and 1 month later, the new and old members rated their interactions and their relationships. Perceptions of benefactor responsiveness predicted gratitude for benefits, and gratitude during the week predicted future relationship outcomes. Gratitude may function to promote relationship formation and maintenance.
Chapter
This chapter examines the feeling of being grateful. It suggests feeling grateful is similar to other positive emotions that help build a person's enduring personal resources and broaden an individual's thinking. It describes various ways by which gratitude can transform individuals, organizations, and communities in positive and sustaining ways. It discusses the specific benefits of gratitude including personal and social development, community strength and individual health and well-being.
Article
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.
Article
Gratitude and indebtedness are differently valenced emotional responses to benefits provided, which have implications for interpersonal processes. Drawing on a social functional model of emotions, we tested the roles of gratitude and indebtedness in romantic relationships with a daily-experience sampling of both members of cohabiting couples. As hypothesized, the receipt of thoughtful benefits predicted both gratitude and indebtedness. Men had more mixed emotional responses to benefit receipt than women. However, for both men and women, gratitude from interactions predicted increases in relationship connection and satisfaction the following day, for both recipient and benefactor. Although indebtedness may maintain external signals of relationship engagement, gratitude had uniquely predictive power in relationship promotion, perhaps acting as a booster shot for the relationship.
Article
People feel grateful when they have benefited from someone's costly, intentional, voluntary effort on their behalf. Experiencing gratitude motivates beneficiaries to repay their benefactors and to extend generosity to third parties. Expressions of gratitude also reinforce benefactors for their generosity. These social features distinguish gratitude from related emotions such as happiness and feelings of indebtedness. Evolutionary theories propose that gratitude is an adaptation for reciprocal altruism (the sequential exchange of costly benefits between nonrelatives) and, perhaps, upstream reciprocity (a pay-it-forward style distribution of an unearned benefit to a third party after one has received a benefit from another benefactor). Gratitude therefore may have played a unique role in human social evolution.
Article
A study with 130 newlywed couples was designed to explore marital interaction processes that are predictive of divorce or marital stability, processes that further discriminate between happily and unhappily married stable couples. We explore seven types of process models: (a) anger as a dangerous emotion, (b) active listening, (c) negative affect reciprocity, (d) negative start-up by the wife, (e) de-escalation, (f) positive affect models, and (g) physiological soothing of the male. Support was not found for the models of anger as a dangerous emotion, active listening, or negative affect reciprocity. Support was found for models of the husband's rejecting his wife's influence, negative start-up by the wife, a lack of de-escalation of low intensity negative wife affect by the husband, or a lack of de-escalation of high intensity husband negative affect by the wife, and a lack of physiological soothing of the male, all predicting divorce. Support was found for a contingent positive affect model and for balance models (i.e., ratio models) of positive-to-negative affect predicting satisfaction among stable couples. Divorce and stability were predicted with 83% accuracy and satisfaction with 80% accuracy.
Article
In this chapter, the authors present a social functional account of emotions that attempts to integrate the relevant insights of evolutionary and social constructivist theorists. The authors' account is summarized in 3 statements: (1) social living presents social animals with problems whose solutions are critical for individual survival; (2) emotions have been designed in the course of evolution to solve these problems; and (3) in humans, culture loosens the linkages between emotions and problems so that cultures find new ways of using emotions. In the first half of the chapter the authors synthesize the positions of diverse theorists in a taxonomy of problems of social living and then consider how evolution-based primordial emotions solve those problems by coordinating social interactions. In the second half of the chapter the authors discuss the specific processes according to which culture transforms primordial emotions and how culturally shaped elaborated emotions help solve the problems of social living. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The variety of interpersonal relationships in contemporary society necessitates the development of brief, reliable measures of satisfaction that are applicable to many types of close relationships. This article describes the development of such a measure. In Study I, the 7-item Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS) was administered to 125 subjects who reported themselves to be "in love." Analyses revealed a unifactorial scale structure, substantial factor loadings, and moderate intercorrelations among the items. The scale correlated significantly with measures of love, sexual attitudes, self-disclosure, commitment, and investment in a relationship. In Study II, the scale was administered to 57 couples in ongoing relationships. Analyses supported a single factor, alpha reliability of .86, and correlations with relevant relationship measures. The scale correlated .80 with a longer criterion measure, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (Spanier, 1976), and both scales were effective (with a subsample) in discriminating couples who stayed together from couples who broke up. The RAS is a brief, psychometrically sound, generic measure of relationship satisfaction.
Article
Recent research has underscored the importance of gratitude to psychological and physical well-being (Emmons & McCullough, 2003), and has shown that gratitude can help facilitate the development of close relationships (Algoe, Haidt, & Gable, 2008). To date, however, little is known about gratitude among long-term married couples. The present investigation aims to examine the association between gratitude and marital satisfaction at both the individual and dyadic level. Furthermore, this study was designed to clarify the unique contributions of both feeling and expressing gratitude in marriage. Fifty couples (both husbands and wives) with a mean relationship length of 20.7 years participated in this study. Daily diary methodology was used to collect each individual’s self-reported ratings of felt and expressed gratitude as well as relationship satisfaction for 2 weeks. Consistent with hypotheses, results indicate that one’s felt and expressed gratitude both significantly relate to one’s own marital satisfaction. Cross-partner analyses indicate that the individual’s felt gratitude also predicts the spouse’s satisfaction, whereas surprisingly his or her expressed gratitude does not. Results are discussed in the context of relationship enhancement both at the individual and dyadic level.
Article
This article opens by noting that positive emotions do not fit existing models of emotions. Consequently, a new model is advanced to describe the form and function of a subset of positive emotions, including joy, interest, contentment, and love. This new model posits that these positive emotions serve to broaden an individual's momentary thought-action repertoire, which in turn has the effect of building that individual's physical, intellectual, and social resources. Empirical evidence to support this broaden-and-build model of positive emotions is reviewed, and implications for emotion regulation and health promotion are discussed.
Article
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.
Article
This research examined the dual function of gratitude for relationship maintenance in close relationships. In a longitudinal study among married couples, the authors tested the dyadic effects of gratitude over three time points for approximately 4 years following marriage. They found that feelings of gratitude toward a partner stem from the partner's relationship maintenance behaviors, partly because such behaviors create the perception of responsiveness to one's needs. In turn, gratitude motivates partners to engage in relationship maintenance. Hence, the present model emphasizes that gratitude between close partners (a) originates from partners' relationship maintenance behaviors and the perception of a partner's responsiveness and (b) promotes a partner's reciprocal maintenance behaviors. Thus, the authors' findings add credence to their model, in that gratitude contributes to a reciprocal process of relationship maintenance, whereby each partner's maintenance behaviors, perceptions of responsiveness, and feelings of gratitude feed back on and influence the other's behaviors, perceptions, and feelings.
Article
This research was conducted to examine the hypothesis that expressing gratitude to a relationship partner enhances one's perception of the relationship's communal strength. In Study 1 (N = 137), a cross-sectional survey, expressing gratitude to a relationship partner was positively associated with the expresser's perception of the communal strength of the relationship. In Study 2 (N = 218), expressing gratitude predicted increases in the expresser's perceptions of the communal strength of the relationship across time. In Study 3 (N = 75), participants were randomly assigned to an experimental condition, in which they expressed gratitude to a friend, or to one of three control conditions, in which they thought grateful thoughts about a friend, thought about daily activities, or had positive interactions with a friend. At the end of the study, perceived communal strength was higher among participants in the expression-of-gratitude condition than among those in all three control conditions. We discuss the theoretical and applied implications of these findings and suggest directions for future research.
Article
The mundane and often fleeting moments that a couple experiences in their everyday lives may contribute to the health or deterioration of a relationship by serving as a foundation to major couple events such as conflict discussions and caring days. This study examines the role of playfulness and enthusiasm in everyday life to the use of humor and affection during conflict. Using observational methods, we studied 49 newlywed couples in a 10-minute dinnertime interaction and in a 15-minute conflict discussion. The conflict discussion was coded using the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF; Gottman, Coan, & McCoy, 1996), and a new observational system was developed to capture dinnertime interactions in a seminatural setting. We analyzed the data using path analysis and found a stronger path model when the direction of correlation moved from daily moments to the conflict discussion. These findings provide preliminary support for the importance of daily moments in couple relationships, but this research was strictly observational and therefore correlational, so further research is necessary to determine direction of causation.
Article
The ability of the emotion gratitude to shape costly prosocial behavior was examined in three studies employing interpersonal emotion inductions and requests for assistance. Study 1 demonstrated that gratitude increases efforts to assist a benefactor even when such efforts are costly (i.e., hedonically negative), and that this increase differs from the effects of a general positive affective state. Additionally, mediational analyses revealed that gratitude, as opposed to simple awareness of reciprocity norms, drove helping behavior. Furthering the theory that gratitude mediates prosocial behavior, Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and demonstrated gratitude's ability to function as an incidental emotion by showing it can increase assistance provided to strangers. Study 3 revealed that this incidental effect dissipates if one is made aware of the true cause of the emotional state. Implications of these findings for the role of gratitude in building relationships are discussed.
Gratitude and prosocial behavior: Helping when it costs you A theory of communal (and exchange) relationships Handbook of theories of social psychology
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The Perceived Partner Responsiveness Scale. Unpub-lished manuscript Perceived partner respon-siveness as an organizing construct in the study of intimacy and close-ness
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Reis, H. T. (2006). The Perceived Partner Responsiveness Scale. Unpub-lished manuscript, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Reis, H., Clark, M. S., & Holmes, J. G. (2004). Perceived partner respon-siveness as an organizing construct in the study of intimacy and close-ness. In D. J. Mashek & A. P. Aron (Eds.) Handbook of closeness and intimacy (pp. 201–225). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum Publishers.
Appetitive and aversive social inter-action
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Gable, S. L., & Reis, H. T. (2001). Appetitive and aversive social inter-action. In J. Harvey, & A. Wenzel (Eds.), Close romantic relationships: Maintenance and enhancement (pp. 169 –194). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
The debt of gratitude: Dissociating gratitude and indebtedness. Cognition & Emo-tion Ⅲ This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers
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Watkins, P. C., Scheer, J., Ovnicke, M., & Kolts, R. (2006). The debt of gratitude: Dissociating gratitude and indebtedness. Cognition & Emo-tion, 20, 217–241. doi:10.1080/02699930500172291 Received December 28, 2012 Revision received March 14, 2013 Accepted March 15, 2013 Ⅲ This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
An adaptation for altruism? The social causes, social effects, and social evolution of gratitude HLM 5: Hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling
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