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Pay It Forward: Gratitude in Social Networks

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  • Yen-Ping Chang

    ()

  • Yi-Cheng Lin
  • Lung Chen

    ()

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    Abstract

    Based on the framework of the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson in Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 359(1449):1367, 2004a , b ), we proposed that the emotion of gratitude generates upstream reciprocity (UR, which is helping an unrelated third party after being helped) by broadening the beneficiary’s perspective toward others and thus making the beneficiary represent the benefactor and newly encountered strangers in the same social category. Furthermore, by inducing one UR after another, gratitude may lead to a chain/network of UR and strengthen the structure of organization. We named the effect the integration function of gratitude and demonstrated it by applying the social network analysis technique to eighteen small groups. Implications of the integration function are discussed in terms of self-identity, social exchange theory, and quality of life. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 761-781

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:13:y:2012:i:5:p:761-781

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    Related research

    Keywords: Positive psychology; Prosocial behavior; Well-being; Broaden-and-build theory; Reciprocity; Adaptation; Social integration; Social exchange;

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd, 2003. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small- Scale Societies," Microeconomics 0305009, EconWPA.
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    Cited by:
    1. Yen-Ping Chang & Tsui-Shan Li & Hao Teng & Antonia Berki & Lung Chen, 2013. "Living with Gratitude: Spouse’s Gratitude on One’s Depression," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 1431-1442, August.

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