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Understanding the Association between Gratitude and Loneliness in Daily Life: An Experience Sampling Study

Dittrich, Samuel Marten (2021) Understanding the Association between Gratitude and Loneliness in Daily Life: An Experience Sampling Study.

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Abstract:With the emergence of positive psychology, gratitude has been increasingly in the focus of attention, therefore several studies have examined both gratitude and loneliness. However, literature investigating the relationship between these constructs in terms of momentary states is scarce. This study employed experience sampling methodology to assess the association between gratitude and loneliness in the daily context, taking into consideration trait levels of both constructs. Participants (N = 34) indicated their experience of gratitude and loneliness three times a day for one week with subsequent trait level questionnaires at the end. Trait gratitude predicted more frequent experience of state gratitude and less frequent experience of state loneliness, while the opposite was the case for trait loneliness. Furthermore, this study found a negative within-person association between state gratitude and loneliness, indicating that loneliness is associated with less gratitude at a specific moment and vice versa. The association between momentary gratitude and loneliness varied based on trait levels. Highly grateful individuals did not show a significant within-person association between state gratitude and loneliness, while there was a small association within lonely individuals. Those with low trait levels of both constructs showed a moderate association. Yet, the effect of state gratitude was not carried over to the next measurement on the same day. These results indicate that highly grateful individuals experience gratitude regardless of loneliness, while for others, increased loneliness is associated with less gratitude and vice versa, with a weaker effect in lonely individuals.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86320
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