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Pay It Forward: Gratitude in Social Networks

Author

Listed:
  • Yen-Ping Chang

    ()

  • Yi-Cheng Lin
  • Lung Chen

    ()

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

Suggested Citation

  • Yen-Ping Chang & Yi-Cheng Lin & Lung Chen, 2012. "Pay It Forward: Gratitude in Social Networks," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(5), pages 761-781, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:13:y:2012:i:5:p:761-781
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-011-9289-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph Henrich, 2001. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 73-78, May.
    2. R. Henrion, 2005. "Book Review," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR);Nederlands Genootschap voor Besliskunde (NGB), vol. 61(2), pages 345-346, June.
    3. N. Lesca, 2011. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00640604, HAL.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lung Chen & Ying Kee & Mei-Yen Chen, 2015. "Why Grateful Adolescent Athletes are More Satisfied with their Life: The Mediating Role of Perceived Team Cohesion," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 463-476, November.
    2. Lung Chen & Chia-Huei Wu & Shouming Chen, 2015. "Gratitude and Athletes’ Life Satisfaction: A Intra-individual Analysis on the Moderation of Ambivalence over Emotional Expression," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 227-239, August.
    3. repec:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9764-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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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