Gratitude for small and large favors: A behavioral test

  • Tsang J
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Abstract

The effect of large and small favors on gratitude was tested using a behavioral measure. Participants were 149 undergraduates (120 female, 29 male). Half received raffle tickets for a US$100 prize, and half received tickets for a US$10 prize. Some received tickets from another (fictitious) student, and others received tickets by chance. Participants receiving a favor subsequently distributed more tickets to the other student; participants receiving a more valuable favor also distributed more (ps50.05). Self-reported grateful motivation predicted distribution better than did indebtedness. Grateful motivation mediated the relationship between favor and distribution (p50.05). Results provide validity for a behavioral measure of gratitude, tentatively support favor value as a determinant of gratitude, and further differentiate between gratitude and indebtedness.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Behavioral measure
  • Gratitude
  • Indebtedness
  • Value

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Authors

  • Jo Ann Tsang

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