2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Seeing the Good in Life: The Effects of Gratitude Reflection on Perceived Life Events and Subjective Well-Being
Peter M. Ruberton*, Nicholas C. Jacobson, Lindsey Bangert, Jordan M. Constance, and Jennifer Pearlstein
Dr. Jeffrey Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

This study examined the effectiveness of a gratitude reflection exercise at producing sustained improvements in subjective well-being and perception of life events. Participants (N = 86) were randomly assigned to a gratitude reflection or control life details exercise. Participants completed baseline life satisfaction and affect measures, learned about their assigned exercise, performed the exercise once, and completed a second affect measure. Participants then completed online follow-ups one, two, and four weeks after their initial session; the follow-ups measured subjective well-being, continued exercise performance, and life events over the previous week. Repeated-measure multilevel models revealed no significant effects of gratitude reflection on subjective well-being at follow-up. However, gratitude reflection predicted significant increases in positive affect immediately after performing the exercise, whereas the control exercise predicted decreases in positive affect. Additionally, there was a possible indirect effect of gratitude expression on life satisfaction through increased perceived positive life event intensity.

Keywords: Gratitude, Gratitude reflection, Subjective well-being, Life events, Life satisfaction, Positive affect

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 11-6
Location: Georgian Room - SUB
Time: 4:30

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