Chapter

Why Gratitude Enhances Well-Being

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Abstract

Gratitude is an acknowledgment that we have received something of value from others. It arises from a posture of openness to others, where we are able to gladly recognize their benevolence. Societies through the ages have long extolled the benefits of gratitude, and classical writings have deemed it the "greatest of the virtues." But only recently has psychological theory and research on gratitude begun to catch up with philosophical commendations. This chapter begins by reviewing research on gratitude and positive human functioning. It explores the mechanisms by which gratitude enhances well-being and considers at several explanations and evaluates the empirical evidence for each. The chapter then establishes an agenda for the future by considering some ways in which the scientific field of gratitude can be advanced.

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... The first process indicates that an individual has attained a positive outcome and the second, recognition that an external source, such as another person, nature, or a spiritual deity, has contributed to the positive outcome (Emmons, 2008). In the case where gratitude is directed towards other persons, it can be described as a form of reciprocal altruism, and it aims to foster mutually beneficial relationships (Emmons & Mishra, 2011). Data suggest that gratitude is connected positively to a variety of prosocial outcomes, for example, well-being, positive youth development, and quality of life (Kashdan et al., 2009;Ma et al., 2013). ...
... Hence, consistent with the literature, the qualitative data suggest that experiencing gratitude should be viewed as a practice that can elicit social change within the education context and not merely as a blanket requirement for mastering a specific set of positive emotions (Emmons, 2008). Furthermore, gratitude ought to promote reciprocal altruism at a macro-level through fostering mutually beneficial relationships between persons across the political system (Emmons & Mishra, 2011;Maphanga, 2014). Within such a milieu, gratitude can potentially enhance students' learning efforts and promote a climate of meaningful exchange that endorses purposeful learning (Booysen, 2017;Maphanga, 2014). ...
... In this regard, one participant explained that "It is important to understand that lecturers often make sacrifices for students … the effort that some lecturers take in preparing slides and classes … I feel grateful and respect and it leads to stronger relationships" (P#4, M, 18). Researchers have found that gratitude has positive effects on interpersonal relationships (Emmons & Mishra, 2011). ...
Article
Signature strengths, such as gratitude, can assist students in navigating the demanding first-year experience. However, more research is needed to explore the role of gratitude in relation to cognitive benefits for students. This article reports on a constructivist grounded theory study that explored South African students' conceptions and enactments of gratitude with regard to their learning efforts. Qualitative data were collected in individual open-ended interviews (n = 22, age-range = 18-23) and analysed using three interdependent coding phases (initial coding, focused coding and theoretical coding). The resultant grounded theory was titled "˜Thanks: Gratitude and learning resilience amongst first-year university students". The findings revealed that gratitude could take many forms and has a positive qualitative impact on students' learning resilience, and that gratitude and learning resilience are emancipatory in nature. Limitations and areas for further research conclude the discussion.
... Gratitude has emerged as an important topic in psychology, and research on dispositional gratitude and its relationship to different indicators of well-being has gained traction in the past two decades (e.g., Emmons & Mishra, 2011;McCullough et al., 2002;McCullough, Tsang & Emmons, 2004). Several researchers have investigated trait gratitude as an important predictor of well-being and other desirable life outcomes (e.g., Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006;Emmons & McCullough, 2003;McCullough et al., 2002;McCullough, Tsang, & Emmons, 2004). ...
... Furthermore, Lovibond and Lovibond (1995) argued these negative states associated with a lack of well-being are attributable to "a common vulnerability factor, such as neuroticism or 2 Note: In our review, we found there are several variables (i.e., self-esteem, optimism, vitality, and loneliness) for which there is not scholarly consensus regarding whether they are indicators of well-being or adjacent constructs. Some researchers conceptualized and tested the constructs as indicators of personal well-being and positive functioning (e.g., McCullough et al., 2002;, while others have represented them as mediators or moderators of the relationship between dispositional gratitude and personal wellbeing (e.g., Emmons & Mishra, 2011;. negative affect, and common environmental activation" (p. ...
... Grateful individuals experience higher well-being through schematic biases that allow them to experience helpful actions from others as more beneficial to the self . Being grateful facilitates coping with stress and reduces the experience of toxic emotions resulting from social comparisons (Emmons & Mishra, 2011). Moreover, the habitual experience of positive emotions by grateful individuals facilitates resistance to mental disorders and general stressors (Fredrickson, 2004;Fredrickson & Joiner, 2002). ...
Article
What is the impact of dispositional gratitude on well-being? By synthesizing the literature, we evaluate the association between dispositional gratitude and mental well-being as a function of its various categories (i.e., positive, negative), dimensions (i.e., subjective, psychological), and indicators (e.g., life satisfaction, happiness, stress). Our meta-analytic aggregation of 404 effect sizes from 158 independent samples (N = 100,099) provides evidence that dispositional gratitude is moderately to strongly correlated with well-being, and that the strength of these associations varies by the indicator of well-being. We also examine potential moderators (i.e., religiosity, individualistic orientation, age, gender, dispositional gratitude measure, and sample type) of the association between dispositional gratitude and well-being. We find that country-level individualistic orientation, sample mean age, and sample type (i.e., clinical vs. non-clinical) present moderating effects for several of the relationships examined. We conclude the paper by presenting avenues for future research.
... Gratitude is conceptualized as the feeling of admiration, content, and appreciation of life and of benefits from others (Emmons & Mishra, 2011). The mechanism of gratitude consists in changing the balance between positive and negative affective experiences, by converting negative experiences into positive ones, which leads to greater life satisfaction (Sun & Kong, 2013). ...
... The mechanism of gratitude consists in changing the balance between positive and negative affective experiences, by converting negative experiences into positive ones, which leads to greater life satisfaction (Sun & Kong, 2013). Research showed the correlation between gratitude and SWB (Emmons & Mishra, 2011), and other correlates of the latter such as life satisfaction (Xiang & Youan, 2020). For example, there is a strong positive relationship between gratitude and positive affect, life satisfaction and vitality, and a weak, even negative correlation with negative affect (Kashdan, 2013). ...
Article
The aim of the present study is to determine the prediction level of gratitude, meaning in life, and inspiration on Subjective Well-being (SWB). 325 undergraduates (149 males and 176 females) with Mage=19,29 (S.D.=1,40) participated in the study. In order to measure the respective concepts, we used the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE), the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ), the Inspiration Scale (IS), and Single-item measures for life satisfaction and gratitude. The study used descriptive, correlational, and regression analyses. The results of the regression analyses showed that gratitude accounts for most of the SWB variance. The presence of meaning affects SWB positively, while the search for meaning is a negative predictor of SWB. Inspiration frequency is one of the weak predictors of SWB, while inspiration intensity is not a significant predictor of SWB. The results are discussed within the context of the existing literature.
... This is because gratitude is a complex and mixed emotion, which may include feelings of embarrassment or ambivalence that can be amplified in the direct presence of another (Chen et al., 2012). Also, by expressing thanks, the thanker is placing themselves in a subordinate position to the one being thanked -acknowledging their own potential unworthiness to have received the favor (Emmons & Mishra, 2011), their social indebtedness to the favorgiver (Armenta, Fritz, & Lyubomirsky, 2017), and perhaps inviting criticism (Fritz & Lyubomirsky, 2018). Thanking somebody face-to-face can be a charged interaction which risks feelings of guilt, embarrassment or awkwardness that may not be easily mitigated, once the interaction has been launched. ...
... These results extend gratitude theory by testing an implicit assumption often made by gratitude researchers, namely, that thanking others in person is more rewarding than thanking them indirectly (Emmons & Mishra, 2011;Seligman et al., 2005). It appears that this assumption may be in error. ...
Article
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In three studies of U.S. and Taiwanese participants, we tested the common assumption that it is more satisfying to express gratitude face-to-face (FtF) than indirectly (i.e. by text or email). Scenario-based Study 1 assessed lay theories, finding that participants indeed expected more positive emotion but also expected more negative emotion to accompany FtF expression. Retrospective study 2 assigned participants to recall their emotions after a recent time they thanked somebody, either FtF or by text message. Positive emotions did not differ in the two conditions. Longitudinal Study 3 assigned participants to create three thanking episodes, either FtF, by phone, or by text. All three gratitude conditions boosted well-being compared to a neutral control condition, but differed little from each other in their effects. Cultural differences were observed but were mostly irrelevant to our hypotheses. Our results indicate that texting somebody a quick ‘thank you’ may be just as positively impactful as, and less risky than, thanking them to their face.
... Emmons dan Mishra (2011) di dalam bukunya membuat beberapa hipotesis yang membuktikan keterkaitan kebersyukuran dengan kesejahteraan psikologi. Sesuai konteks penelitian ini, peneliti merujuk pada tiga hipotesis yang diajukan Emmons & Mishra (2011). Pertama, kebersyukuran memfasilitasi coping terhadap peristiwa hidup yang menekan, yang dikuatkan oleh penelitian pendahuluan oleh Wood, Joseph, dan Linley (2007) bahwa individu yang bersyukur akan melakukan gaya coping berupa mencari dukungan sosial, positive reframing, approach-oriented problem solving, dan active coping. ...
... Ketiga, kebersyukuran memotivasi dilakukannya perilaku moral. Hal ini karena individu yang bersyukur merasa sudah mendapatkan pertolongan dari individu lain, sehingga mendorong dirinya untuk melakukan kebaikan kepada individu lain juga (Emmons & Mishra, 2011). Selain itu, Wood dkk. ...
Article
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Kebersyukuran, Self-Compassion, dan Kesejahteraan Psikologi pada Caregiver Skizofrenia Endah Puspita Sari, Wardah Roudhotina, Nur Aisyah Rahmani, Mirza Muchammad Iqbal Program Studi Psikologi, Universitas Islam Indonesia email:endah_puspita_sari@uii.ac.id Abstrak Penelitian-penelitian pendahuluan menemukan bahwa terdapat beban yang harus dihadapi caregiver skizofrenia dalam merawat penderita. Beban-beban tersebut dapat membuat keberfungsian psikologis caregiver menjadi menurun. Keberfungsian psikologi dapat diukur menggunakan kesejahteraan psikologi. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui apakah ada hubungan antara kebersyukuran dan self-compassion terhadap kesejahteraan psikologi pada caregiver skizofrenia. Penelitian ini dilakukan dengan metode kuantitatif menggunakan analisis regresi. Peneliti melakukan metode sampling berupa convenience sampling kepada sejumlah 43 caregiver skizofrenia yang berasal dari salah satu rumah sakit jiwa di Yogyakarta dan salah satu puskesmas di Kabupaten Sleman. Berdasarkan analisis yang dilakukan, dapat disimpulkan bahwa kebersyukuran dan self-compassion secara bersama-sama dapat memprediksi secara signi kan kesejahteraan psikologi pada caregiver skizofrenia (R = 0.467, p = 0.007). Implikasi untuk penelitian mendatang dan aplikasi akan dijelaskan lebih lanjut dalam tulisan ini. Kata kunci: kesejahteraan psikologi, kebersyukuran, self-compassion, caregiver skizofrenia Gratitude, Self-Compassion, and Psychological Well-Being Among Schizophrenic Patient Caregivers Abstract Previous studies have found that there were burdens that schizophrenia caregivers must face in treating the patients. Those burdens made the psychological function of caregiver not optimum. The psychological function can be measured by psychological well-being. This study aims to determine gratitude and self-compassion on psychological well-being in schizophrenic caregivers. This study was conducted with quantitative method using regression analysis. Researchers conducted convenience sampling to 43 schizophrenic caregivers who came from one of mental health hospital in Yogyakarta and one of public health center in Sleman Regency. The result of the analysis indicates that gratitude and self-compassion were signi cantly related to psychological well-being in schizophrenic caregiver (R = 0.467, p = 0.007). Implications for future research and applications of the construct will be discussed. Keywords: psychological well-being, gratitude, self-compassion, schizophrenia caregiver
... A person could also reflect upon positive past experiences that are connected to the place of attachment they have been separated from (i.e., savoring). These kinds of cognitive processes represent some of the pathways to experiencing gratitude (Emmons & Mishra, 2011), many of which form part of interventions that have been developed to promote gratitude. ...
Chapter
In Chapters 3 and 6, we discussed the principle that people are naturally driven to invest resources in order to regain, restore, or rebound from resource loss (Hobfoll, 2012). Attempts at offsetting resource loss can take different forms, most of which are functionally adaptive in that they are employed as means of dealing with the challenges a person encounters (Holmgreen et al., 2017). However, the consequences of how a person responds to loss can vary on a spectrum ranging from adaptive to maladaptive. A functionally adaptive approach to recovering from a loss might be useful in the short-term, but it could have unfavorable long-term implications for health and well-being (Wadsworth, 2015). Resource investment responses that balance both short- and long-term ideals may be particularly useful for dealing with resource loss in a way that promotes a more enduring level of positive adjustment. This chapter provides an overview of how resource loss that accompanies place attachment disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic might be transformed into a character-building process that supports short-term adaptation and long-term well-being. Using the virtue of transcendence as a framework (Peterson & Seligman, 2004), it considers three interconnected character strengths—gratitude, hope, and spirituality—that can support exploration and integration of past, present, and future experiences connected to a place of attachment that has been disrupted by the public health crisis. It also outlines some targeted activities that engage each of these transcendent character strengths, the benefits of which could facilitate sustainable adjustment to pandemic-related place attachment disruption experiences and enable people to recover more quickly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Further, research also highlights that gratitude also promotes reciprocity in helping behaviors (Froh et al., 2010;Emmons and Mishra, 2011). ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an immense loss of human life, increased economic uncertainty, and negatively impacted individuals' mental health and close relationships. At the same time, experts have noted a concurrent improvement in many environmental quality indicators, including significant decreases in both localized air pollution and global greenhouse gas emissions. These positive trends are due to changes in human behavior necessitated by social distancing and self-quarantining measures (e.g., reduced car and air travel). However, there is already evidence that these improvements in environmental quality are only temporary. This suggests that more intentional efforts will be necessary in order to maintain positive environmental benefits and address major environmental issues as the world gets back to some version of pre-pandemic economic and social activity. Still, our collective experience over the course of the pandemic provides clear evidence that such change is possible and on a rapid timetable. Our individual and collective responses to COVID-19 reveal that we do indeed have the ability to respond to novel societal threats in highly coordinated and effective ways, suggesting that confronting the existential threat of climate change may in fact be feasible. Here, we theorize that the COVID-19 pandemic has potentially activated and made more salient some key psychological mechanisms—including norms of fairness and reciprocity, feelings of gratitude, and consideration of personal legacies—that previous empirical work suggests can be harnessed to promote beneficent intergenerational decision-making aimed at solving the environmental challenges we and our descendants will face in the twenty-first century.
... Appreciation is the recognition and affirmation of the good in our lives. Similar to gratitude, it is an acknowledgement that we have received many gifts and benefits from other sources outside of ourselves (Emmons & Mishra, 2010). Evidence continues to reveal a strong connection between gratitude and psychological health and well-being (McCullough et al., 2001;Wood et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Background/Aims/Objectives: In this mixed-methods research, we examined several psychology practices for their importance, usefulness, and potential to impact overall well-being during a worldwide pandemic (COVID-19). The acronym REFRAME was employed to illustrate these positive psychology concepts: Resilience, Empathy, Flow, Relationships, Appreciation, Meaning, Embodiment. Methods/Methodology: A survey method was utilized to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the perceived value of positive psychology concepts and practices in participants' lives during quarantine. The survey was distributed to students, staff, and faculty of a medium-sized university in the United States. 308 participants completed the survey. Results: Surprisingly, nearly all participants endorsed these positive psychology practices as a valuable way to REFRAME their pandemic experience. Participants not only ranked positive psychology concepts as "very important, " but also reported that these practices were a part of their daily routine. Using grounded theory methodology, researchers found themes of relationships, gratitude, empathy and service as highly important to participants during the pandemic. Many participants also discussed how technology added to their connections and coping during the period of quarantine and stay-at-home orders as COVID-19 spread. Discussion: Participants indicated high levels of importance for engaging with all seven positive psychology constructs during the pandemic. While many participants struggled to find place, time, and opportunity to practice Embodiment and Flow during the stay-at-home orders, they still considered these activities valuable. Conclusions: Using a psychological lens, this research shows that positive psychology encouraged participants in various ways during a worldwide pandemic.
... Gratitude has also been conceptualized as a personality trait that includes the component of appreciation (Wood, Maltby, Stewart, & Joseph, 2008);McCullough, Kilpatrick, Emmons, and Larson (2001) also argued that gratitude serves both as a positive reinforcer of beneficent behavior (expressing gratitude towards a benefactor increases motivation to provide further benefits; Buck, 2004;Grant & Gino, 2010;Harpham, 2004;Komter, 2004;Moss & Page, 1972) and as a "moral motivator" (see also McCullough, Kimledorf, & Cohen, 2008). Feeling grateful is not just a "warm and fuzzy" by-product of being provided aid-it also acts to motivate reciprocal helping behavior (Emmons & Mishra, 2011;Froh, Bono, & Emmons, 2010). ...
Article
Many of the most pressing environmental challenges we face—from climate change to habitat and species loss—require present generations of decision-makers to act pro-socially in the best interests of future generations. One factor known to inhibit intergenerational altruism is the absence of direct reciprocal exchange between generations. Research has suggested, however, that present decision-makers can be induced to engage in intergenerational reciprocity (Wade-Benzoni, 2002). In accordance with recent studies (e.g., Watkins & Goodwin, 2019), our current investigation provides additional evidence for the role of gratitude as a powerful mechanism underlying such intergenerational decision-making. Across seven studies, we consistently show that individual differences in gratitude uniquely predict increased perceptions of responsibility for future generations. A sense of responsibility toward future generations in turn predicts: increased climate change beliefs and concern (Studies 2 A and 2 B), increased pro-environmental beliefs (Study 3 A) and environmental intentions (Study 3 B), and increased support for environmental policies (Study 4). Indirect effect tests and structural equation models support these findings. Future interventions can harness the prosocial moral emotion of gratitude to combat the temporal discount and promote intergenerational environmental decision making.
... In a nutshell, researchers recommend that gratitude enhances people's well-being. Emmons and Mishra (2011) provide ten pathways through which gratitude leads to well-being: 1) promote physical health, 2) help in goal achievement, 3) develop spirituality, 4) reduce feverishness for worldly pursuits, 5) enhance positive self-evaluations, 6) build and strengthen social relationships, 7) provide coping skills for challenging and stressful situations, 8) dilute the feeling of jealousy and envy, 9) enhance positive memories, and 10) motivate behaviours and actions for the benefit of others. ...
Article
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GRAT-16 is one of the most commonly used scales that measure gratitude. This scale was designed and majorly used in the western context. The present paper examined the factorial solution, reliability, and validity of the scale in Indian settings. For psychometric analysis of GRAT-16, two studies were conducted. The first study examined the factorial validity of the three-dimensional scale of gratitude (GRAT-16) in the Indian context. The first study was based on a sample of 530 students that consisted of 51.32% male and 48.68% female respondents. These students were enrolled in commerce (68.11%), science (20.57%), and humanities (11.32%) courses and have a mean age of 21.19 years. Study 1 had two sub-samples. The first subsample (n = 260) was used for exploratory factor analysis using varimax rotation. The factorial solution reported three factors that explain a 54% variance. The second subsample (n = 270) was used for confirmatory factor analysis to substantiate a three-factor scale. Here, one statement was deleted for low regression weight. It reduced GRAT-16 to GRAT-15 for Indian respondents with appreciable goodness of fit indices. The second study examined the reliability and validity of the Indian GRAT-15. Study 2 was based on a sample of 519 students, with a mean age of 21.65 years. This sample had 288 (53.56%) male participants and 241 (53.56%) female respondents. Also, 63.2%, 26.37%, and 10.31% of the participants belonged to commerce, science, and humanities streams. This second study concluded good internal consistency reliability with acceptable values of Cronbach’s alpha and composite reliability. The appropriate values of Average Variance Explained (AVE) confirmed convergent and discriminant validity of Indian GRAT-15. The criterion validity of the Indian GRAT-15 was also assessed. A significant positive correlation with the Satisfaction with Life Scale and a negative association with Kessler Psychological Distress Scale concluded that GRAT-15 might be a valuable tool to measure gratitude for the Indian respondents.
... How gratitude enhances well-being? To answer this question, Emmons and Mishra (2011) explored various mechanisms and suggested ten possible explanations: Gratitude (1) provides useful coping skills during stress; (2) reduces envy, resentment and regret resulting from social comparisons; (3) reduces materialistic strivings; (4) enhances self-esteem and self-respect; (5) enhances retrieval of positive memories; (6) enhances social relationships by broadening thought-action repertoire; (7) motivates prosocial and moral behavior; (8) enhances spirituality; (9) facilitates effortful goal striving; (10) promotes efficient physical functioning. There are many instruments available for measuring gratitude with somewhat different conceptions of gratitude as a construct. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to provide a reliable and valid instrument in Hindi for measuring gratitude in the Indian context. Psychometric properties of the translated Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6) were analyzed in two studies. In the first study, 448 adults (Mage = 36.47) completed the Hindi version of GQ-6 with demographic questions. Participants were split into two groups for conducting exploratory (EEA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA), respectively. The EFA indicated a one-factor solution (α = .74) with five items. The CFA showed the five-item version (GQ-5) fit the data better than the original instrument (GQ-6). Measurement invariance was investigated across gender using the whole dataset. Configural and scalar invariance were supported. In the second study, participants were 211 adults who completed the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE), Gratitude Adjective Checklist (GAC), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) along with previous instruments. The CFA replicated a one-factor structure with five-items. The instrument showed adequate evidence of convergent validity with GAC, discriminant validity with life satisfaction and joy, and nomological validity. In conclusion, the Hindi GQ-5 is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing gratitude in Hindi speaking population in India.
... According to McCullough et al. (2002), people who see themselves as the beneficiaries of other people's kindness and benevolence may feel more esteemed. When people perceive that someone else cares for them or supports their efforts, they may feel more self-respect (Emmons and Mishra 2011). In turn, Petrocchi and Couyoumdjian (2016) have specified that dispositional gratitude correlates negatively with feelings of inadequacy or self-repugnance and is positively associated with the ability to treat the self with kindness. ...
Article
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In comforting or distressing circumstances, individuals tend to have various perceptions of themselves. It seems that religious comfort and religious distress correlate differently with people’s self-esteem. Since the relationship between religiosity and self-esteem is not only direct but can be mediated by other factors that are recognized as buffers against adverse situations, our main goal was to verify whether dispositional gratitude may have an indirect effect on the association between both variables. The research involved data from 254 participants aged 18 to 25 (M = 21.24; SD = 2.09) and included 192 women (76%) and 62 men (24%). To measure the title variables, we used: the Religious Comfort and Strain Scale (RCSS), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and the Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6). The results showed that people who consider religion as a source of comfort express positive attitudes toward the self and recognize others’ kindness, as well. In contrast, people who consider religiosity as a cause of fear, stress, and internal strain tend to display a lower subjective sense of personal worth and lower appreciation of the positivity around them. Moreover, gratitude had a mediatory effect on the relationships between religious comfort/negative emotions toward God and self-esteem.
... One particularly important positive emotion in this regard is gratitude, which is seen as a social emotion that explains unique pathways to reduced stress experiences (Lambert et al., 2012;Wood et al., 2010). Emmons and Mishra (2011) emphasize the social nature of gratitude by defining it as an experience of "acknowledgement that we have received something of value from others" (p. 248). ...
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Since workers are increasingly suffering from burnout, there is a need for insights into how burnout can be decreased to improve subjective well-being. The broaden-and-build theory proposes that gratitude increases well-being through an upward spiral. Few studies have examined whether gratitude decreases burnout and what mediating behaviors explain this relationship. Using an international sample of employees (N = 353), this study examines whether work-specific gratitude negatively relates to exhaustion and disengagement. Additionally, since gratitude stimulates helping through upstream reciprocity, this study investigates whether interpersonal helping behavior (IHB) mediates these relationships. Our study showed a negative effect of work-specific gratitude on disengagement and exhaustion and a negative relationship between work-specific gratitude and disengagement, mediated by IHB, suggesting that gratitude stimulates IHB, thereby alleviating disengagement.
... There have been various attempts to explain the beneficial effect of gratitude. For example, gratitude can promote adaptive coping strategies that allow the individual to deal more effectively with difficult situations and thus return to an optimal level of functioning faster (Emmons & Mishra, 2011;Krejtz et al., 2016a;Tomczyk et al., 2021). Such coping strategies may include seeking social support, focusing on the task instead of avoiding it or adopting a proactive attitude towards the problem (Wood et al., 2007). ...
Preprint
Introduction: Gratitude is known to have beneficial effects on the well-being of various populations, including women with breast cancer. The present diary study examined if daily feelings of gratitude would affect the daily functioning of women with breast cancer and if after a 2-week-long gratitude intervention they would function better than before it.Methods: Participants were 62 women with breast cancer. Half of them were randomly assigned to the gratitude condition, half to the control condition. All of them completed a 14-day diary that measured their daily gratitude, well-being, affect, satisfaction with life, perceived social support, and other aspects of daily functioning. The gratitude group took part in an intervention that involved wearing a smartwatch that asked them what they were grateful for, three times a day for 14 days. The control group wore smartwatches that sent neutral notifications. Before and after the study, participants completed a set of trait-level scales that measured their dispositional gratitude, depression, anxiety, stress coping styles, and other correlates of gratitude.Results: Daily gratitude was positively correlated with all aspects of good daily functioning (e.g., positive affect, well-being, acceptance of illness), and negatively with negative affect – regardless of the study condition. There were no significant differences in the functioning of women in the gratitude intervention and the control group, besides in daily perceived social support: women who practiced gratitude felt more supported by others on an everyday basis. All participants had a higher level of acceptance of illness and a lower level of anxiety after the study, compared to their baseline scores.Conclusion: We found that daily feelings of gratitude were associated with the good functioning of the patients in everyday life. Keeping a two-week diary that involved self-monitoring of one’s mood and well-being led to better functioning after the study, compared to the initial levels. Yet, research into the effectiveness of gratitude interventions in this population should continue and we conclude the paper with suggestions for future research. We believe this study contributes to the understanding of mechanisms behind a breast cancer patient’s daily functioning.
... At an individual level, it can buffer stress and negative emotions resulting from traumatic events (e.g., Fredrickson et al., 2003), and is associated with increased well-being (Davis et al., 2016). At an interpersonal level, writing about gratitude has a low positive correlation with prosociality (Emmons and McCullough, 2003;Emmons and Mishra, 2011;Ma et al., 2017). In this context, prosociality has been defined as "(. . ...
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has quickly swept the globe leaving a devastating trail of lost human lives and leading to a public health and economic crisis. With this in mind, prosociality has been heralded as potential important factor to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic. As such, in this study, we examined the effectiveness of a brief reflexive writing exercise about recent experiences of gratitude on individuals' intentions to engage in prosocial behaviors using a sample of 253 participants living in Portugal and 280 participants living in Brazil. Participants were randomly assigned to either a condition in which they were asked to write about recent experiences of gratitude, or a control group in which they were asked to write about daily tasks. We predicted that the gratitude intervention would increase state gratitude, and consequently, increase positive affect and empathic concern, and decrease negative affect, leading to increased intentions to engage in prosocial behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. A moderated serial-parallel mediation analysis, in which we controlled for gender, age, and level of religiosity, indicated that our manipulation led to increases in state gratitude, which in turn increased positive emotions and empathic concern, leading to increased prosocial intentions in both countries. A content analysis of participants’ responses in the gratitude group revealed that relationships with others and health and well-being were the central themes of their gratitude experiences during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of trait gratitude on job search behaviour (preparatory and active) for job seekers approaching graduation. The mediating role of perceived employability is examined. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from job seekers ( n = 143) in their final month of study in two waves with a one-month time lag between first and second data collection. Findings Structural equation modelling analyses revealed that trait gratitude was significantly and positively associated with perceived employability. Perceived employability mediated the relationship between trait gratitude and preparatory job search, but not active job search. Research limitations/implications This study extends research on job search by highlighting the applicability of trait gratitude to the job search process. Practical implications Career counsellors should consider trait gratitude as relevant for program development to address the self-regulation of personal resources during job search. Originality/value This study is the first step towards connecting trait gratitude to the job search literature. The study identifies trait gratitude as a distal personal resource important for self-regulation of a proximal personal resource (i.e. perceived employability) and subsequent job search behaviour.
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The Information Technology (IT) industry in India is an integral part of the nation’s economy. The COVID-19 pandemic is a cause of disquietude and is probably the gravest challenge encountered by the IT industry at present. Although the IT industry has contributed to varied sectors globally amid the crisis, IT professionals encounter a profusion of mental health challenges. Despite this, there have as yet been limited studies focusing on the mental health impact on IT professionals during this period. This study strives to explore the role of socio-demographic factors on perceived stress and to examine the association between gratitude and perceived stress among IT professionals in India during the pandemic. Data from 219 participants were included for analysis in this cross-sectional, correlational study. Findings suggest that there exists a significant difference in perceived stress based on gender, marital status, and parental status. Furthermore, the results demonstrate a significant negative association between gratitude and perceived stress. The study contributes to the field of cognitive ergonomics and broadens the theoretical knowledge base of perceived stress based on socio-demographic elements. Findings also have positive implications for organisational psychologists as they suggest that encouraging a focus on gratitude could aid in lower perceived stress.
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Incorporating gratitude into the school day has the potential to help students achieve more satisfaction with relationships, life, and school. Grateful students are more willing to give back, exhibit optimism, have greater exercise ambition, and sleep better. While there has been much work done in adding gratitude practices into a classroom setting, there is a need to bring these practices into the physical education setting. This article presents seven gratitude activities for the physical education setting.
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Background Past studies have associated gratitude interventions with a host of positive outcomes. However, there is a dearth of research regarding the impact such interventions have on the academic motivation of university students, thought to be a primary determinant of academic achievement and overall satisfaction with school activities. Here, we examined the effects of a 2-week online gratitude journal intervention on the academic motivation of university students. Methods Eighty-four students were randomly assigned to either an active manipulation group (gratitude group) or a neutral control group. In the first 6 days of each week, participants in the gratitude group were asked to log in to the online system once a day and list up to five things they had felt grateful for. They were also requested to evaluate various aspects of their daily lives. Participants in the control group were only requested to perform the daily self-evaluations. Academic motivation was assessed using the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS), which conceptualizes motivation in academic settings as being composed by three different components, i.e., intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and amotivation, the latter being associated with the perceived lack of contingency between actions and outcomes. Responses were collected 5 times: before group assignment (baseline), 1 week after the start of the intervention, immediately after the intervention, and at two follow-ups, 1 and 3 months after the intervention. Results Analysis using a self-determination index derived from the AMS components showed that participants who regularly engaged with the gratitude journal task displayed significant enhancements in academic motivation. Additional analysis revealed that the enhancements were driven by decreases in the levels of amotivation. Furthermore, follow-up data showed that there were no signs that such enhancements had receded 3 months after the end of the intervention. Improvements in academic motivation were not observed among participants in the control group. Conclusions The current results provide evidence that gratitude interventions can positively impact the academic motivation of university students. More broadly, they show that the effects extend well beyond the realm of typically assessed measures of individual well-being, and can effectively regulate a fundamental component of goal-directed behavior such as motivation.
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During the transition from school to university students are faced with many challenges to their well-being. This is especially true in resource constrained societies like South Africa. While there is extensive research linking well-being with gratitude, less is known qualitatively about what individuals are grateful for. A sample of 933 undergraduate students submitted gratitude lists, resulting in over 9000 unique ‘gratitude items’. Thematic analysis revealed several prominent themes, such as gratitude for relationships, material resources, being at university, life and health, and, finally, religious gratitude. These themes are discussed in the context of the importance of family relationships in the lives of emerging adults, the core role played by the educational context, the importance of socioeconomic resources and the association between religion, gratitude, and well-being. Strengthening these resources and cultivating gratitude for these prominent targets of appreciation may support students in their developmental trajectory.
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Although research suggests that Eastern, collectivist cultures do not benefit as much from practicing gratitude compared to Western, individualist cultures, the reasons for these differences remain unclear. In a single time-point randomized controlled intervention, participants in India (N = 431), Taiwan (N = 112), and the U.S. (N = 307) were randomly assigned either to write a gratitude letter to someone who had done a kind act for them, to write a gratitude letter to themselves for a kind act they had done for another person, or to complete a neutral control writing activity. Immediately after completing their assigned writing activity, participants completed measures of state gratitude, elevation, and emotions (guilt, indebtedness, embarrassment, positive affect, and negative affect). U.S. (but not Indian and Taiwanese) participants who expressed gratitude reported greater state gratitude relative to controls. Although not explicitly grateful, however, Indian and Taiwanese participants who wrote gratitude letters reported higher elevation (and Indian participants, reduced negative affect) compared to control participants. Finally, compared to control participants, Taiwanese (but not U.S.) participants felt less guilty when writing a gratitude letter to themselves. The results provide new insights for why expressing gratitude may be a less effective happiness-promoting activity in collectivist cultures.
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Alkozei et al. (J Happiness Stud 19(6):1–24, 2017) proposed a cognitive model and a psycho-social model for understanding the link of trait gratitude to subjective well-being. The present study examined the two models by testing the mediating role of social support and resilience in the trait gratitude-subjective well-being link in Chinese adolescents. A total of 1445 adolescents (mean age = 15.03 years, SD = 1.95) completed the Gratitude Questionnaire, Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale, Multi-Dimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Mediation analyses indicated that both social support and resilience independently mediated the link of trait gratitude with subjective well-being. Besides, effect contrasts revealed that the mediating effect of social support was not significantly different from that of resilience in the link of trait gratitude with subjective well-being. These findings suggest that social support and resilience perform as mediators in the relationship between trait gratitude and subjective well-being, supporting an integrated cognitive and psycho-social model.
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Time perspective (TP) is a central aspect of human daily psychological functioning, with a pronounced impact on human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The particular TP dimensions are strongly associated with a range of various mental well-being indicators and were shown to predict as much as 40% of their variance. However, the relationship between TPs and specific mechanisms that enhance mental well-being still requires further exploration. In the present article, we conceptually analyze a potential interplay of TPs and three well-confirmed well-being “boosters” (WBBs)—gratitude, savoring the moment, and prioritizing positivity—which may prove responsible for the vital effects of TP on mental well-being. Each of the “boosters” has a clear temporal anchoring: gratitude stems from the appreciation of the past, savoring the moment refers mainly to the experience of the present, and prioritizing positivity engages planning behaviors that require future focus. We propose four theoretical models to be verified in further experimental research. The first model, the trait-behavior model, proposes that trait TPs increase the tendency to use particular WBBs in order to increase mental well-being. The second model, referred to as the accumulation model, offers that TPs mediate between WBBs and mental well-being; and finally, a regular practice of a specific WBB develops a specific TP (e.g., exercising a gratitude intervention enhances past-positive TP). The third model, the feedback loop, suggests that WBBs and TPs strengthen one another and contribute to higher mental well-being. The last model, which can be called the match–mismatch model, presents the influence of WBBs on mental well-being, where a particular TP plays a role of a moderator (e.g., present-hedonistic TP moderates the relationship between savoring and well-being). Implications of potential confirmation of each of the models for theory and practice are also discussed.
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This chapter focuses on promoting an understanding of what mindfulness is, how it can be experienced and what value it brings.
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Gratitude is an emotion and state of being that recognizes a positive outcome as the result of external factors, thereby prompting internal and external responses of appreciation. As a positive psychology intervention (PPI), gratitude not only encourages positive affect and savoring of positive life experiences, it is associated with a reduction in psychological distress, improved sleep, better relationships, more engagement at work, and fewer physical ailments. In Islam, shukr (gratitude) is a fundamental virtue which, along with sabr (patience), provides a formula for Muslim wellbeing. In this chapter, we review the positive psychology literature on gratitude and define the concept of shukr from an Islamic perspective. We also provide suggestions for increasing gratitude through Islamically-integrated PPIs and discuss how such interventions can provide useful tools for Muslim wellness.
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Self-Determination Theory (SDT) has consistently shown that the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness are essential nutrients for optimal human functioning across a diverse range of domains such as family, sports, education and work. SDT has also found that materialism—the relative importance attached to extrinsic versus intrinsic life goals—not only reduces need satisfaction, but also increases need frustration. Yet, what psychological mechanisms explain this association remain unknown. We theorized that dispositional gratitude might play a role. Thus, we tested the longitudinal mediational effects of gratitude in the link between materialism and need satisfaction/frustration, using a three-wave longitudinal design over six months among a large sample of Chilean adults (N = 1841). Importantly, we used the two most established materialism scales: the Aspiration Index (AI) and the Material Values Scale (MVS). Results showed consistently (using either the AI or the MVS) that higher materialism at Time 1 prospectively predicts lower gratitude at Time 2, which in turn prospectively predicts lower need satisfaction and higher need frustration at Time 3. Our results extend SDT and gratitude research in important ways. First, we found a theoretically sound mechanism that accounts for the materialism—basic psychological needs link. Second, expanding on previous research, we found that (a) materialism increases need frustration over time directly, but also through the mediation of gratitude; (b) gratitude decreases need frustration. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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This study explores gratitude as a multidimensional and work-specific construct. Utilizing a sample of 625 employees from a variety of positions in a medium-sized school district in the United States, we developed and evaluated a new measure, namely the Work Gratitude Scale (WGS), which encompasses recognized conative (intentional), cognitive, affective, and social aspects of gratitude. A systematic, six-phased approach through structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to explore and confirm the factorial structure, internal consistency, measurement invariance, concurrent, convergent, and discriminant validity of the WGS. The results supported a 10-item measure with three dimensions: "grateful appraisals" (three items), "gratitude toward others" (four items), and "intentional attitude of gratitude" (three items). Thereafter, first-order, second-order, and bifactor confirmatory models were estimated and compared. Work gratitude was found to be best described by a second-order construct with three underlying first-order dimensions. Measurement invariance was supported in relation to gender. Concurrent validity was supported in relation to two existing dispositional gratitude scales, namely the Gratitude Questionnaire and the Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Scale (GRAT). Convergent validity was supported in relation to the Core Self-Evaluations Scale (CSES) and the Psychological Capital Questionnaire. Discriminant validity was supported in relation to various demographic factors such as age, gender, occupation, and tenure. The findings support the WGS as a multidimensional measure that can be used in practice to measure overall work-related gratitude and to track the effectiveness of gratitude-related workplace interventions.
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Introduction Gratitude is commonly known as a positive emotion, but it can also be understood as a disposition—one’s inherent quality that includes being grateful for the positive aspects of one’s life and appreciating altruistic gifts. A growing body of research suggests that having a disposition of gratitude is positively related to wellbeing and psychological adjustment. The present study examined the extent to which acceptance of illness—a measure of adjustment to a distressing condition—mediated relationships between dispositional gratitude and wellbeing among women who had elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Methods Participants were 131 women who, based on scores on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale, were at-risk for experiencing clinical depression. Thirty-five of these participants had been diagnosed as depressed at some point in their lives and 96 had not. Participants completed measures of dispositional gratitude, wellbeing, anxiety, and acceptance of illness. Results Dispositional gratitude was positively correlated with wellbeing and was negatively correlated with depression and anxiety. Dispositional gratitude was also positively correlated with acceptance of illness. Mediational analyses found that acceptance of illness mediated relationships between dispositional gratitude and wellbeing, between dispositional gratitude and anxiety, and between dispositional gratitude and depression. Moreover, such mediation varied as a function of whether women had ever been diagnosed as depressed. Acceptance of illness was related more strongly to wellbeing for women who had been diagnosed as depressed at some time in their lives than it was for women who had never been diagnosed as depressed. Conclusion Women with elevated depressive symptoms who were more grateful (compared to those who were less grateful) were more accepting of their condition, which was related to increased wellbeing and decreased feelings of depression and anxiety.
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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.
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Gratitude can play a significant role in enhancing the well-being of emerging adults since it armors them from the cold waves of psychological distress associated with emerging adulthood. Therefore, this study explored the association between gratitude and the psychological well-being of emerging adults. Further, the study examined the process underlying the association between these concepts through the lens of spirituality. The study investigated proposed relationships on a sample of 413 emerging adults ranging from 18 to 25 years with a mean age of 21.27 (SD = 1.60). First, the study applied structural equation modeling to establish the validity of the model (measurement model validity), and then the model's hypothesized relationships were tested (structural model). The findings illustrated both gratitude and dimensions of spirituality share a positive and significant association with psychological well-being. Spirituality’s dimensions emerged as possible mediators in the association between gratitude and psychological well-being. These results lead to a deeper understanding of the relationship between gratitude and the psychological well-being of emerging adults, concluding that gratitude influences psychological well-being both directly (b = 0.34, p < .001) and indirectly (b = 0.20, p < .001) through spirituality. The study also addresses the theoretical and practical implications of the findings.
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Humility is often defined by what it is not; as the antithesis to various vices such as pride, arrogance, conceit, or vanity. This negative definition leaves open the possibility of some underlying characteristic or trait that influences the formation of this virtue. Homo amans lays out the classic theological triad of faith, hope, and love as a natural inclination in humanity. This chapter explores one aspect of this triad, love, as a possible underlying characteristic or trait that uniquely informs the formation of the virtue of humility: specifically, love as altruistic concern for the other that puts them ahead or before the self. Contemporary psychological studies of humility demonstrate a connection between this virtue and altruistic concern for the other. Altruistic concern becomes a part of moral schemas that greatly influence moral behavior and are the basis for the development of moral identity. Holocaust rescuers demonstrate that moral schemas, which contain altruistic concern as a primary component of their view of the world, cultivate a moral identity that makes rescuing a consequence of their self-identity and naturally leads to humility about their actions.
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All college students report high levels of stress, but engineering departments pose additional challenges that the field seeks to address. However, a focus solely on remedying stress may not be enough to resolve the issue, as research suggests that coping with stress requires skills different from those needed to thrive and function optimally. This study examines the complex relationships between wellbeing, stress, and belonging by examining survey responses from 2,285 U.S. engineering undergraduate students from 17 universities. Latent profile analysis was used to identify wellness and stress profiles across ten constructs (including meaning and purpose, mindfulness, test anxiety, and stress reactivity). Hierarchical regressions were used to examine the explanatory potential of the identified profiles and their role as moderators of students’ experiences and belonging in engineering. Results suggest that there are clearly distinguishable patterns of wellness and stress across students’ reported experiences, and that these profiles are more than merely descriptive. These findings are discussed in relation to engineering education’s unique stress culture and the pursuit of student wellbeing and belonging.
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Gratitude is foundational to well-being throughout the life course, and an emerging body of work suggests that older adults may be more inclined to attribute gratitude to a non-human target (God). Drawing on life course theory and Erikson's lifespan development framework, we use data from a national sample of Christian older adults from the United States (N = 1,005) to examine whether gratitude toward God buffers the noxious health effects of the death of a loved one or personal illness. Results suggest that gratitude toward God tends to predict better age-comparative and global self-rated physical health in the aftermath of stress, a moderation effect which is partially mediated by stronger beliefs in God-mediated control (that God is a collaborative partner in dealing with problems). We conclude by proposing some interventions for clinicians and counselors centered around gratitude and religiosity that may assist older adults in coping with major life stressors.
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This article reviews the Actively Caring for People (AC4P) Movement, initiated in 2007 to increase occurrences of interpersonal acts of kindness worldwide. Resources to support the AC4P Movement, including research-based training manuals and AC4P wristbands for adults and children, are available at www.ac4p.org. This prosocial movement incorporates principles from three diverse disciplines of psychological science: humanism, positive psychology, and applied behavioral science (ABS). With this article, I explicate seven evidence-based “life lessons” that operationalize select principles from humanism and ABS, and rejuvenate a seemingly forgotten applied psychology concept from the 1970s: humanistic behaviorism. Whenever and wherever practiced, these life lessons benefit human well-being and quality of life. Certain life lessons reflect the essence of empowerment and self-motivation and thereby illustrate critical distinctions between management and leadership. Next, I exemplify synergistic connections between positive psychology and ABS, highlighting practical techniques for promoting and supporting human welfare and personal happiness. Previous and ongoing research by my students and colleagues demonstrates how ABS can apply findings from positive psychology to promote subjective well-being on a large scale. The need for worldwide application and dissemination of practical procedures to increase occurrences of AC4P behavior is strikingly obvious, perhaps more so now than ever before in our contentious, fractured, and polarized society. This article explores evidence-based strategies for increasing occurrences of AC4P behavior in various settings, with the mission to cultivate an AC4P culture in families, educational settings, corporations, and communities throughout the world.
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Der Arbeitsalltag ist voll von Ablenkungen und häufig durch zeitlichen Druck und Stress geprägt. Um dem Streben nach Glück mehr Halt und Struktur zu geben, bietet es sich an, drei Kernelemente des Glücks in den Arbeitsalltag einzubinden: Achtsamkeit, Mitgefühl und Dankbarkeit. Auch wenn es verschiedene weitere Elemente gibt, so lohnt es, sich auf diese kleine Auswahl zu fokussieren, um sich nicht im „Glücksdschungel“ zu verlieren. Das Praktizieren von Achtsamkeit hat nachgewiesenermaßen positive gesundheitliche Effekte, indem es uns einen bewussten Zugang zu und Umgang mit unserem vegetativen Nervensystem verschafft. Gleichzeitig ist es die Grundlage für ein gutes, angenehmes und produktives Zusammenarbeiten mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen. Besonders erfolgreiche Führungskräfte zeichnet das Praktizieren und Integrieren von Mitgefühl im Unternehmen aus. Dankbarkeit schließlich erlaubt es uns, aus den Tretmühlen und den damit verbundenen Zwängen des Lebens auszusteigen. Der Ausdruck von Dankbarkeit gegenüber Kolleginnen und Kollegen geht im Arbeitsalltag häufig unter. Dabei würden alle Seiten davon profitieren. Immerhin gibt es einige CEOs, die als Vorbilder dienen können. Für alle drei Glücksfaktoren gibt es Übungen, die einen kurzfristigen, wenn auch lediglich temporären Effekt haben können. Nur durch regelmäßiges Praktizieren über einige Monate und Jahre, können die positiven Effekte auf das subjektive Wohlbefinden nachhaltig zur Entfaltung kommen.
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The current study examined the nature of gratitude and future time perspective (FTP) during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the effects of age and virus worry on the associations between gratitude and remaining opportunities and time. Data came from a survey of a representative sample of Swiss adults (N = 1,008; 18–90 years) assessed during the pandemic in 2020. Local structural equation modeling (LSEM) was used to investigate the effects of continuous age and virus worry on mean-levels and correlations. While gratitude was unaffected by age and worry, the remaining opportunities and time factors of FTP decreased across age and levels of worry. The associations between gratitude and the FTP factors were invariant across age and levels of worry. Additionally, using previous cross-sectional data, the study found that associations between gratitude and future time perspective were significantly smaller during the pandemic as compared to an assessment in 2018.
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The psychological research into gratitude has overwhelmingly focused on the benefits of higher levels of gratitude. However, recent research suggests that positive psychology interventions to enhance gratitude are not always suitable and the effectiveness of an intervention depends on psycho-contextual factors, personal characteristics, and boundary conditions. The current study aimed to explore and compare the effect of two possible boundary conditions (prioritizing positivity and prioritizing meaning) on well-being levels, following a gratitude intervention. Replicating and extending the findings of the seminal 2005 study by Seligman et al., the current study explored the complex dynamics of gratitude and well-being in a sample of 448 participants. This study’s results replicated Seligman et al.’s finding suggesting a significant increase in satisfaction with life following a gratitude intervention. However, this trend was not significant when eudaimonic well-being was used as the dependent variable. Further analysis revealed that the intervention was most beneficial for people who prioritized both meaning and positivity in their lives, whereas those with different prioritizing patterns enjoyed only short-term gains. In addition, those who prioritize neither positivity nor meaning in their lives did not benefit from the intervention. This suggests implications for practitioners, mental health providers and organizations as consciously integrating the prioritization of meaning and positivity into one’s daily routines along with various gratitude activities which are aligned with one’s values and interests may contribute to gratitude interventions’ efficacy.
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The aim of this research was to examine the moderation effects of comparative thinking (CT) across the relationship between gratitude and affect during the COVID-19 outbreak. To this purpose, multiple regression as well as moderation analyses were carried out. Age and sex were also addressed as variables of interest as described in previous literature. A sample of 306 north Americans was recruited by crowdsourcing platform ProA to obtain a representative sample based on age and gender. The participants filled in a questionnaire based on comparative thinking in relation to the emotional experience experienced before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, positive and negative affect schedule for positive and negative affect, as well as Gratitude Questionnaire - Six Items Form scores for gratitude. The main results of the current study related to the COVID-19 outbreak can be listed as follows: (i) no differences between CT groups in the gratitude trait, but differences in positive and negative affect did occur; (ii) regression models that included age, gratitude, and affect variables predicted negative and positive affects but gender did not reach the statistical level; (iii) two moderation models predicted affect from gratitude, with the CT variable moderating this effect; this moderation effect was also statistically significant in predicting negative affect but it was not statistically significant in predicting positive affect. These results might be of interest for training programs in applied levels and theoretical models of gratitude.
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The 5-item Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-5) is one of the most commonly used instruments to measure dispositional gratitude in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to verify the longitudinal measurement invariance (LMI) and gender measurement invariance (GMI) of the GQ-5 that was administered to an adolescent sample twice over the course of 18 months ( N = 669). Single-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was adopted to examine the LMI and multiple-group CFA was conducted to assess the GMI. The results showed that the GQ-5 had strong invariance (i.e., equality of factor patterns, loadings, and intercepts) across time and gender. Validation of latent factor mean differences showed that females had higher gratitude scores than males. In addition, the GQ-5 exhibited good internal consistency indices across time and a moderate stability coefficient was also found across an 18-month time interval in adolescents. In summary, our study showed that LMI and GMI of the GQ-5 are satisfactory and the GQ-5 is a reliable instrument for measuring gratitude in adolescents.
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This naturalistic observation study investigated the influence of broad societal events such as the COVID-19 pandemic on public expressions of gratitude. Spontaneously produced gratitude expressions posted by individuals (N = 159) in an online discussion forum were extracted at three time periods (during the pandemic, one year pre-pandemic, and 2 years pre-pandemic). The gratitude expressions were coded for the categories of deficiency and growth needs based on Maslow’s Theory of Motivation. The results demonstrate a higher frequency of gratitude expressions for growth opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 2 years prior. The results also demonstrate a higher frequency of gratitude for the fulfillment of deficiency needs compared to growth needs within each of the years, highlighting the overall salience of this category. These findings reveal the capacity of broad societal events to impact public gratitude expressions for needs fulfilment, which has implications for policies and programs intended to meet needs during a global crisis.
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Positive psychology has highlighted the importance of personal positive qualities such as gratitude for human thriving. Reviews of research on gratitude are predominantly based on work with adults. We address this gap by considering the familial roots and well-being implications of gratitude in children. We conducted two systematic reviews examining children’s gratitude as it relates to parent–child relationships (N = 10) and children’s gratitude and well-being (N = 38). Children’s gratitude was higher when parents modeled gratitude, there was a more secure parent–child attachment, and parents employed more supportive, autonomy granting, and warm parenting. These findings align with attachment theory, social learning and emotion socialization theories, and the find-remind-and-bind theory. Additionally, children’s gratitude was positively related to greater life satisfaction, positive affect, and mental well-being in cross-sectional and intervention studies. These findings provide some support for the broaden-and-build theory, the adaptive cycle model, and the schematic hypothesis. The reviewed theoretical frameworks and empirical findings formed the basis of our proposed model whereby children’s gratitude is posited to mediate the relation between parent–child relationship factors and children’s well-being. Further, we identified several testable mechanisms that might explain why gratitude is related to well-being. Our proposed model is an important contribution to the current literature because it provides a novel, overarching synthesis of existing work on children’s gratitude that is intended to be a framework for future research to test potential mechanisms relevant to children’s gratitude development and well-being outcomes.
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Public health crises, including pandemics, are associated with significant health risk and concomitant stress, fear, decreased sense of control, and uncertainty. Deleterious impact on both physical and mental health can result, including for healthcare professionals and health professions trainees. Changes in governmental policies and hospital protocols for healthcare professionals as well as disruption of educational formats and requirements for trainees can ensue. Difficult anxiety-provoking realities of public health crises including pandemics which involve caring for many seriously ill patients, moral distress including difficult care decisions, personal health risk, and/or potential risk to one’s family can take a dire toll on the mental health of healthcare professionals at all stages of the professional lifecycle. Educational disruptions can create significant anxiety for trainees about completing requirements and achieving competencies. Within this, coping skills may be challenged and strengths may be elucidated as well. Such crises create an imperative for medical educators to support trainees’ wellbeing through adaptive flexibility for curriculum innovation and culturally sensitive resilience and wellbeing interventions. Strategies (‘tips’) to optimize resilience and wellbeing with an integrative resilience approach of individual, learning environment, and organization/systems factors are presented.
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In this study we investigated the impact of grateful processing on bringing closure to unpleasant emotional memories. After recalling an open memory, participants were randomly assigned to one of three writing conditions. For three sessions, participants wrote about neutral topics, the unpleasant event itself, or positive consequences from the event from their open memory that they felt they could now be grateful for. Results showed a significant effect of writing condition, and the pattern of means were as predicted: those in the grateful condition showed more memory closure, less unpleasant emotional impact, and less intrusiveness of the open memory than the other writing conditions. Grateful reappraisal of unpleasant memories may help individuals emotionally process these events, thus bringing emotional closure to these incidents. This might be one reason that grateful people tend to be happy people.
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