Gratitude in the light of chosen social-psychological theories

Małgorzata Szcześniak

Abstract


Although gratitude has privilege to be one of the most bonding realities regulating people’s relations and as such has been highly valued in philosophical and theological literature, in the field of psychological science for a long time it was not considered as a topic worthy of consideration. The status of gratitude as a neglected and weak emotion was gradually overcome thanks to various theorists who explained the phenomenon of gratitude and clarified the essential mechanisms of its development. The present article is primarily an attempt of concise historical presentation of gratitude in the light of chosen social–psychological theories, which were elaborated by such authors as: Heider, Weiner, Maslow, Ortony, Lazarus, Emmons, McCullough, Fredrickson, Buck, Wojciszke and Kemper. Theoretical accomplishments of the above-mentioned authors and other topics related to conceptualization of gratitude explicate complexity and multidimensional character of this construct. Historical presentation is preceded by linguistic and philosophical outline concerning gratitude.


Keywords


gratitude; complex emotions; attributions; intentionality

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