Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2015 | 46 | 2 | 186-196

Article title

Appreciating Gratitude: Is Gratitude an Amplifier of Well-Being?


Title variants

Languages of publication



The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between gratitude and certain components of well-being which are conducive to affirming life. Additionally, we also compared how experiencing joy impacts those components of well-being. A randomly chosen 1/3 of the participants was asked to recall an event from their past when they felt grateful. Another 1/3 was asked to recall an event from their past when they felt joy. The final 1/3 of the participants was the control group. Next, all participants filled in the Satisfaction With Life Scale. Then (taking turns) they completed the Social Ties Scale and the Social Trust Scale. Finally, all participants estimated the amount of beneficiary experiences and gratitude they had received in life. The results of the study indicate that both gratitude and joy enhance happiness, and that gratitude and joy play an important, although different in some respects, role as contributing factors to happiness. The results indicate a positive relationship between the balance in gratitude experiences and the examined aspects of well-being.








Physical description




  • Department of Psychology, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Sopot Campus Polna 16/20, 81-745 Sopot, Polan


  • Algoe, S. B., Haidt, J.& Gable, S. L. (2008). Beyond reciprocity: Gratitude and relationships in everyday life. Emotion, 8, 425-429.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • Bar-Tal, D., Barzohar, 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.
  • Brown, S. L., Nesse, R. M., Vinokur, A. D. & Smith, D. M. (2003). Providing social support may be more beneficial that receiving it: Result from a prospective study of morality. Psychological Science, 14, 320-327.[Crossref]
  • Bartlett, M. Y., & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior. Helping when it costs you. Psychological Science, 17, 319-325.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995).The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal Attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497-529.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Ilko, S. A. (1995). Shallow gratitude: Public and private acknowledgment of external help in accounts of success. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 16, 191-209.[Crossref]
  • Boski, P. (2009). Kulturowe ramy zachowań społecznych (Cultural framework of social behawior).Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN & Academica SWPS.
  • Cohn, M. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J.A., & Conway, A. M. (2009). Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion, 9, 361-368.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • Czapiński, J. (Ed.). (2004) Psychologia pozytywna (Positive psychology). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
  • Czapiński, J., Panek, T. (2011). Diagnoza społeczna (Social diagnosis). Warszawa: Rada Monitoringu Społecznego.
  • Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542-575.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Diener, E. & Biswas-Diener, R. (2008). Happiness: Unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Diener, E., Lucas, R.E.& Oishi, S. (2002). Subjective well-being. The science of happiness and life satisfaction. In: C.R. Snyder, S.J. Lopez (red.). Handbock of positive psychology (63-73), Oxsford: Oxsford University Press Diener, E., Lucas, R. E. & Scollon, C. N. (2006). Beyond the hedonic treadmill. Revising the adaptation theory of well-being. American Psychologist, 61, 305-314.
  • Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.[Crossref]
  • Dunn, J. R. & Schweitzer, M. E.(2005). Feeling and believing: The influence of emotion on trust. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 736-748.[Crossref]
  • Emmons, R. A. (2007). Thanks! How the new science of gratitude can make you happier. Boston - New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • 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.[Crossref]
  • Emmons, R. A., & Shelton, C. M. (2002). Gratitude and the science of positive psychology. In: C.R. Snyder, S.J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (p. 459-471), New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Fredrickson, B. (2004). Gratitude, like other positive emotions, broadens and builds. In: Emmons, R. A., McCullough, M. E. (Ed.), The psychology of gratitude (p. 145-161) New York: Oxford University Press. Gadacz, T. (2003). Umiejętności życia (Life skills). Kraków: Wydawnictwo Znak.
  • Gruszecka, E. (2003). Poczucie wdzięczności: próba opisu i wyjaśnienia (The feeling of gratefulness: an attempt to describe and explain the phenomenon). Psychologia Jakości Życia, 2, 207-227.
  • Gruszecka, E. (2007). Skala BDW - pomiar życiowego bilansu doświadczeń dobra i Wdzięczności (BDW scale - measuring life balance and good experience gratitude). Tekst niepublikowany.
  • Gruszecka, E. (2008). Emocje związane z otrzymaniem pomocy. (Emotional response to given help) In: A. Błachnio, A. Przepiórka (Ed.), Bliżej emocji II (p. 63-82). Lublin:Wydawnictwo KUL.
  • Gruszecka, E. (2011) Wdzięczność a szczęśliwe życie (Gratitude and subjective well-being) Psychologia Społeczna, 6, 316-329.
  • Gruszecka, E. (in press) Wdzięczność w relacjach przyjacielskich i koleżeńskich (The gratitude in relationships between friends and colleagues). Przegląd Psychologiczny.
  • Gruszecka, E., & Trzebiński, J. (2006). Nadzieja podstawowa i typ więzi międzyludzkiej a doświadczanie wdzięczności (Basic hope, type of social relationship and experiencing gratitude). Studia Psychologiczne, 44, 17-29.
  • Grzelak, J. (2005). Życiowy bilans wymiany społecznej. In: J. Czapiński i T. Panek (Ed.), Diagnoza społeczna 2005. Warunki i jakość życia Polaków (p.197-201). Warszawa: Rada Monitoringu Społecznego.
  • Haidt, J. (2007). Szczęście. Od mądrości starożytnych po koncepcje współczesne (Th Happiness Hypothesis. Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom). Gdańsk: Gdański Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.
  • Juczyński, Z. (2001). Narzędzia pomiaru w promocji i psychologii zdrowia. Warszawa pracownia testów Psychologicznych PTP Keyes, C.L.M., Shmotkin, D. & Ryff, C.D. (2002). Optimizing well-being: The empirical encounter of two traditions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 1007-1022.
  • Krok, D. (2011). Poczucie sensu życia a dobrostan psychiczny (Meaning in life as a mediator in the relationships between spirituality and eudajmonic well-being), Psychologia Jakości Życia, 10, 95-115.
  • Krok, D. (2012). Poczucie sensu życia jako mediator w związkach duchowości i eudajmonistycznego dobrostanu psychicznego (Meaning in life aa a mediator in the relationships between spirituality and eudajmonic well-being). Psychologia Jakości Życia, 11, 154-162.
  • Linley, P.A. & Joseph, S. (2007). Psychologia pozytywna w praktyce. (Ed.) (Positive Psychology in Praktice). Warszawa: Wydawnicywo naukowe PWN.
  • Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). Expressing gratitude to a partner leads to more relationship maintenance behavior. Emotion, 11, 52-60[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The how of happiness: A scientific approach to getting the life you want. New York: Penguin Press.
  • McCullough, M. E., Kilpatrick, S. D., Emmons, R.A., & Larson, D.B. (2001). Is gratitude a moral affect? Psychological Bulletin, 127, 249-266.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • 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.[Crossref]
  • McDougal, W. (2005). An introduction to social psychology. Boston: Adamant Media Corporation.
  • Nadler, A. & Fisher, J. D. (1986). The role of threat to self-esteem and perceived control in recipient reaction to help: Theory development and empirical validation. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 19, 81-122.
  • Nelson, C. (2009). Appreciating gratitude: Can gratitude be used as psychological intervention to improve individual well-being? Counselling Psychology Review, 24, 38-50.
  • Oatley, K. & Jenkis, J. M. (1996). Understanding emotions. Malden, MA, and Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
  • Peterson, C., Ruch, W., Beermann, U., Park, N. & Seligman, M. E. P. (2007). Strengths of character, orientations to happiness, and life satisfaction. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 149-156.
  • Ryff, C.D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069 - 1081.[Crossref]
  • Ryff, C.D. & Keyes, C.L. (1995). The structure of psychological wellbeing revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 719-727.[Crossref]
  • Ryff, C.D. & Singer, B.H. (2008). Know thyself and become what you are: A eudaimonic approach to psychological well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 13-39.[Crossref]
  • Schwarz, N. & Strack, F. (1999). Reports of subjective well-being: Judgmental processe and their methodological implications. In: D.
  • Kahneman, E. Diener, N. Schwarz (Ed.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (61-84). New York: Sage.
  • Sheldon, K. M. & Lyubomirsky, S. (2006). How to increase and sustain positive emotion: The effects of expressing gratitude and visualizing best possible selves. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1, 73-82.
  • Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Positive psychology, positive prevention and positive therapy. In: C.R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Ed.), Handbook of positive psychology (p. 3-9). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Simmel, G. (1950). The Sociology of Georg Simmel. Glencoe IS: Free Press Smith, A. (1976). The theory of moral sentiments. Oxford: Clarendon Press (Orginal work published 1790).
  • Skarżyńska, K . (2002). Zaufanie, więzi społeczne i poczucie skuteczności a życie w Demokracji (Trust, social ties and sense of efficiency and life in a democracy). Kolokwia Psychologiczne, 10, 198-212.
  • Skarżyńska, K. (2004). Poszukiwać przyjaciół czy zdobywać majątek? Cele życiowe a zadowolenie z życia (Making friends or money? Life goals and life satisfaction). Roczniki Psychologiczne, 7, 7-31.
  • Szcześniak, M. (2008). „Nie sama woda mnie ocaliła, lecz moc rąk, które ją podały”: przedmiotowo-podmiotowa perspektywa wdzięczności (It wos not the water alone that shaved me, It was the strength of the hands that gave it”: personal and subjective perspective of gratitude). In: A. Błachnio & A. Przepiórka (Ed.), Bliżej emocji II (s. 33-47). Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL.
  • Szcześniak, M., & Nieznańska, A. (2009). Co się stanie, gdy mi pomożesz? Spojrzenie międzykulturowe na wzajemność pośrednią (What will happen, when you help me? An intercultural look at indirect reciprocity). Psychologia Społeczna, 4, 214-227.
  • Szuman, S. (1938). Afirmacja życia (Affirmation of life). Lwów: Lwowska Biblioteczka Pedagogiczna.
  • Szymków, A., Wojciszke, B. & Baryła, W. (2003). Psychologiczne funkcje narzekania. (Psychological functions of complaining). Czasopismo Psychologiczne, 9, 47-64.
  • Tesser, A., Gatewood, R. & Driver, M. (1968). Some determinants of gratitude. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 233-236.[Crossref]
  • Trzebińska, E. (2008). Psychologia pozytywna (Positive psychology). Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Akademickie i Profesjonalne.
  • Tsang, J. A. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior: An experimental test of gratitude. Cognition and Emotion, 20, 138-148.[Crossref]
  • Tsang, J.A. (2007). Gratitude for small and large favors: A behavioral test. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 157-167.
  • Toussaint, L. & Friedman, P. (2009). Forgiveness, gratitude, and wellbeing: The mediating role of affect and beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 6, 635-654 Watkins, P. C. (2004). Gratitude and subjective well-being. In: R. A. Emmons & M. E. McCullough (Ed.), The Psychology of Gratitude (p. 167-192), New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Watkins, P. C. (2008). Grateful emotion: The amplifier of blessing. In: A. Błachnio, A. Przepiórka(Ed.), Bliżej emocji II (p. 49-62), Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL.
  • Watkins, P. C., Cruz, L., Holben, H. & Kolts, R. L. (2008). Taking care of business? Grateful processing of unpleasant memories. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 87-99.
  • Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92, 548-573.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • Weiner, B. (2006). Social motivation, justice, and the moral emotions: An attributional approach. Mahway, N. J.: Erlbaum.
  • Wojciszke, B. (2011). Psychologia społeczna (Social psychology). Warszawa: SHOLAR.
  • Wood, A. M., Maltby, J., Stewart, N., Linley, P. A. & Joseph, S. (2008). A social-cognitive model of trait and state levels of gratitude. Emotion, 8, 281-290.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J. & Geraghty, A. W. A. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review an theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 890-905. [PubMed][Crossref]

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.