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Brightening the Mind: The Impact of Practicing Gratitude on Focus and Resilience in Learning

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Abstract

A growing body of groundbreaking research shows that gratitude has the power to heal, energize, and transform lives by enhancing people psychologically, spiritually, physically, and cognitively. This study contributes to the study of gratitude by exploring its impact on focus and resilience in learning. Specifically, this study examines the impact that practicing gratitude has on college students’ ability to focus in class and remain resilient in the face of difficulties while learning.
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 16, No. 4, August 2016, pp.1-13.
doi: 10.14434/josotl.v16i4.19998
Brightening the Mind: The Impact of Practicing Gratitude on
Focus and Resilience in Learning
Jane Taylor Wilson
1
Abstract: A growing body of groundbreaking research shows that
gratitude has the power to heal, energize, and transform lives by enhancing
people psychologically, spiritually, physically, and cognitively. This study
contributes to the study of gratitude by exploring its impact on focus and
resilience in learning. Specifically, this study examines the impact that
practicing gratitude has on college students’ ability to focus in class and
remain resilient in the face of difficulties while learning.
Keywords: gratitude, learning, focus, resilience, teaching, positive psychology
Recent research on gratitude shows significant benefits to a person’s overall well-being
and ability to flourish in life psychologically, spiritually, and physically. Gratitude may
carry cognitive benefits as well, though such research is limited. To gain a deeper
understanding of the cognitive benefits of gratitude, the researcher of this study wondered
if college students who practice gratitude on a consistent basis would experience increased
ability to focus while learning and remain resilient when learning felt challenging. This
study measures 110 college students’ self-assessment of gratitude, focus, and resilience in
learning, and then examines changes over time produced from an intervention. An
intervention group of 50 college students were consistently reminded and encouraged to
engage in gratitude practices related to their learning. The reminder to practice gratitude
came in the form of text messages that were sent every 4-5 days for three months. The
control group of 60 college students did not receive any text messages. Those students who
received reminder texts to practice gratitude, the researcher hypothesized, would
experience greater benefits for focus and resilience in learning than those who did not
receive reminder texts. The results of this study indicate that providing reminders to
intentionally practice gratitude toward learning may increase students’ ability to focus in
class and to remain resilient while facing difficulties in learning.
Literature Review
The Growing Field of Gratitude
As the 20th century came to a close, the president of the American Psychology
Association, Martin Seligman, offered a charge to reexamine traditional psychological
emphasis on exploring dysfunctions and abnormalities of human behavior and shift some
attention toward human behaviors that lead to worthwhile and satisfying lives. This fresh
lens led to the emergence of a new branch of psychologyPositive Psychologythat
explores conditions which promote optimal human flourishing (Seligman and
Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). In its first fifteen years this new field grew at an impressive rate
1
Department of Education, Westmont College, 955 La Paz Road, Santa Barbara, CA, 93105, jawilson@westmont.edu
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with the birth of 20 new graduate programs (including University of Pennsylvania and
Claremont), large grants, a Journal of Positive Psychology, the International Positive
Psychology Association, and the Greater Good Science Center (affiliated with University
of California at Berkeley), resulting in 1300 peer-reviewed academic articles (Donaldson,
S, Dollwet, M. & Rao, M, 2015). Early on, researchers identified 24 character strengths
that help people lead meaningful and flourishing lives, classified under the categories of
wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence (Peterson &
Seligman, 2004). Of the 24 character strengths, gratitude, hope and resilience have been
the most scientifically studied (Donaldson, et al, 2015). As a character strength, gratitude
refers to an ability to recognize and appreciate the benefits received from others and a
desire to reciprocate with positive actions (Emmons, 2007). Those who possess this
character strength have a deep awareness and acknowledgement of the good in their lives.
An interdisciplinary group of professionals doing groundbreaking research on
gratitude gathered for a 2014 Greater Good Science Center Gratitude Summit as a
culmination of their “Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude” project, funded
by the John Templeton Foundation. Robert Emmons (2014) opened the Gratitude Summit
with the proclamation, “Gratitude has the power to head, energize, and transform lives.”
Researchers then described their cutting-edge research illuminating the critical role
gratitude plays in overall well-being, in the workplace, in schools, and in relationships.
Overwhelmingly, the recent research presented at the conference and published in articles
demonstrates that gratitude enhances lives psychologically, socially, spiritually,
physically, and cognitively (Emmons & McCullough, 2004; Seligman, Steen, Park, &
Peterson, 2005; Wood, Froh, & Geraghty, 2010).
Psychologically, people who reflect and reframe their experience from a
perspective of gratitude experience more positive emotions, lower levels of stress, and
healthier relationships (Duckworth, Steen, & Seligman, 2005; Watkins, Cruz, Holben, &
Kolts, 2008; Watkins, Uhder, & Pichinevskiy, 2014; Wood, Joseph, & Maltby, 2009).
Socially, gratitude appears to strengthen relationships by promoting relationship formation
and maintenance as well as the perceived sense of support, help, and collaboration (Algo,
Haidt, & Gable, 2008; Wood, Maltby, Gillett, Linley & Joseph, 2008). Gratitude is a central
pillar of most religions, thus it is not surprising that spiritually, grateful people experience
greater connection to God and more peace and contentment (Emmons, 2007). Physically,
grateful people experience more energy, healthier hearts, better sleep, and even increased
longevity (Emmons & McCollough, 2003; McCraty, & Childre, 2004; Wood, Joseph, et
all. 2009). Cognitively, it appears, grateful people are more alert, focused, creative in
problem-solving, and appreciative of learning (Howells, 2012; Wilson & Harris, 2014).
Gratitude as a Learned Trait
Researchers have investigated whether gratitude is a genetic disposition or learned trait.
Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, and Schkade (2005) argue that 50% of one’s tendency toward
happiness is related to one’s genetic set point, 10% to circumstance, and 40% to intentional
activity. Psychologists have identified a group of intentional activities, called “gratitude
practices,” that can be used to strengthen one’s level of happiness or gratitude. When
people intentionally chose to engage in gratitude practices, researchers have found that
practitioners experienced an overall enhanced sense of well-being (Emmons &
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McCoullough, 2003). Though gratitude might not come naturally to some people, it can be
learned with a certain level of introspection and reflection (Froh, Miller, and Snyder, 2007).
For example, researchers found that participants who daily recounted blessings were
training their brains with cognitive habits which amplified the good in their lives (Watkins
et al, 2014). It appears that gratitude can be cultivated with intentional practice.
Gratitude Practices
In the recent literature, a number of gratitude practices have emerged that help people
strengthen their ability to be thankful. All of these practices invite people to stop and notice
blessings, savor blessings, speak of blessings, and respond in some manner.
Gratitude journal. To engage in this gratitude practice, one identifies and records
35 specific blessings on a daily or weekly basis. This practice of gratitude journaling tends
to be more effective when participants focus on gratitude for people rather than material
objects, take time to savor each blessing, and remain open to surprises in their lives
(Emmons & McCollough, 2003; Seligman, 2012; Seligman, et al., 2005).
Gratitude letter. In this gratitude practice, one selects an individual whom he or
she has never properly thanked and then writes that person a letter (approximately 300
words) that expresses specific thanks. Research suggests that writing, delivering, and
receiving a gratitude letter can enhance joy for both the author and the receiver (Froh,
Kashdan, Ozimkowski, & Miller, 2009: Seligman et al., 2005).
Gratitude conversation. This gratitude practice occurs when people intentionally
engage in conversation with others about positive events, experiences, or outcomes that
happen each day. By expressing gratitude about these events, people broaden and build
their social bonds with others, which leads to community strength and harmony
(Fredrickson, 2004).
State of Preparedness. This gratitude practice specifically invites students to
examine their attitudes regarding a class and honestly assess their personal outlook. The
State of Preparedness practice asks students to determine if they hold attitudes of gratitude
or resentment, and then encourages them to consciously choose a grateful perspective
(Howells, 2012).
Gratitude’s Relationship to Focus and Resilience in Learning
A growing number of academics, educators, and thought leaders suggest that gratitude is
one of seven character strengths (i.e., gratitude, grit, zest, self-control, optimism, social
intelligence, and curiosity) predictive of student success in academic settings (KIPP, n.d.;
Seligman, Ernst, Gillham, Reivich & Linkins, 2009; Tough, 2011). Knowledge is Power
Charter Schools (KIPP) developed a character report card (grounded in the research of
Chris Peterson, Martin Seligman, and Angela Duckworth) to hold students accountable in
demonstrating these non-cognitive skills. Duckworth’s lab at the University of
Pennsylvania created a Character Lab (characterlab.org) to develop, disseminate, and
support research-based approaches to character development that enable students to
flourish as learners. Recently, researchers have empirically established the relationship
between multiple dimensions of character strengths and schools outcomes longitudinally
(Park, Tsukayama, Goodwin, Patrick & Duckworth, submitted for publication). These
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findings align with the theoretical claim that schools should promote three domains of
characterinterpersonal character, intellectual character, and intrapersonal character to
enhance success in school settings (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012). Specially, interpersonal
character includes gratitude, social intelligence, and interpersonal self-control; intellectual
character includes curiosity and zest; and intrapersonal character includes academic self-
control and grit. To date, however, only one book focuses specifically on gratitude in
education (Howells, 2012). In this book, Howells presents gratitude as a pedagogical
strategy underlying effective instruction and argues that when students thank when they
think they think in more engaged ways.
Focus in Learning. Howells (2012) argues that students want to be focused learners,
but do not know how to do so. In her university courses, Howells guides students to
examine the impact of a grateful attitude in contrast to one of complaint or resentment.
When students enter class with a spirit of complaint, this attitude limits their ability to think,
concentrate, integrate information, or see value in learning. In contrast, when students enter
class with an attitude of gratitude, they are more engaged, focused, and motivated to exert
effort toward learning. Howells encourages students to take charge of their own attitudes
by reserving a minute at the beginning of class to be aware of their attitude and mindfully
choose a grateful spirit. Howells dubbed this gratitude practice “A State of Preparedness”
(Howells, 2012).
Resilience in Learning. Growth mindset, a term coined by Stanford Professor Carol
Dweck (2006), is the belief that intelligence grows through effort. Students with a growth
mindset remain resilient and persevere in the face of setbacks since they view challenges
as an opportunity to learn and grow. Closely connected to growth mindset is the character
strength of grit, which is the ability to persevere in confusing or challenging situations in
order to reach a long-term goal (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthew, & Kelly, 2007).
Achievement is the product of hard work and effort, and those who are grateful for
challenges, who work harder, and who are more able to cope with obstacles possess the
grittiness needed to succeed in academic and life settings (Duckworth et al., 2007). Since
challenges in learning often produce stress, educators need to help students have effortful
control of the brain, a skill set that includes “the ability to control reactions to stress,
maintain focused attention, and interpret mental states in themselves and others”
(Duckworth & Allred, 2012, p. 628).
Methodology
The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of practicing gratitude on college
students’ ability to focus in learning and remain resilient when learning feels challenging.
The participants, 110 college students, were chosen for accessibility. All participants were
serving in some campus leadership role and arrived on campus early for a week of
orientation activities. Upperclassmen represented 80% of the sample; 20% were in their
second year. Females represented 67%; males represented 33%. Fifty-eight percent of the
participants identified as white; 42% identified as people of color.
The (GQ-6) Gratitude Questionnaire-Six Item Form (Emmons, McCullough, &
Tsang, 2003) was used to measure levels of gratitude. This tool was modified to include an
additional six questions investigating focus in learning as well as six more questions
investigating resilience in learning. In total, the revised inventory involved 18 questions.
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The 110 participants completed this 18-question inventory at a late August orientation
meeting for student leaders the week prior to the 2015 fall semester. An intervention group
of 50 students agreed to receive reminder text messages once or twice weekly throughout
the semester; the control group did not receive reminders. In early December, near
semester’s end, all 110 students were invited via email to complete the same 18-question
inventory; 84% of intervention group and 58% of control group completed the inventory.
Two additional optional questions were added to the December inventory: 1) How often
did you engage in gratitude practices? Daily? Twice/week? Weekly? Once/twice each
month? 2) Do you have additional insights you would like to share with the researchers?
The 50 students who agreed to receive reminders were sent 22 text messages from
a Mighty Text app, which allowed for group text messages to be sent to each person
individually. Reminders were sent twice one week (i.e., at the beginning and end of the
week), then at the middle of the following week. Though the content of each text message
varied slightly, the reminders observed the following pattern:
Beginning-of-week reminder: Gratitude nudgeTake a minute at the beginning of
a class and choose to have a grateful attitude for the class.
End-of-week reminder: Gratitude nudgeReflect back on the week and ponder 3
5 specific blessings related to learning. Take time to savor those blessings.
Middle of week reminder: Gratitude nudgeThink about your professors or fellow
students who are helping you learn. Express thanks to them.
Findings
Analysis of the data revealed that students who received reminders to practice gratitude
toward learning and then intentionally practiced gratitude self-reported an increase in their
level of gratitude, their ability to focus during class, and their ability to remain resilient
when learning felt more challenging.
The following three charts track such changes over the fall semester. The leftmost
bar on each chart shows the collective score of all 110 participants gathered in late August;
bars proceeding to the right represent distinct group scores in early December. The
December groups are as follows:
1) students who received gratitude text messages and identified that they practiced
gratitude at least three times per week (n=22)
2) students who received the gratitude text messages and identified that they
practiced gratitude less than once per week (n=20)
3) students who did not receive the text messages and identified that they practiced
gratitude at least three times per week (n=17)
4) students who did not receive the text messages and identified that they practiced
gratitude less than once per week (n=18)
Chart A. Change in Gratitude
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Chart B. Change in Focus in Learning
Chart C. Change in Resilience in Learning
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Of the four bars representing December results, the left two bars show results from
the intervention group students who received text message reminders to practice gratitude
toward learning. In this group, students who practiced gratitude at least three times weekly
tended to report an increase in their level of gratitude, their ability to focus, and their ability
to remain resilient in learning. There was only a slight increase in students who self-
reported practicing gratitude less than once each week.
The right two columns represent December results from the control group --
students who did not receive reminders to practice gratitude. Students who self-reported
that they intentionally practiced gratitude at least three times weekly saw no change in their
score; whereas students who self-reported practicing gratitude less than once each week
saw a decline in their level of gratitude and their ability to remain resilient in learning.
Emerging Themes
The end-of-semester inventory included an optional question, “Do you have any additional
insights to share with the researchers?” Eighty percent of participants who received text
message reminders to practice gratitude responded to this open-ended question, whereas
only a scattering of responses were received from participants who did not receive the text
message reminders. These written comments provide rich detail to support the quantitative
results of the inventory. Using a ground theory of analysis to examine these comments
(Strauss & Corbin, 1990), themes emerged that may influence students’ ability to focus
and remain resilient while learning. Each theme builds upon or extends the previous theme.
Positive and calm attitude. Emerging as the most prominent theme when
participants intentionally practiced gratitude was a positive shift in attitude. Comments
such as “I noticed life gets a bit brighter,” “My entire attitude changes which I explicitly
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practice gratitude,” and “I found that practicing gratitude gave me a more positive outlook
on learning” evidenced this positive shift. As a result of practicing gratitude, 21 students
referred to feeling “positive,” “happier,” “joyful” or “calmer.” Such brightened attitudes
seemed to affect participants’ lives broadly, e.g.: “After practicing gratitude daily, I take
joy in so much more, and I feel like I am really living life rather than just getting through
each day.” Similarly, another student expressed, “Practicing gratitude impacts every aspect
of my life, not just my academics. I feel better about life as a whole now, not just my
schoolwork.”
Lessened stress. This positive shift in attitude was likely related to a second effect
or theme: lower stress. Twelve participants expressed experiencing reduced stress levels
when they practiced gratitude toward learning. Two participants wrote about this effect as
follows: “Stressful aspects of learning were shown to be small in the light of gratitude” and
“Practicing gratitude quelled anxieties related to schoolwork.” Similarly, many explicitly
pointed to gratitude as a tool that that helped reduce stress: e.g., “Gratitude pulled me out
of the pit of negativity and stress” and “One day I was stressed and anxious and
overwhelmed but after I took a moment to list a few things to be grateful for, my approach
to the day changes drastically.” In particular, a few other students commented that they
experienced lessened stress during exams when they intentionally practiced gratitude. Six
participants reported experiencing better sleep when they practiced gratitude before going
to bed, which may be related to reduced stress level. As expressed by two students, “I fell
asleep more quickly” and “it relieved my anxieties so it was easier to fall asleep.”
Focus in learning. Equipped with a positive spirit, lessened stress levels, and better
sleep, it is not surprising that participants who intentionally practiced gratitude toward
learning self-reported increased focus while learning. Ten participants stated that gratitude
helped them “focus better” and one clarified, “When I was zoning out because I was bored
or ungrateful, then gratitude would increase my focus.” Another student admitted that
gratitude was helpful in focusing on their education “at least for the short term.” One
participant noticed the reflective impact of a more positive attitude: “I noticed much more
of an awareness in my attitude toward my thinking and studying.” Moreover, a few students
reported that gratitude heightened their awareness of the “purpose of learning which
heightened their focus. When stress levels were reduced, apparently due to practicing
gratitude, four students expressed being able to think more clearly during examse.g.,
“Practicing gratitude right before an exam eased my anxiety and I could think and focus
better on the exam.”
Effort amidst challenges. A positive spirit, lessened stress, and increased focus
helped students feel motivated to exert effort toward learning, especially when learning felt
challenging. As reported by two students, practicing gratitude helped them “stay motivated
while challenged with a list of things to accomplish” and “put longer hours and harder work
toward schoolwork with a more positive attitude.” When students experienced lessened
stress, they also reported an increased ability to remain resilient. One participant explained,
When I practiced gratitude, I become less stressed and more willing to push forth and
complete any tasks that seemed long and tedious.” In addition, eight students noticed a
shift in attitude specifically related to challenges while learning. One student wrote,
“Gratitude helped me have a better perspective on the challenges I faced in my learning.”
“Instead of being bitter,” explained another student, “I am more open to challenging
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situations.” “Challenging situations were eased when I focused on being grateful that
challenges help me grow,” noted yet another.
Though these four themespositive and calm attitude, lessened stress, focus in
learning, effort amidst challengesare listed separately, the themes build upon and extend
one another. When students experienced a more positive and calm attitude, they reported
that their stress levels reduced. With a more positive attitude and reduced stress, these
students self-reported that they were better able to focus in learning and continue to exert
effort even when the learning felt challenging.
Appreciation for reminders. One final theme deserves comment though it stands
more independently. Twelve students who received gratitude texts expressed appreciation
for these reminders. One student commented, “I LOVED getting texts from the ‘gratitude
fairy. I really enjoyed getting little reminders to be grateful. Thank you.” Seven students
simply wrote “Thank you” while others elaborated—e.g., “Thank you for continually
asking us to be grateful” and “It’s a wonderful practice.” Some students referenced other
reminders that deepened gratitude—e.g., “My Gratitude Journal that sits by my bed
reminds me to reflect back, notice blessings, and write them down.” Another pointed to the
role of professors in cultivating gratitude, “I loved when my professors would take time
for us to be grateful at the beginning of class.” These reminders (texts, journaling, time to
pause in class) nudged students to ponder the broadening effect of gratitude. “I find that
the reminders helped me start noticing blessings,” explained a student; “. . . then I’m on a
roll! It’s almost like gratitude is contagious.”
Conclusion
This study contributes to a growing body of scientific data on gratitude by exploring its
cognitive benefits. When students intentionally practice gratitude toward learning, they
tended to report better focus during class, while studying, or taking an exam. This increased
focus may be linked to a more positive attitude about learning as well as a reduced stress
level. Since college academics often produce stress, these findings are worth considering.
Energy that might be taken up feeling stressed or anxious may be able to be redirect to
focusing on and making sense of new information after a student mindfully chooses a
grateful spirit. Another benefit for students who intentionally practice gratitude is
experiencing added strength to sustain effort when learning feels challenging. This resilient
spirit is rooted in students’ appreciation that challenges can help them grow as learners.
Thus, rather than closing down one’s mind when faced with challenges, a student with a
grateful spirit may view those challenges as an opportunity to learn.
These findings are worth educational consideration. Educators may want to
consider embedding gratitude practices in classes in hopes of enhancing focus and
resilience in learning. In this study, it is interesting to note that only the participants who
received gratitude reminders in the form of text messages and self-identified that they
intentionally practiced gratitude at least 3-5 times weekly experienced the benefits of
increased focus and resilience in learning. Curiously, students who did not receive the
reminders, but did express practicing gratitude at least 3-5 times weekly did not experience
increased focus and resilience in learning. Perhaps the students who did not receive
reminders were practicing gratitude in general terms, whereas the students who received
the text reminders were nudged to practice gratitude specifically in relationship to learning.
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This observation points to the value of embedding gratitude practices in class that
specifically encourage students to ponder the blessings of learning.
Educators should be aware, however, that not all students may experience positive
benefits of gratitude practices. In this study participants who received the gratitude text
reminders, but self-identified that they practiced gratitude less than once each week, did
not experience benefits of increased focus and resilience in learning. Thus, while educators
can encourage gratitude through providing time in class to contemplate and express
gratitude related to learning (either orally or in writing), they cannot force a student to be
grateful. Students need to intentionally choose to practice gratitude before they may
experience increased focus and resilience in learning.
Though this study contributes to the growing body of research on gratitude by
focusing specifically on the cognitive benefits, further research is needed. One limitation
of this particular study relates to the drawbacks of self-reports used to measure increases
in gratitude, focus, and resilience while learning. These self-reports are subjective in
nature. Future research could utilize more objective measures to explore the impact of
practicing gratitude on student’s grades or the rate in which students choose to drop a class.
Another limitation of this particular study relates to the timing of the administered
inventory. The pre-intervention inventory was administered the week prior to the start of a
semester (when students may experience increased optimism toward learning), whereas the
post-intervention inventory was administered the week before finals (when students may
experience increased stress toward learning). Future researchers will want to take the
timing of inventory administration into consideration. With these limitations in mind, the
results of this study are still encouraging. That is, though the inventory was re-administered
during a time in the semester which can be particularly stressful, students who were
reminded to practice gratitude toward learning throughout the semester and who self-
reported intentionally doing so experienced increased focus and resilience in learning. This
study serves as an encouragement to educators that providing time in class for students to
ponder gratitude toward learning has the potential to strengthen students’ level of gratitude,
their ability to focus in class, and their ability to remain resilient when learning feels
challenging.
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... Gratitude is the emotion experienced when we are thankful for positive aspects of our life (6). In addition to less context-specific physical and social benefits (7)(8)(9), in the classroom gratitude is associated with higher school life satisfaction (10), higher classroom engagement (11), higher feelings of accomplishment (12), higher academic motivation (13), and increased focus and resilience in learning (14). Gratitude has also been associated with predictors of academic retention and success in college students (15). ...
... Specifically, a grateful attitude can be taught through interventions such as listing five things we are grateful for (10) or writing a gratitude letter to tell someone we are thankful for how they have improved our lives (24). Gratitude interventions have been well-studied in other contexts and levels of schooling, and several studies have assessed the effects of gratitude interventions in university students (13,14,(25)(26)(27)(28)(29). However, there is currently no information regarding the efficacy of gratitude interventions, and any subsequent positive outcomes, in STEM and biology classrooms at the college level. 2 Gratitude Interventions in a Biology Course to Foster Student Persistence and Success For this initial implementation of gratitude interventions, two sections of an Introduction to Scientific Analysis course served as treatment and control groups, with the treatment section receiving gratitude interventions across a 15-week semester. ...
... Based on the resilience [25] and stress-coping [26] theories, these factors may work in synergy to promote one's ability to overcome adversities and thus improve their resilience and self-regulation. For instance, the RISE program provided skills that promoted students' positivity and gratitude, and this was found to improve students' learning attitudes by allowing them to see the value in and become motivated to exert effort towards learning [45,46]. By becoming motivated toward learning, it is postulated to have a buffering effect against anxiety [47,48]. ...
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... As we know gratitude is also a character strength and researchers have found that people who perceive the situation in the perspective of gratitude experience more positive emotions, lower levels of stress, and healthier relationships (Watkins, Uhder, & Pichinevskiy, 2014;Wood, Joseph, & Maltby, 2009). Practicing gratitude have positive impact on resilience level (Wilson, 2016), which promote approach coping in people (Wood et.al, 2007). The finding of present study partially supported the sixth hypothesis that, when gratitude finds to be significant predictor of avoidance coping in doctors. ...
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... The findings of the present study validate the results in the eastern context. Various previous researchers like Garg and Sarkar (2020), Kasser and Kasser (2001), Wilson (2016), and Kumar and Dixit (2014) also recommended the same results. Kumar and Dixit (2014) reported a significant correlation of 0.345 between gratitude and resilience. ...
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Gratitude, like other positive emotions, has inspired many theological and philosophical writings, but it has inspired very little vigorous, empirical research. In an effort to remedy this oversight, this book brings together prominent scientists from various disciplines to examine what has become known as the most-neglected emotion. The volume begins with the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of gratitude, and then presents the current research perspectives from social, personality, and developmental psychology, as well as from primatology, anthropology, and biology. The volume also includes a comprehensive, annotated bibliography of research on gratitude. This work contributes a great deal to the growing positive psychology initiative and to the scientific investigation of positive human emotions. It will be an invaluable resource for researchers and students in social, personality, developmental, clinical, and health psychology, as well as to sociologists and cultural anthropologists.
Book
Teachers at all levels of education will find this book practical and inspiring as they read how other educators have engaged with challenges that reveal different dimensions of gratitude, and how some have discovered its relevance in gaining greater resilience, improved relationships and increased student engagement. In the first comprehensive text ever written that is solely dedicated to the specific relevance of gratitude to the teaching and learning process, Dr Howells pioneers an approach that accounts for both dilemmas and possibilities of gratitude in the midst of teachers busy and stressful lives. She takes a contemporary and philosophical view of the notion of gratitude and goes beyond its conceptualisation simply from a religious or positive psychology framework. Exploring real situations with teachers, school leaders, students, parents, academics and pre-service teachers - Gratitude In Education: A Radical View examines many of the complexities encountered when gratitude is applied in a variety of secular educational environments.
Chapter
This chapter examines the feeling of being grateful. It suggests feeling grateful is similar to other positive emotions that help build a person's enduring personal resources and broaden an individual's thinking. It describes various ways by which gratitude can transform individuals, organizations, and communities in positive and sustaining ways. It discusses the specific benefits of gratitude including personal and social development, community strength and individual health and well-being.