The Power of Thanks – Happiness and Gratitude

The Power of Thanks – Happiness and Gratitude

Check out this article on happiness and gratitude from Harvard News…

n “Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan,” Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, explores a range of fascinating subjects, including how emotions influence decisions and the often-thorny matter of understanding the perspectives of others. Blending social science and real-world examples, Gino’s book also highlights the science of gratitude.

“The message of ‘Sidetracked,’” Gino said in an interview, “is that a lot of these forces happen even though we are unaware of them. People might just not realize how powerful expressions of gratitude are.”

In two of the gratitude experiments, Gino worked with Professor Adam Grant of the Wharton School. They first asked 57 students to give feedback to a fictitious student, Eric, regarding his sloppy cover letter for a job. Half were emailed a terse confirmation: “I received your feedback on my cover letter.” The other half received gratitude: “I received your feedback on my cover letter. Thank you so much! I am really grateful.”

When Gino and Grant measured the students’ sense of self-worth afterward, 25 percent of the group that received just an acknowledgment felt higher levels of self-worth, compared with 55 percent of the group that received thanks.

In a follow-up experiment, participants received a message from another fictitious student, Steven, asking for feedback on his cover letter. Would participants who had received thanks from Eric be more likely to help Steven? Indeed. More than double the percentage of students in the gratitude group (66 percent) helped Steven, versus just 32 percent of those in the no-gratitude contingent.

“Receiving expressions of gratitude makes us feel a heightened sense of self-worth, and that in turn triggers other helpful behaviors toward both the person we are helping and other people, too,” Gino said. She described the scope of the “gratitude effect” as “the most surprising part” of her research…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE