Gratitude, kindness, and prosociality : examining different emotions as mediators
Toh, Pei Yi
Date of Issue2019-05-17
School of Social Sciences
Gratitude and kindness are associated with prosocial outcomes, but little empirical research was done to examine the mechanisms that underlie this relationship. Additionally, the target of gratitude experience or kindness experience with regards to prosocial outcomes has not been studied. This study aims to examine the differential and interactive impact of gratitude and kindness exercises, as well as the target of the exercises (close social ties versus strangers) on prosocial outcomes; the proximal emotional experience induced by the gratitude and kindness exercises; and the proximal emotional experience as potential mediators in the association between gratitude/kindness and prosocial outcomes. Participants were recruited to complete a series of questionnaires and a gratitude or kindness writing exercise via an online survey platform. Results revealed no significant main effects of gratitude and kindness exercises, as well as targets of the exercises, in leading to prosocial outcomes. The interaction effect was also found to be non-significant. Gratitude exercise was found to induce a higher positive-social emodiversity than the kindness exercise. Only positive-social emotions and positive-non-social emotions mediated the relationship between gratitude/kindness and prosocial outcomes. The implications of the results, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.
Final Year Project (FYP)