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Encyclopedia > Gratitude
Look up gratitude in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. Image File history File links Acap. ... Gratitude is an emotion. ... Look up thanks in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Look up Emotion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

In a religious context, gratitude can also refer to a feeling of indebtedness towards a deity. Most religions prescribe rituals of thanksgiving towards their higher powers; the expression of gratitude to God is a central theme of Christianity and Islam. Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is...


Look up Emotion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Emotion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the emotion. ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... In everyday language depression refers to any downturn in mood, which may be relatively transitory and perhaps due to something trivial. ... For other uses, see Happiness (disambiguation). ... A woman showing disgust. ...


For other uses, see Acceptance (disambiguation). ... For the change in vowel and consonant quality in Celtic languages, see Affection (linguistics). ... In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. ... Look up ambivalence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Anxiety is a physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components (Seligman, Walker & Rosenhan, 2001). ... Compassion is best described as an understanding of the emotional state of another; not to be confused with empathy. ... Look up Confusion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Confusion can have the following meanings: Unclarity or puzzlement, e. ... For other uses, see Contempt (disambiguation). ... In everyday language depression refers to any downturn in mood, which may be relatively transitory and perhaps due to something trivial. ... This article is about the mental state. ... Ecstasy is a category of altered states of consciousness or trancelike states in which an individual transcends ordinary consciousness and as a result has a heightened capacity for exceptional thought, intense concentration on a specific task, extraordinary physical abilities or intense emotional experience. ... Not to be confused with Pity, Sympathy, or Compassion. ... For other uses, see Envy (disambiguation). ... Embarrassment is an unpleasant emotional state experienced upon having a socially or professionally unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others. ... Euphoria (Greek ) is a medically recognized emotional state related to happiness. ... For other uses, see Forgiveness (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Happiness (disambiguation). ... “Guilty” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Anticipatory Grief be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Hate (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Hope (disambiguation). ... Horror is the feeling of revulsion that usually occurs after something frightening is seen, heard, or otherwise experienced. ... Anger is a term for the emotional aspect of aggression, as a basic aspect of the stress response in animals whereby a perceived aggravating stimulus provokes a counterresponse which is likewise aggravating and threatening of violence. ... Homesickness is generally described as a feeling of longing for ones familiar surroundings. ... Hysteria is a diagnostic label applied to a state of mind, one of unmanageable fear or emotional excesses. ... Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. ... For other uses, see Love (disambiguation). ... For other senses of this word, see paranoia (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with Empathy, Sympathy, or Compassion. ... Look up Pleasure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Pride is the name of an emotion which refers to a strong sense of self-respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, nation or object that one identifies with. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Regret is an intelligent (and/or emotional) dislike for personal past acts and behaviors. ... People feel remorse when reflecting on their actions that they believe are wrong. ... For other uses, see Shame (disambiguation). ... Suffering is any aversive (not necessarily unwanted) experience and the corresponding negative emotion. ... The human expression of surprise Look up surprise in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... ...

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In contrast to the positive feeling of gratitude, the feeling of indebtedness is a negative reaction to a favor (Tsang, 2006a; Watkins, Scheer, Ovnicek, & Kolts, 2006). Even though our reactions to favors might not always be positive, researchers have found that people express gratitude often. In a 1998 Gallup poll, the majority of Americans said they express gratitude to God (54%) and others (67%) "all the time."

Psychological research has demonstrated that individuals are more likely to experience gratitude when they receive a favor that is perceived to be (1) valued by the recipient, (2) costly to the benefactor, (3) given by the benefactor with benevolent intentions, and (4) given gratuitously (rather than out of role-based obligations) (e.g., Bar-Tal, Bar-Zohar, Greenberg, & Hermon, 1977; Graham, 1988; Lane & Anderson, 1976; Tesser, Gatewood, & Driver, 1968). Individuals who are induced to feel grateful are more likely to behave prosocially toward their benefactor (Tsang, 2006b) or toward unrelated others (Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006). Psychological science redirects here. ...

Gratitude may also serve to reinforce future prosocial behavior in benefactors. For example, Carey and colleagues (Carey, Clicque, Leighton, & Milton, 1976) found that customers of a jewelry store who were called and thanked showed a subsequent 70% increase in purchases. In comparison, customers who were thanked and told about a sale showed only a 30% increase in purchases, and customers who were not called at all did not show an increase. Rind and Bordia (1995) found that restaurant patrons gave bigger tips when their servers wrote “Thank you” on their checks.

Research has also suggested that feelings of gratitude may be beneficial to subjective emotional well-being (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). For example, Watkins and colleagues (Watkins et al., 2003) had participants test a number of different gratitude exercises, such as thinking about a living person for whom they were grateful, writing about someone for whom they were grateful, and writing a letter to deliver to someone for whom they were grateful. Participants in the control condition were asked to describe their living room. Participant who engaged in a gratitude exercise showed increases in their experiences of positive emotion immediately after the exercise, and this effect was strongest for participants who were asked to think about a person for whom they were grateful. Participants who had grateful personalities to begin with showed the greatest benefit from these gratitude exercises. In people who are grateful in general, life events have little influence on experienced gratitude (McCullough, Tsang & Emmons, 2004).

Although gratitude is something that anyone can experience, some people seem to feel grateful more often than others. People who tend to experience gratitude more frequently than do others also tend to be happier, more helpful and forgiving, and less depressed than their less grateful counterparts (Kashdan, Uswatte, & Julian, 2006; McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002; Watkins, Woodward, Stone, & Kolts, 2003)

From a Buddhist point of view, the Pali word which we translate in English as gratitude is katannuta. The word katannuta consists of two parts: kata which means that which has been done, especially that which has been done to one, to oneself, and annuta which means knowing or recognising. So katannuta means knowing or recognizing what has been done to one, that is to say knowing and recognising what has been done to one for one's benefit. Hence the connotation of the Pali word is rather different from its English equivalent. The connotation of the English gratitude is rather more emotional (we feel gratitude, feel grateful, etc.) but the connotation of katannuta is rather more intellectual, more cognitive. It makes it clear that what we call gratitude involves an element of knowledge - knowledge of what has been done to us or for us for our benefit. If we do not know that something has benefited us, we will not feel gratitude.

See also

An obligation can be legal or moral. ...


  • Barlett, M.Y., & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior: Helping when it costs you. Psychological Science, 17, 319-325.
  • Bar-Tal, D., Bar-Zohar, Y., Greenberg, M. S., & Hermon, M. (1977). Reciprocity behavior in the relationship between donor and recipient and between harm-doer and victim. Sociometry, 40, 293-298.
  • Carey, J. R., Clicque, S. H., Leighton, B. A., & Milton, F. (1976). A test of positive reinforcement of customers. Journal of Marketing, 40, 98-100.
  • Emmons, R.A. (2007). Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. New York: Houghton-Mifflin. ALRC Newskitchen
  • Emmons, R. A. & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389. (electronic copy)
  • Gallup, G. H., Jr. (1998 May). Thankfulness: America's saving grace. Paper presented at the National Day of Prayer Breakfast, Thanks-Giving Square, Dallas.
  • Graham, S. (1988). Children’s developing understanding of the motivational role of affect: An attributional analysis. Cognitive Development, 3, 71-88.
  • Kashdan, T.B., Uswatte, G., & Julian, T. (2006). Gratitude and hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in Vietnam War veterans. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 177-199.
  • Lane, J., & Anderson, N.H. (1976). Integration of intention and outcome in moral judgment. Memory and Cognition, 4, 1-5.
  • McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.
  • McCullough, M. E., Tsang, J. & Emmons, R. A. (2004). Gratitude in intermediate affective terrain: Links of grateful moods to individual differences and daily emotional experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86,295-309. (electronic copy)
  • Rind, B., & Bordia, P. (1995). Effect of server's "Thank you" and personalization on restaurant tipping. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25, 745-751.
  • Tesser, A., Gatewood, R. & Driver, M. (1968). Some determinants of gratitude. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 233-236.
  • Tsang, J. (2006a). The effects of helper intention on gratitude and indebtedness. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 198-204.
  • Tsang, J. (2006b). Gratitude and prosocial behavior: An experimental test of gratitude. Cognition and Emotion, 20, 138-148.
  • Watkins, P. C., Scheer, J., Ovnicek, M., & Kolts, R. (2006). The debt of gratitude: Dissociating gratitude and indebtedness. Cognition and Emotion, 20, 217-241.
  • Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude, and relationships with subjective well-being. Social Behavior and Personality, 31, 431-452.
  • gratefulness.org

  Results from FactBites:
Gratitude Quotes | Gratitude Quotations | Gratitude Sayings | Wisdom Quotes (625 words)
To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
  More results at FactBites »



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