What is it about?

Gratitude is a common emotion one experiences in daily life. In two experiments, we show that feeling grateful makes people more likely to follow along with choices of others, even in situations where others' behaviors were factually incorrect.

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Why is it important?

In contrast to studies showing benefits of gratitude to intrapersonal and interpersonal well-being, our research shows that gratitude makes one more susceptible to social influence. This suggests that gratitude may be induced to elicit social influence: attitudinal change and persuasion, conformity and even obedience.


There are many life situations that compel us to feel grateful, be it in social exchange, self-reflections e.g., writing gratitude diaries, and in religious contexts. This article increases awareness of the potential effects of feeling grateful on our attitudinal and behavioral choices.

Jomel Ng
National University of Singapore

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gratitude facilitates obedience: New evidence for the social alignment perspective., Emotion, September 2021, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/emo0000928.
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