Why #Thankyou is more than #good manners

Posted on October 12, 2010

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An interesting article, I suggest you read the whole thing, thank you :)

Amplify’d from www.spring.org.uk
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Is expressing thanks a powerful motivator or just a social nicety?

According to positive psychologists, saying ‘thank you’ is no longer just good manners, it is also beneficial to the self.

But we also say thank you because we want the other person to know we value what they’ve done for us and, maybe, encourage them to help us again in the future.

It’s this aspect of gratitude that Adam M. Grant and Francesco Gino examine in a series of new studies published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Grant & Gino, 2010).

How gratitude works

The idea that saying thank you makes people more likely to help in the future is unsurprising, although the 100% increase is interesting, but what the researchers were interested in was why this happens.

In fact the experimenters found that people weren’t providing more help because they felt better or it boosted their self-esteem, but because they appreciated being needed and felt more socially valued when they’d been thanked.

Pass it on

The researchers then wondered whether this effect would extend to other people. Would Eric’s thanks make participants more likely to help a different person?

In a second study Eric’s thanks (or lack of thanks in the control condition) was followed, a day later, by an email from ‘Steven’ asking for similar help. The percentage who offered to help Steven was 25% when they had received no gratitude from Eric, but this shot up to 55% when they had been thanked.

In a third and fourth study the researchers tested their findings face-to-face rather than over email. They reached similar conclusions, with increases in prosocial behavior of 50% in the third study and 15% in the fourth study. These lower percentages show that the effect of gratitude on motivation depends on the situation.

Thank you!

Since, for most of us, expressing our thanks is an everyday occurrence, we tend to think nothing of it. But psychologically it has a very important role to play for both the person giving and the person receiving.

Read more at www.spring.org.uk

 

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