Evidence That It Works
One study discovered that students who were taught to think gratefully by considering the costs, benefits, and intentions behind a kind act were found, in comparison to a control group, to be happier and more grateful, and to show more grateful thinking. They also were more likely to write gratitude letters to PTA members.
Another study in which students wrote and delivered a gratitude letter expressed more gratitude and experienced more positive emotions both immediately and two months after in comparison to a group of students who kept a journal.
Why Does It Matter?
Helping students to recognize the effort and benevolent intentions of people in their lives may help to cultivate students’ self-worth, contributing to both their academic success and well-being. Indeed, studies have found that gratitude can make a person feel more worthy because someone did something for us, therefore we must be a worthy person.