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The effect of cognitive appraisals on emotional experiences of gratitude in the situations arousing gratitude

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  • 感謝生起状況における状況評価が感謝の感情体験に及ぼす影響
  • カンシャ セイキ ジョウキョウ ニ オケル ジョウキョウ ヒョウカ ガ カンシャ ノ カンジョウ タイケン ニ オヨボス エイキョウ

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This study had two purposes: first, to clarify the cognitive appraisals that produce gratitude; and second, to examine the effect of cognitive appraisals on emotional experiences of gratitude. Results of a preliminary study indicated that four predominant cognitive appraisals can produce gratitude: naturalness of the situation, receipt of benefit, concern of benefactor to recipient, and cost to benefactor. Furthermore, 488 undergraduate students were presented with five types of situations that produce gratitude: “receiving help,” “receiving gifts,” “imposing on others,” “getting a condition improved” or “changeless condition.” Then, we asked participants to rate on the scales of the four groups of cognitive appraisals and two groups of emotional experiences of gratitude: contentment and apologetic emotion. Factor analysis revealed three groups of cognitive appraisals: ‘receiving favor,’ ‘cost to benefactor,’ and ‘naturalness of the situation.’ Regression analysis showed that ‘receiving benefit’ facilitates contentment. Furthermore, in three types of situations, namely “receiving help,” “receiving gifts” and “imposing on others,” ‘cost to benefactor’ facilitated apologetic emotion. In addition, the effects of cognitive appraisal on emotional experiences of gratitude differed among the types of situation. These results were discussed regarding the different characteristics among the types of situations.


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