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Expressing gratitude is way more powerful than you think!

ANI | Updated: Sep 05, 2018 18:02 IST

Washington D.C. [USA] Sep 5 (ANI): Practicing gratitude is a healthy habit, but when it comes to writing letters of thanks to people who have made a difference in your life, the excuses pile up quite quickly. A new study has found that people underestimate the value of sending a letter of appreciation.
One thinks that they might sound cliche and corny, and it feels socially awkward. People think that the other person already knows that they are grateful and that the letter of thanks won't really make a huge difference.
A new research from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business reveals that people significantly underestimate the positive impact a letter of gratitude has on its recipient.
In the study, Professor Nicholas Epley and Amit Kumar discover a wide gap between how little senders think their letters of gratitude will affect the recipient and the high level of happiness the recipients feel upon reading the letter.
"There's so much talk in the world--both in academic literature and in the popular press that expressing gratitude is good for you, but that doesn't seem to line up with how often people are actually articulating their appreciation in daily life. So, we wanted to find out why and what are the barriers holding people back," said Kumar.
In a series of experiments, participants were asked to write a letter to another person who had touched their lives in a meaningful way. The researchers asked the letter writers to predict how surprised, happy and awkward the recipients would feel, and then they followed up with those recipients to examine how they actually felt.
The results showed that participants systematically miscalculated how much people appreciated being thanked.
"Expressers significantly underestimated how surprised recipients would be about why expressers were grateful, overestimated how awkward recipients would feel, and underestimated how positive recipients would feel," the researchers added.
The researchers also revealed that the letter writers were unduly concerned about their ability to express their gratitude skillfully. While the writers were worried about choosing the right words, the recipients were happy simply by the warmth of the gesture.
"It suggests that thoughts about how competently people can express their gratitude may be a barrier to expressing gratitude more often in everyday life," said Kumar.
The study appeared in the Journal of Psychological Science.(ANI)

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