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      A program of positive intervention in the elderly: memories, gratitude and forgiveness

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      Aging & Mental Health

      Informa UK Limited

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          Abstract

          The main goal of this study has been to increase the quality of life in people of over 60 years through a positive psychology intervention.

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            Gratitude and prosocial behavior: helping when it costs you.

            The ability of the emotion gratitude to shape costly prosocial behavior was examined in three studies employing interpersonal emotion inductions and requests for assistance. Study 1 demonstrated that gratitude increases efforts to assist a benefactor even when such efforts are costly (i.e., hedonically negative), and that this increase differs from the effects of a general positive affective state. Additionally, mediational analyses revealed that gratitude, as opposed to simple awareness of reciprocity norms, drove helping behavior. Furthering the theory that gratitude mediates prosocial behavior, Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and demonstrated gratitude's ability to function as an incidental emotion by showing it can increase assistance provided to strangers. Study 3 revealed that this incidental effect dissipates if one is made aware of the true cause of the emotional state. Implications of these findings for the role of gratitude in building relationships are discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Aging & Mental Health
                Aging & Mental Health
                Informa UK Limited
                1360-7863
                1364-6915
                October 17 2013
                November 14 2013
                : 18
                : 4
                : 463-470
                Article
                10.1080/13607863.2013.856858
                24229346
                © 2013

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