Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude and relationships with subjective well-being

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Philip C. Watkins
Kathrane Woodward
Tamara Stone
Russell L. Kolts
Cite this article:  Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude and relationships with subjective well-being. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 31(5), 431-452.

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The purpose of these studies was to develop a valid measure of trait gratitude, and to evaluate the relationship of gratitude to subjective well-being (SWB). Four studies were conducted evaluating the reliability and validity of the Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT), a measure of dispositional gratitude. This measure was shown to have good internal consistency and temporal stability. The GRAT was shown to relate positively to various measures of SWB. In two experiments, it was shown that grateful thinking improved mood, and results also supported the predictive validity of the GRAT. These studies support the theory that gratitude is an affective trait important to SWB.
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This paper was supported in part by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The authors wish to dedicate this paper to the memory of Nick Curtis.
Appreciation is due to reviewers including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi



Quality of Life Research Center

C. S. and D. J. Davidson


Peter F. Drucker School of Management

Claremont Graduate University

1021 N. Dartmouth Avenue


CA 91711

USA. Email

[email protected]

Michael E. McCullough

Associate Professor

Department of Psychology and Department of Religious Studies

University of Miami

P.O. Box 248185

Coral Gables

FL 33124-2070

[email protected]">[email protected]


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Philip C. Watkins, Department of Psychology, 151 MartinHall, EasternWashington University, Cheney, WA 99004-2423 USA. Phone: 001-509-359-6174; Fax: 001-509-359-6325; Email: [email protected]

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