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Melissa Thomas

2001 Research

Abstract: Gratitude and Envy: How many of us really count our blessings?

Mentor: Dr. Philip Watkins, Psychology

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between gratitude and envy. Some recent approaches have argued that gratitude should focus one's attention on the blessings they have, and away from what they lack. Are grateful persons happier with what they already have? Are less grateful people more envious of what others have? Data from this study is invaluable to the psychological community. Our hope is that, in the long term it will provide insight into how to prevent mental illness from occurring instead f dealing with those issues after they arise. In the short term it will allow us to form relationships between certain kinds of personalities and dispositions so that we will be better able to research the area more thoroughly. The study was conducted using questionnaires comprised of various measures testing envy, gratitude, and subjective well-being. Results from Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients show relationships supporting my predictions. There appear to be positive relationships between the "Happier" page (Table 1) and the DES, the GQ-6 and the self report measure of objective level of wealth (how rich a person believes that they are), and the latter self report and the GRAT total. Negative relationships were found between The GRAT total and several other measures indicating the less grateful people don't appreciate what they already have.

Presentations

Western Psychological Association Conference, Portland, 4/14-17/2005

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