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Gratitude is cognitive and emotional reaction arising from noticing and appreciating the benefits that one has received. The sources of the perceived benefits that lead to gratitude are diverse and include (a) direct help, (b) tangible possessions, (c) positive relationships, (d) the positive in a given moment, and (e) doing well compared to others (Wood, Maltby, Stewart, & Joseph, 2008). This implies that gratitude arises from both appreciating actions of specific others and a more general appreciation of the positive aspects in one’s life. Gratitude can be considered both as a state, defined as a reaction at a given single time point, or as a personality trait, defined according to individual differences in how frequently and intensely a person feels the state of gratitude. In recent years gratitude has emerged as a key clinically relevant personality trait due to a strong link with well-being (Wood, Froh, & Geraghty, 2010).


Throughout history gratitude has...

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Correspondence to Alex M. Wood .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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M. Wood, A. (2014). Gratitude. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-007-0752-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-007-0753-5

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