Taking 'Thanks' for Granted: Unravelling the Concept of Gratitude in a Developmental, Cross-Cultural Analysis.
Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues Research Fellows Dr. Liz Gulliford and Dr. Blaire Morgan secured small grant funding from the Society for Educational Studies (SES) to replicate three key studies from the An Attitude for Gratitude project with an Australian sample. The study compared how Australians and Britons understand gratitude and the factors which influence the way in which gratitude is conceived and experienced in Australia.
Key findings from the study show that Australians associated gratitude with fewer negative features than were found in the UK study. ‘Indebtedness/obligation’ was named as a feature of gratitude by 29% of UK participants and by only 6.5% of Australian respondents. Likewise ‘guilt’ was named by 17% of the UK participants but by only 2.6% of the Australian sample. Australians, therefore, seem less likely to reference negative associations of gratitude than UK respondents.
Relatedly, findings from this preliminary study suggest that negative aspects of gratitude (ulterior and malicious motives, mixed emotions and indebtedness) impacted less on reported gratitude for Australian children in comparison with UK children. Similar results are found for adult and adolescent Australians whose gratitude seemed to be less impacted by a benefactor’s ulterior motives than in the UK.
The final report is available to view here.