Evidence That It Works
One study discovered that mainly affluent white 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.
Why Does It Matter?
Reflecting on a kind act that someone did for them can help boost students’ self-esteem — because it shows that they matter to that person. When, in particular, they focus on someone at school, it may increase students’ sense of belonging — a key factor to students’ academic success and overall well-being.