Date of Thesis

5-8-2017

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

T. Joel Wade

Abstract

The present research implemented two studies to investigate how two brief gratitude interventions affect participant's feelings of gratitude and disposition towards gratitude, and in turn affect his or her subjective well-being, levels of materialism, and prosocial attitudes. The gratitude interventions involved a short-term gratitude letter writing intervention (Experiment 1), and a two-week gratitude list intervention (Experiment 2) in relation to their impact on ratings of life satisfaction, positive and negative affect, materialism and prosociality. Both gratitude interventions were hypothesized to elicit increased ratings of state and trait gratitude, positive affect, prosociality, life satisfaction, and lower levels of materialism and negative affect compared to control conditions. Additionally, it was hypothesized that these benefits would be greater after one and two weeks post-intervention (Experiment 2) and sex differences were not expected. The results did not show higher levels of trait or state gratitude due to gratitude interventions. Additionally, there were no significant effects for time of measurement, and increased levels of positive affect, prosociality, and life satisfaction or decreased levels of negative affect due to gratitude interventions in either study. However, in Experiment 2, there was a significantly greater level of materialism in a hassle list control group compared to the gratitude list and life event list groups. Additionally the findings indicate a significant crossover interaction between participant sex and condition group on positive affect scores in Experiment 2.

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