Title page for ETD etd-04182014-212312

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ekema-Agbaw, Michael Luma
URN etd-04182014-212312
Title Intervening to Increase Expressions of Gratitude
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
E. Scott Geller Committee Chair
Danny K. Axsom Committee Member
Neil M. Hauenstein Committee Member
  • Prosocial
  • Thanking
  • Intention
  • Gratitude
Date of Defense 2013-05-08
Availability unrestricted
Five studies examined interventions to increase the frequency of expressions of gratitude by psychology students in two classes of a psychology course at a large university in southwest Virginia. Studies 1 and 4 included signing a paper when declaring an intention to express gratitude to people behaving prosocially, while studies 2, 3, and 5 included responding to writing prompts prior to declaring an intention to express gratitude. Students in one class of Study 5 were also offered Actively-Caring for People (AC4P) wristbands that served as “tangible reminders of kindness” (Geller, 2013). Students in all studies were given one week to express gratitude. Gratitude expression was measured by self-report on a survey administered during the psychology course. In all but the first and fourth studies, increased intentions to express gratitude were significantly higher in the Intervention class than the Control class. The impact of the interventions on reports of gratitude expression was inconsistent. Theoretical/methodological explanations and directions for future research are discussed.
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