Megan M. Fritz's research while affiliated with University of California, Riverside and other places

Publications (11)

Article
Full-text available
Although gratitude is typically conceptualized as a positive emotion, it may also induce socially-oriented negative feelings, such as indebtedness and guilt. Given its mixed emotional experience, we argue that gratitude motivates people to improve themselves in important life domains. Two single-time point studies tested the immediate emotional and...
Article
Online interventions that elicit kindness may enhance well-being. We tested the efficacy of three kindness interventions among breast cancer survivors. Participants (N = 137, Mage = 62.65 years) were randomized to perform acts of kindness for others, acts of kindness for self, self-kindness meditation, or a daily-activities-writing control and comp...
Article
Objective Prosocial behavior has been linked to improved physical health, but the biological mechanisms involved remain unclear. This study tested whether a 4-week kindness intervention could reduce expression of a stress-related immune response gene signature known as the Conserved Transcriptional Response to Adversity (CTRA). Methods In a divers...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Prosocial behavior can improve psychological well-being and physical health. However, the underlying biological mechanisms that mediate the relationship between prosociality and health remain unclear. In this pre-registered experiment, we tested whether a 4-week kindness intervention could slow leukocyte telomere shortening and increase w...
Preprint
Objective: Prosocial behavior can improve psychological well-being and physical health. However, the underlying biological mechanisms that mediate the relationship between prosociality and health remain unclear. In this pre-registered experiment, we tested whether a 4-week kindness intervention could slow leukocyte telomere shortening and increase...
Article
Could 10 min of gratitude per week have the potential to change the trajectories of young students' lives? With over 1,000 ninth- and tenth-grade students, we tested whether a simple 4-week classroom-based gratitude intervention would prompt increases in well-being and motivate students to become better people and attain better grades. Over the cou...
Article
Gratitude has been associated with better physical health. Yet, surprisingly little research has experimentally investigated the capacity of gratitude to motivate individuals to eat more healthfully. In Study 1, among undergraduate students (N = 327) attempting to achieve a healthy eating goal, state gratitude following a writing activity significa...
Article
Full-text available
Positive emotions are highly valued and frequently sought. Beyond just being pleasant, however, positive emotions may also lead to long-term benefits in important domains, including work, physical health, and interpersonal relationships. Research thus far has focused on the broader functions of positive emotions. According to the broaden-and-build...
Chapter
Full-text available
As many happiness seekers inevitably discover, human beings are remarkably susceptible to hedonic adaptation—the process of becoming accustomed to positive life changes. Even if individuals observe short-term increases in happiness, how can they avoid the natural erosion of happiness over time? Can anyone ever stay happier? In the present chapter,...
Article
Context: Prosocial behavior is linked to longevity, but few studies have experimentally manipulated prosocial behavior to identify the causal mechanisms underlying this association. One possible mediating pathway involves changes in gene expression that may subsequently influence disease development or resistance. Design, setting, participants:...

Citations

... Research supports this theory, as couples prompted to express gratitude to one another often report increases in positive feelings and relationship satisfaction (Algoe et al., 2013;Algoe et al., 2016;Algoe & Zhaoyang, 2015). Additional studies show that gratitude letter interventions can improve general feelings of closeness and social connection Boehm et al., 2011;Layous et al., 2017;Regan et al., 2022;Walsh, Armenta et al., 2022Wood et al., 2008). ...
... Kindness is an essential value for human survival and well-being. Research in this area shows that helping or sharing to benefit another person (i.e., pro-social behaviour) is not only beneficial for the goal of well-being, but also for oneself (Fritz et al., 2021). A morally competent person therefore not only makes moral decisions but also acts morally. ...
... In addition to its interpersonal benefits, gratitude is associated with numerous positive outcomes. Correlational research demonstrates robust associations between gratitude and positive psychological outcomes, and experimental work shows that gratitude interventions boost both the affective and cognitive components of subjective well-being (Armenta et al., 2020;Davis et al., 2016;Rash et al., 2011;Sheldon & Yu, 2021) and reduce depression and anxiety (meta-analytic g = −0.23; Cregg & Cheavens, 2021). ...
... Participants who wrote gratitude letters did so privately-that is, they completed the exercise as part of an online survey assessment and were not instructed to deliver them. Instructing participants to deliver their gratitude letters (or lists) would have not only created a confound (i.e., sharing the letters in addition to writing them), but may also have caused the intervention to backfire for some participants (Fritz & Lyubomirsky, 2018;Ruini & Mortara, 2022). ...
... Most people want to be happy, and gratitude interventions may be an effective path towards this goal (Davis et al., 2015;Diener & Seligman, 2002). Numerous investigations to date have established the benefits of expressing gratitude for improved social relationships, physical health, and psychological well-being (Algoe et al., 2010;Boehm et al., 2011;Bono & McCullough, 2006;Emmons & McCullough, 2003;Fritz et al., 2019;Lambert et al., 2010;Lyubomirsky et al., 2011). However, the social dynamics of gratitude remain understudied. ...
... Furthermore, the relative stability of dispositional awe refers to the fact that dispositional awe is generally not easily changed, but once changed, it is re-stabilized and maintained at a new level. Thus, transformative tourism experiences can have a dramatic intrapersonal change that enables tourists to discover and feel many tangible and intangible forces even after returning to their hometowns, which will continuously Social connectedness represents the basic need of individuals to connect with others and to belong to other people or groups and constitutes the foundation of human social interaction [33]. As the subjective feelings and self-perceptions of an individual's intimate relationship with the society, social connectedness can be changed by stimuli in the travel context. ...
... People may not explicitly regard novelty as an important need in general life contexts, but it may still contribute to their actions toward specific satisfying events beyond their conscious awareness. Therefore, considering that satisfying events play a unique function in the pursuit of happiness and meaning in life (Fritz, Walsh, & Lyubomirsky, 2017;Young et al., 2018), satisfaction of the need for novelty may be associated to positive functioning . We hypothesized that novelty satisfaction would score highly in relation to satisfying events, although people considered this need less important than the three basic psychological needs. ...
... A study based on a similar notion, namely that prosocial behavior is linked to lifespan [11][12] and that might be mediated by the pathway which implicates changes in gene expression, which consequently may affect disease development (or resistance), examined changes in CTRA in 159 adults. They were randomly divided into 4 groups and for 4 weeks, they engaged in either prosocial behavior directed towards specific people, or prosocial behavior directed towards the world in general or self-focused kindness or a neutral control task [13]. As expected in a randomized study, kindness-to-world, kindness-to-other, kindness-to-self and the control groups showed no difference in average sex, race/ethnicity, age, current illness symptoms, nor the initial level of CTRA gene expression. ...