Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2021

198  University of North Texas  (84494)

Principal Investigator: Hook,Joshua Nord

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 25,000

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): No

Start and End Dates: - 8/30/22

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: Psychology

Department, Center, School, or Institute: College of Lib Arts & Soc Sci

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Gratitude to God, Phase 2: Psychological, Philosophical, and Theological Investigations

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Biola University


Program Title: N/A


This is Restricted Research. To better understand how people experience and process feelings of GTG, our project aims to explore how GTG differs from interhuman gratitude through qualitative inquiry. A qualitative approach to the study of GTG is critical as it allows us to study individual differences in experiences of GTG as compared to interhuman gratitude. We plan to investigate several facets of potential distinctions between GTG and interhuman gratitude, such as exploring (a) motivations and salient experiences of GTG and interhuman gratitude, (b) expressions and behaviors of GTG and interhuman gratitude, and (c) perceived benefits of expressing GTG and interhuman gratitude. Our project consists of two studies: (1) a qualitative study and (2) a linguistic analysis of gratitude letters. First, we will use the steps of Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR; Hill, 2012) to obtain and assess data gathered through face-to-face interviews with 30 adults from various religious/spiritual backgrounds to provide a broad sense of how people who identify as religious/spiritual experience and express GTG as compared to interhuman gratitude. Second, UNT research team will conduct an experiment to explore linguistic differences in letters written that express (1) GTG or (2) interhuman gratitude. Participants will be undergraduate college students who are randomly assigned to (a) write out a letter of gratitude to their higher power, (b) write out a letter of gratitude to another person, or (c) write out their morning routine (e.g., brushing teeth, eating breakfast, etc.). We plan to test our hypotheses using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC; Pennebaker et al., 2015). Broadly, we hypothesize that (a) letters of GTG and interhuman gratitude will be positively related to positive emotion language and the GTG letters will have the strongest relationship with positive emotion language, (b) letters of GTG will be positively related to causation and certainty language and interhuman gratitude will not be significantly related to cognitive language, and (c) letters of GTG will contain more future-focused words and interhuman gratitude letters will not be significantly related to time-orientation language. Proposed outputs for the present grant project include (1) two separate manuscripts for the two studies submitted to high-impact psychology journals and (2) two presentations at national and international psychology conferences. Although gratitude has been an important area of research focus, there have been relatively few qualitative studies on gratitude, and no qualitative studies that have explored both the horizontal (i.e., interhuman) and vertical (i.e., GTG) aspects of gratitude. Thus, we believe this project will have significant implications in the psychology of religion and spirituality, positive psychology, and in future collaboration between psychologists and religious leaders.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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