Study: Not Everyone Is Grateful For Generosity

Not everyone feels grateful for an act of generosity, science says so. American University researchers gave participants hypothetical gifts, and found more autonomous individuals were less positive about receiving the gift from a friend. Across several experiments, individuals higher in autonomy (not wanting to depend on others or be depended on) experienced less gratitude and valued gratitude less. Study leader professor Anthony Ahrens says, “Relationship quality could suffer without expressions of gratitude […] Contemporary American culture emphasizes autonomy. It’s possible cultural messages lead people to value autonomy and less so gratitude. Examining how autonomy and gratitude interact in the interpersonal realm will hopefully lend insight into how best to cultivate the positive experiences of shared connection, healthy independence, and increased emotional well-being.” (EurekAlert!