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The human mind tends to excessively discount the value of delayed rewards relative to immediate ones, and it is thought that "hot" affective processes drive desires for short-term gratification. Supporting this view, recent findings demonstrate that sadness exacerbates financial impatience even when the sadness is unrelated to the economic decision at hand. Such findings might reinforce the view that emotions must always be suppressed to combat impatience. But if emotions serve adaptive functions, then certain emotions might be capable of reducing excessive impatience for delayed rewards. We found evidence supporting this alternative view. Specifically, we found that (a) the emotion gratitude reduces impatience even when real money is at stake, and (b) the effects of gratitude are differentiable from those of the more general positive state of happiness. These findings challenge the view that individuals must tamp down affective responses through effortful self-regulation to reach more patient and adaptive economic decisions.
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GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 1
Gratitude: A Tool for Reducing Economic Impatience
David DeSteno1, Ye Li2, Leah Dickens1, Jennifer S. Lerner3
1Northeastern University, 2University of California Riverside,
3Harvard University
In Press, Psychological Science
Corresponding Author:
David DeSteno
Department of Psychology
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115
d.desteno@gmail.com
Date: February 28, 2014
Word Count: 2499
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 2
Abstract
The human mind tends to excessively discount the value of delayed rewards relative to
immediate ones, with “hot” affective processes believed to drive desires for short-term
gratification. Supporting this view, recent findings demonstrate that sadness exacerbates
financial impatience even when the sadness is unrelated to the economic decision at hand
(Lerner, Li, & Weber, 2013). Such findings might reinforce the view that emotions must
always be suppressed to combat impatience. But if emotions serve adaptive functions,
then certain emotions might be capable of reducing excessive impatience for delayed
rewards. We find evidence supporting this alternative view. Specifically, we find that (1)
the emotion gratitude reduces impatience even with real money at stake, and (2) the
effects of gratitude are differentiable from those of the more general positive state of
happiness. These findings challenge the view that individuals must tamp down affective
responses through effortful self-regulation to reach more patient and adaptive economic
decisions.
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 3
The propensity of the human mind to overly discount the value of future rewards is
well established (Ainslie, 1975; Berns, Laibson, & Loewenstein, 2007; Loewenstein &
Thaler, 1989). At base, this phenomenon, known as temporal discounting, has an
adaptive basis: future gains generally hold less utility than do immediate gains of
equivalent value (Loewenstein & Prelec, 1992). The excessive extent to which
discounting regularly occurs, however, often leads to remarkably impatient decisions that
result in suboptimal outcomes (Berns et al, 2007; Frank, 1988; Frederick, Loewenstein, &
O’Donoghue, 2003). Indeed, the tendency to favor smaller immediate gains over larger
long-term ones may underlie problems ranging from credit-card debt (Meier & Sprenger,
2010) to unhealthy eating and associated increased mortality risk (Chabris, Laibson,
Morris, Schuldt, & Taubinsky, 2008; DeSteno, Gross, & Kubzansky, 2013) to substance
addiction (Bickel, Miller, Yi, Kowal, Lindquist, & Pitcock, 2007; Kirby, Petry, & Bickel,
1999).
Given the problems that can arise from chronic and excessive devaluing of future
rewards relative to immediate ones, it is not surprising that patience has long been viewed
as a virtue. The philosophers Hobbes (1642/1949), Hume (1888), and Locke (1693/1964)
all emphasized the benefit of combatting desires for immediate pleasure that inhibit
larger, future gains. In modern psychology, the story has been much the same, with
Mischel and colleagues (Mischel, Shoda, & Rodriguez, 1989) providing perhaps the
clearest evidence linking a capacity for patience with future success.
These older and contemporary views both maintain that the appropriate selection of
long-term gains over smaller, sooner ones requires decision makers to overcome affective
responses (Berns et al., 2007; Frank, 1988; Metcalfe & Mischel, 1999). Spinoza
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 4
(1670/2001) may capture it best in stating, “In their [humans’] desires and judgments of
what is beneficial, they are carried away by their passions, which take no account of the
future or anything else . . . .” Supporting this view, recent work has in fact shown that
increases in the intensity of experienced sadness exacerbate people’s impatience (Lerner,
Li, & Weber, 2013). This phenomenon occurs even when that sadness is incidental to the
real-stakes financial judgments or choices at hand.
Yet, if we take seriously the view that the capacity for emotion evolved to provide a
relatively automatic means for guiding cognitive and behavioral processes in generally
adaptive ways (Keltner, Haidt & Shiota, 2006), the notion that all emotions necessarily
lead to impatience becomes questionable. After all, humans have faced trade-offs in
short- versus long-term rewards for millennia. In all likelihood, before we even had the
ability to engage in mental time-travel and imagine what the future might bring (Boyer,
2008; Suddendorf & Corballis, 2007), humans regularly faced challenges where success
required decisions that favored long-term gains – decisions where excessive impatience
would have led us astray.
Successful social living for humans frequently requires the acceptance of short-term
costs in exchange for future capital (DeSteno, 2009). The benefits derived from
cooperation and trust, for example, require one to accept the immediate costs of
providing support to another in return for the longer-term gains associated with a lasting
relationship characterized by continued exchange (Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006; Frank,
1988; Nowak & Highfield, 2011). Given the long-standing challenges posed by such
choices, it seems plausible that one or more specific emotions could act to attenuate
impatience stemming from excessive discounting of the value of future rewards. That is,
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 5
just as sadness increases impatience – presumably to combat a sense of immediate loss
(Lerner et al., 2013; cf. Lerner, Small, & Loewenstein, 2004) – one or more discrete
positive emotions might enhance patience by attenuating the discounting of future gains.
(DeSteno, 2009). Because the value of both short- and long-term gains depend on
context, intuitive mechanisms favoring each are likely to reside in the mind.
Gratitude: A Tool for Patience?
One might hypothesize that positive affect of any type might attenuate economic
impatience. That is, any good feeling might make one willing to wait for greater financial
gain. However, research on emotion and decision-making has shown that predictions
based solely on the positive or negative valence of affective states are often problematic
(DeSteno, Petty, Rucker, Wegener, & Braverman, 2004; Lerner & Keltner 2000, 2001).
Valence constitutes only one dimension of an emotion and, as such, cannot by itself
determine the cognitive and behavioral sequelae of any affective state (for a review, see
Keltner & Lerner, 2010). Multi-dimensional theoretical frameworks of emotion and
decision making (e.g., The Appraisal-Tendency Framework, see Lerner & Keltner 2000,
2001; Lerner & Tiedens, 2006) therefore argue for the importance of considering discrete
emotional states in predicting choice.
Unlike global positive or negative affect, discrete emotions (e.g., gratitude, sadness)
correspond to specific challenges and, therefore, shape subsequent decisions and
behaviors in accord with their respective functional goals (DeSteno, 2009; Lerner &
Keltner 2000; 2001; Han, Lerner & Keltner, 2007). For example, whereas sadness has
been shown to increase impatience, disgust, though negative, does not influence patience,
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 6
as disgust’s goal of contamination avoidance is less relevant to resolving tradeoffs
between immediate and future rewards (Lerner et al., 2013).
The question at hand, therefore, centers on which discrete emotional state could
potentially reduce impatience. Based upon theoretical considerations and a growing body
of behavioral evidence, we believe that the emotion gratitude is a likely candidate. Both
classical (Smith 1790/1976) and modern (Frank, 1988) economic theorists have
suggested that socially oriented emotions such as gratitude might play a role in inhibiting
decisions favoring immediate gratification. Within evolutionary biology, a similar view
has emerged. Trivers (1971) argued that gratitude might be a proximate motivator of
reciprocal altruism, and Nowak and Roch (2007) suggested it is linked to indirect
upstream reciprocity. Both phenomena require individuals to accept short-term costs in
resources (e.g., time, money, physical effort) in an effort to access future gains.
Supporting this view, recent work has shown that direct manipulations of gratitude
enhanced behaviors that were costly in the moment but that held the potential to build
long-term cooperation in the future (Bartlett, Condon, Cruz, Baumann, & DeSteno, 2012;
Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006; DeSteno, Bartlett, Baumann, Williams, & Dickens, 2010).
To determine whether gratitude reduces impatience, we must distinguish its effects
from that of a more general state of the same valence. That is, if gratitude functions as we
believe, its effects should be differentiable from other positive states. Findings from the
nascent literature examining the impact of nonspecific positive affect on impatience have
been mixed, with some finding null effects or an exacerbation of impatience among those
prone to extraversion (Hirsh, Guindon, Morisano, & Peterson, 2010), and others finding
attenuation (Ifcher & Zarghamee, 2011; Pyone & Isen, 2011). Such variability likely
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 7
stems from the fact that induction and measurement procedures for positive states have
varied greatly, with little focus on delineation of one positive state from another. To date,
we know of no previous examinations of the link between gratitude and economic
impatience.
In the present experiment, therefore, we directly compared gratitude to happiness in
order to examine gratitude’s effect on impatience while controlling for a simpler,
valence-based explanation. After inducing participants to experience one of these two
affective states or a neutral control, we had them complete a standard set of intertemporal
choices designed to assess economic impatience. We expected that gratitude would
reduce impatience and that happiness, due to a lack of tight functional ties to temporal
trade-offs in rewards, would likely produce a pattern similar to a neutral state.
Method
We randomly assigned 75 participants (32 males, 43 females, mean age=19, age
range=18-23 years) to one of three emotion-induction conditions: Gratitude, Happiness,
or Neutral. Individuals received course credit for participation and were eligible to
receive a monetary award based on their decisions in the discounting task (see below).
Participants sat in individual cubicles equipped with personal computers.
After providing informed consent, participants began their respective emotion-
induction procedure. Inductions took the form of autobiographical recall. Participants
were asked to recall an event that made them feel grateful, an event that made them feel
happy, or the events of a typical day (i.e., the neutral condition). They then spent five
minutes writing about the respective topic in detail. Following completion of the recall
task, participants completed a measure of emotion that required them to indicate how
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 8
well, if at all, each of numerous affective descriptors (e.g., sad, angry, grateful, happy)
captured their current feeling state using 5-point scales. Embedded within the measure
were descriptors specifically related to the induced emotions. Gratitude was assessed as
the mean response to grateful, appreciative, and thankful (Cronbach =.92); happiness
was assessed as the mean response to happy, content, and pleasant (Cronbach =.74).
Participants next made 27 choices between receiving cash amounts (ranging from
$11 to $80) immediately and larger cash amounts (ranging from $25 to $85) at a point
from one week to six months in the future (Kirby et al., 1999; see supplementary
materials for complete set of items). In accord with standard behavioral economic norms
(e.g., Weber et al., 2007), we incentivized participants to engage in the task and provide
their true preferences by informing them that one participant in each session (median of
three participants per session) would have one of her or his decisions randomly selected
and would receive the preferred amount. If the selected choice was for an immediate
reward, the participant was paid in cash at the end of the session. If the choice was for a
later reward, he or she would return to pick up the money or have it mailed in the form of
a check on the specified date.1
Results
Emotion Manipulation Check
We submitted participants’ self-reported emotion intensity scores to a 3 (Induction
Condition: Neutral, Grateful, Happy) × 2(Measured Emotion: Gratitude or Happiness)
mixed Analysis of Variance, with the second factor being repeated, in order to confirm
the success of the manipulations. As expected, the Condition × Measured Emotion
interaction proved significant, F(2, 72)=22.48, p<.001. A planned contrast revealed that
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 9
participants in both induction conditions evidenced a significant elevation in positive
emotions (Mgrateful=4.47, SDgrateful=0.38; Mhappy=4.11, SDhappy=0.72) compared to those in
the neutral condition (M=3.17, SD=0.84), F(1, 72)=45.97, p<.001. In addition, a focused
contrast using happiness as a covariate (cf. Lerner & Keltner, 2001) confirmed that
participants induced to feel gratitude reported significantly elevated feelings of
gratefulness compared to participants induced to feel happy, F(1, 47)=34.08, p<.001. A
similar focused contrast using gratitude as a covariate confirmed that participants induced
to feel happy reported significantly elevated feelings of happiness compared to
participants induced to feel gratitude, F(1, 47)=10.81, p=.002.2
Temporal Discounting
We used maximum-likelihood estimation to fit each participant’s financial choices
to an exponential discounting function, D(t) = t, where larger values of  (the annual
discount factor, as opposed to the discount rate) indicate more patience. An annual
discount factor reflects the extent to which a fixed amount to be received 1 year from
now would be valued relative to the same amount received immediately. In other words,
a discount factor of .50 would imply that $100 today is worth only $50 in 1 year and $25
in 2 years. Or, put differently, it means one would be willing to accept $50 today rather
than $100 a year from now. As such, the discount factor can range from 0 (extreme
impatience) to 1 (extreme patience).
To examine our central prediction that gratitude would result in less impatience
(i.e., a larger annual discount factor), we conducted a planned contrast on the mean
annual discount factors using weights of (-1) neutral, (-1) happiness, and (2) gratitude. In
support of expectations, the contrast confirmed that grateful participants evidenced
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 10
greater patience (i.e., less temporal discounting) in comparison to neutral and happy
participants (who did not significantly differ from each other), t(72)=2.18, p=.03, d=0.62
(see Figure 1).
3,4
In monetary terms, the mean grateful participant required $63
immediately to forgo receiving $85 in three months, whereas the mean neutral or happy
participant required only $55 immediately.
Figure 1. Mean exponential annual discount factors as a function of emotion
condition. Error bars indicate ± one standard error.
In order to further demonstrate the specific link between gratitude and increased
patience, we regressed participants’ annual discount factors onto their reported intensities
of gratitude and happiness. Within this model, only gratitude emerged as a reliable
predictor. Increasing intensities of gratitude corresponded to increasing annual discount
factors (=.32, t=2.29, p<.03, R
2
=.07); intensities of happiness predicted no appreciable
changes (t<1.13).
Discussion
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 11
The results reveal that gratitude reduces excessive economic impatience.
Comparing gratitude’s effects to those of happiness, the results also confirm the
importance of more narrowly parsing the influence of positive emotional states within the
context of economic choice. Perhaps most importantly, they substantially challenge the
view that individuals must tamp down affective responses through effortful self-
regulation to make more patient and adaptive economic decisions (cf. Berns et al., 2007;
Mischel et al., 1989; Metcalfe & Mischel, 1999).
This final point holds potentially profound consequences. Ample research from
many domains has shown that willpower aimed at self-regulation can and does fail,
leading at times to negative outcomes (Vohs & Baumesiter, 2011; Vohs et al., 2008;
Vohs & Faber, 2007). Ability, time, and motivation to engage in effortful self-regulation
are not always available. According to the traditional view of intertemporal choice, such
situations can be expected to leave individuals highly vulnerable to decisions favoring
excessive impatience – decisions that they will likely come to regret over time. The
current findings argue strongly for a second route to combat excessive impatience – a
route that can operate relatively intuitively and thus effortlessly from the bottom-up.
Research has already shown that gratitude enhances behaviors, such as cooperation,
that favor long-term gain even at an immediate cost (DeSteno, 2009). The identification
of a direct effect of gratitude on impatience provides insight not only into a possible
mechanism underlying such behavioral effects, but also opens new paths with which
affect-based interventions might profitably be used. For example, work by Emmons and
McCullough (2003) has shown that engagement in simple daily reflective exercises about
events for which one is grateful leads to increased subjective wellbeing. It may well be
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 12
that similar interventions can be used to inoculate people against the pernicious effects of
excessive impatience on their financial and health-related decisions.
GratitudeandTemporalDiscounting 13
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Notes
1Note that this design implies higher transaction costs and potential risks of not
receiving payment for future options, relative to immediate options. Although this may
reduce overall patience levels (Andreoni & Sprenger, 2012), this study focuses on
relative differences in patience among different emotion conditions, not absolute levels.
2Levels of the non-target positive emotion were used as covariates given the
correlation between reported feelings of gratitude and happiness (r=.57), which regularly
results from people’s tendency to use the term happy as a relevant descriptor for many
positive states (cf. Lerner & Keltner, 2001).
3Contrasts provide increased power for examining predicted mean differences.
Simple paired comparisons also confirm that the discount rate of grateful participants
differs from that of neutral (p=.05) and happy (p=.08) participants, respectively.
4Conducting a similar contrast analysis on ranks for the annual discount factors
produces a similar result, t(72)=1.93, p<.06. ANOVA on ranks, though often possessing
less power than its raw score counterpart, is less influenced by distributional skews.
... Previous research has found that positive emotions are a key facilitator of academic engagement . In addition, gratitude, which is a positive emotional trait, has also been found to positively predict academic engagement (Jin & Wang, 2019;Zhen et al., 2019), and to bolster other constructs related to optimal school functioning as well, such as self-control (DeSteno et al., 2014;Dickens & DeSteno, 2016). Although recent developments regarding the relationship between gratitude and academic engagement have led to a renewed interest in this area, there is still a dearth of knowledge about how gratitude is related to students' academic engagement. ...
... Although recent developments regarding the relationship between gratitude and academic engagement have led to a renewed interest in this area, there is still a dearth of knowledge about how gratitude is related to students' academic engagement. The research to date has tended to focus on the effect of state gratitude rather than trait gratitude as an individual difference (DeSteno et al., 2014;Dickens & DeSteno, 2016). Moreover, very little attention has been paid to the role of self-control as a strategy in the relationship between gratitude and academic engagement (Zhen et al., 2019). ...
... The resources gained from sensing gratitude enable people to better cope with negative situations and challenges. For example, gratitude encourages individuals to suppress impulsive behaviors in response to their immediate interests (DeSteno et al., 2014;Dickens & DeSteno, 2016). This hypothesis was confirmed by research that found that higher daily gratitude was associated with more patience and attenuated temporal discounting. ...
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The present study examined the association between trait gratitude (a tendency to experience gratitude in daily life) and academic engagement (a fulfilling and positive state of mind that is study-related), with a primary focus on confirming the mediating role of avoidance of temptation (commitment to long-term goals by avoiding situations in which they might be threatened by short-term goals) in Chinese college students. A total of 348 university students volunteered to participate in the study. The participants completed the Trait Gratitude Scale, Avoidance of Temptation Scale, and the Academic Engagement Scale. The results show that people with higher levels of gratitude reported higher levels of avoidance of temptation (r = 0.31, p < 0.01) and academic engagement (r = 0.27, p < 0.01). Structural equation modeling revealed that avoidance of temptation fully mediated the associations between gratitude and academic engagement [CFI = 0.974]. The results show that 16.8% of the variance for academic engagement could be explained by this model. These results suggest that people with higher levels of gratitude tend to adopt proactive self-control strategies such as situation selection to avoid temptation, which might contribute to positive functioning (i.e., academic engagement). Implications and directions for future research on academic engagement are discussed.
... While this hypothesis crystallized more recently, indirect evidence supports it. First, evidence suggests that gratitude elicits changes within the reward processing system (DeSteno et al., 2014), increasing the ability to delay gratification. Although it remains unclear whether such changes may explain gratitude interventions' positive outcomes, other evidence suggests reward processing predicts positive affect (e.g., Merchán-Clavellino et al., 2019). ...
... Another possible explanation for this finding stems from differences between this study and previous work. While previous work used the delay discounting paradigm (DeSteno et al., 2014;Patalano et al., 2018), we measured reward processing using a self-report measure, the BAS (Carver & White, 1994). Both are widely employed measures, but they may tap into distinct reward processing dimensions. ...
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Outcomes of gratitude interventions are encouraging, but inconsistent across studies. In addition, both mechanisms of change and effect modifiers for these interventions are largely unknown. Recent data point toward potential candidates and suggest reward processing may be a promising mechanism underlying these interventions, while childhood adversity (CA) and trait gratitude may impact on them. However, existing research aimed at investigating these hypotheses is scarce. Building on these, we examined the effectiveness of a gratitude intervention for decreasing depressive symptoms and negative affect and increasing positive affect. We also investigated changes in reward processing following intervention and explored differences in adherence and drop-out between groups. Finally, we investigated the moderating role of CA and trait gratitude. Participants (N=237, ages between 18–56) were randomly allocated to a gratitude or active control condition (14 days). Following intervention, findings indicated a significant decrease in depressive symptoms and negative affect in both conditions. While positive affect remained stable, a significant time effect emerged for reward processing. CA severity, but not multiplicity, moderated the effectiveness of the intervention, adherence and drop-out. Trait gratitude moderated the effectiveness of the gratitude intervention only on depressive symptoms. Gratitude interventions may not be the best fit for everyone. Thus, we recommend tailoring interventions, especially in individuals reporting a history of severe CA.
... opposed to present ones(DeSteno et al., 2014;Dickens & DeSteno, 2016), and is positively related to social justice behaviors(Michie, 2009). In terms of antisocial behaviors, DeSteno and colleagues (2019) found that participants with an induced feeling of gratitude cheated less. ...
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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.
... Gratitude interventions in adolescents may facilitate engagement in selfimprovement behaviours associated with long-term self-improvement goals instead of behaviours with more immediate rewards (DeSteno et al., 2014). Literature also suggests that young people assigned to gratitude interventions experienced greater happiness, positive affect, life satisfaction, and psychological well-being than those in control conditions (Davis et al., 2015;Dickens, 2017). ...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on positive adolescent development and the role of gratitude in particular in promoting adolescent well-being. A global view on the subject is offered, with a specific focus on the Indian cultural context. The chapter consists of three main sections. The first section offers various perspectives on adolescent development, emphasizing a strengths-based approach. It highlights empirical findings on how gratitude benefits adolescents. This section also presents the cross-cultural and indigenous Indian aspects of gratitude. The second part describes an empirical study involving gratitude journaling among Indian adolescents. Study findings and implications are discussed. The third and final section of this chapter presents both Indian and international scenarios towards positive adolescent development and concludes by proposing future recommendations.
... This research builds on the psychology and behavioral economics literature that shows that emotions triggered by one situation (e.g., personal life) can carry over to other situations (e.g., workplaces), affecting unrelated decisions and perceptions (Keltner et al., 1993;Small & Lerner, 2008). The influence of carryover emotions is difficult to suppress, and thus routinely serves as a perceptual lens through which biased decisions are made (DeSteno et al., 2014;Lerner et al., 2004). For example, individuals with positive emotions make optimistic judgments, while the pessimistic judgements occur for individuals with negative emotions (Han et al., 2007;Johnson & Tversky, 1983;Keltner & Lerner, 2010;Loewenstein & Lerner, 2003). ...
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We investigate how grief following the death of a CEO's former colleague affects management forecasts. Our results show that the death of a former colleague is associated with a transient, one-year increase in the pessimism of management forecasts. This effect is amplified when the CEO exhibits a greater resemblance or stronger attachment to the deceased. Further, we also find that the effect is less pronounced for CEOs who are more equipped to handle the negative emotions. Additional tests show that CEOs issue pessimistic management forecasts at a higher frequency and exhibit more pessimistic tones in speech during conference calls after the death event. Moreover, we find that CEOs make a staged recovery as their pessimism in issuing management forecasts appears to last only about one year. Further analysis reveals that a firm's stock price crash risk significantly decreases following the death event. Overall, this study extends our knowledge of transient factors by showing that grief can affect the bias contained in management forecasts.
... One possible reason for this finding is that when parental autonomy support is insufficient, undergraduate students with high levels of gratitude may have a higher capacity for self-control, which may suppress PIU as they persist and pursue their goals in reality. Under the same conditions, undergraduate students with low levels of gratitude may not effectively regulate their behavior, making it easier to seek a desire on the Internet, which will lead to the risk of PIU [64]. Second, gratitude also moderated the association between parental autonomy support and filial piety. ...
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Applying an integrated theoretical model consisting of the socioecological theory, the self-determination theory, and the broaden-and-build theory, the present study tested a moderated mediation model of parental autonomy support, filial piety, and gratitude to study how these factors are jointly related to pathological Internet use (PIU) in Chinese undergraduate students. A total of 1054 Chinese undergraduate students (M age = 20.35, SD = 1.00, 34.7% females) aged between 16 and 24 years participated in this study. They were instructed to complete self-reported questionnaires on parental autonomy support, filial piety, gratitude, and PIU. The results showed that parental autonomy support was negatively associated with PIU, and filial piety partially mediated this relation. Specifically, parental autonomy support was positively related to filial piety, which, in turn, was negatively associated with PIU. In addition, gratitude moderated the first path of the indirect relation and the direct relation of this mediation effect. To be specific, undergraduate students with higher gratitude showed high filial piety and low PIU, in the context of low parental autonomy support, than those with lower gratitude. Taken together, the current study contributes to extant research by highlighting the vital role of parental autonomy support in mitigating undergraduate students’ PIU and illustrating how filial piety explains the underlying mechanism of this association. This study also provides novel insights into intervention or prevention programs by demonstrating that gratitude alleviates the adverse effect of low parental autonomy support on students’ PIU.
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Taking “Guozhuang worship”, a traditional ritual of Pumi people in China, as an example, this study explored the effects of ritual actions, symbolic meanings, and positive emotions on the perceived control of adolescents and adults in Pumi people by using the methods of recall task and creating novel rituals. The results showed that adolescents who were familiar with the actions, symbolism, or more emotional experiences of the Guozhuang worship had a stronger perceived control. The study concluded that there is a dual path way mechanism in the influence of ritual actions and symbolic meaning on peoples’ perceived control. Ritual actions directly enhance perceived control, while symbolic meaning enhances perceived control through the full mediation of positive emotions. The relationship between symbolic meaning and perceived control is also variant in different ritual subjects. Praying for blessing indirectly enhances adolescents' perceived control through positive emotions, while expressing gratitude indirectly enhances adults' perceived control through positive emotions. The results have important implications for exploring the effects of ritual actions, symbolic meanings, and positive emotions on the individual’s perceived control.
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How do people decide whether to sacrifice now for a future reward or to enjoy themselves in the present? Do the future gains of putting money in a pension fund outweigh going to Hawaii for New Year's Eve? Why does a person's self-discipline one day often give way to impulsive behavior the next? Time and Decision takes up these questions with a comprehensive collection of new research on intertemporal choice, examining how people face the problem of deciding over time. Economists approach intertemporal choice by means of a model in which people discount the value of future events at a constant rate. A vacation two years from now is worth less to most people than a vacation next week. Psychologists, on the other hand, have focused on the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intertemporal choice. Time and Decision draws from both disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive picture of the various layers of choice involved. Shane Frederick, George Loewenstein, and Ted O'Donoghue introduce the volume with an overview of the research on time discounting and focus on how people actually discount the future compared to the standard economic model. Alex Kacelnik discusses the crucial role that the ability to delay gratification must have played in evolution. Walter Mischel and colleagues review classic research showing that four year olds who are able to delay gratification subsequently grow up to perform better in college than their counterparts who chose instant gratification. The book also delves into the neurobiology of patience, examining the brain structures involved in the ability to withstand an impulse. Turning to the issue of self-control, Klaus Wertenbroch examines the relationship between consumption and available resources, showing, for example, how a high credit limit can lead people to overspend. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin show how people's awareness of their self-control problems affects their decision-making. The final section of the book examines intertemporal choice with regard to health, drug addiction, dieting, marketing, savings, and public policy. All of us make important decisions every day-many of which profoundly affect the quality of our lives. Time and Decision provides a fascinating look at the complex factors involved in how and why we make our choices, so many of them short-sighted, and helps us understand more precisely this crucial human frailty.
Chapter
1What is an Emotion?2Universals and Cultural Variations in Emotion3Emotion and Reason4Social Construction of Emotion5Emotion and Happiness6Summary
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We examine a number of situations in which people do not appear to discount money flows at the market rate of interest or any other single discount rate. Discount rates observed in both laboratory and field decision-making environments are shown to depend on the magnitude and sign of what is being discounted, on the time delay, on whether the choice is cast in terms of speed-up or delay, on the way in which a choice is framed, and on whether future benefits or costs induce savoring or dread.
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Six studies examine the influence of positive affect on self-control in intertemporal choice (consumers' willingness to wait for desired rewards) and the cognitive processes underlying this effect. Two studies measure participants' levels of thinking in two different ways, showing that positive affect can promote forward-looking, high-level thinking. Two studies using a delay-of-gratification paradigm demonstrate this forward-looking thinking and show it to be a mindful process. Participants in positive (vs. neutral) affect were more likely to choose a larger mail-in rebate over a smaller instant rebate when the reward differences were moderate (but not when they were small). Two studies demonstrate the impact of positive affect on intertemporal preference in another way, showing that participants in positive affect do not discount the value of delayed outcomes as much as people in neutral affect do (decreased present bias). Together, the results indicate that positive affect promotes cognitive flexibility and fosters a higher level of thinking and a more future-oriented time perspective, without obscuring practical considerations and other needed detail, including context and opportunity costs, when evaluating intertemporal options.