A Study on Gratitude

Here’s the first study on gratitude Emmons conducted with his team: Researchers split participants into three groups. Every week the participants kept a journal where they described, in a single sentence, five things they were either grateful for (the gratitude condition) or displeased about (the hassles condition). The neutral group simply described five events that happened (the events condition).

“What did the first study reveal? At the end of the ten weeks, we examined differences between the three groups on all of the well-being outcomes that we measured at the outset of the study. Participants in the gratitude condition felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future than participants in either of the other control conditions. To put it into numbers, according to the scale we used to calculate well-being, they were a full 25 percent happier than other participants.”

So, to recap: Participants who kept a journal where they described five things they were grateful for were 25% happier than the other groups.

~ Robert Emmons   from Thanks!

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