Investigation on the relationship between gratitude and subjective well-being


Research output: ThesisBachelor's Theses


Objectives: This study attempted to explain the relationship between gratitude and subjective well-being through physiological mechanism (i.e. heart-rate variability). Methods: Subjects were 40 undergraduate students (82.5% female) who completed sets of questionnaire: Gratitude Questionnaire-Six Item Form (GQ-6; McCullough, Emmons, &Tsang, 2001), The Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Test (GRAT-Short Form; Watkins et al., 2003), Chinese Affect Scale (CASPA)(Hamid& Cheng, 1996; Cheng, 2004), State trait anxiety inventory (STAI-Short Form; Marteau & Bekker, 1992), and The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)( Kroenke, Spitzer& Williams, 2001). All participants have participated in both 5-minute gratitude writing condition and control writing condition, and their heart-rate variability were recorded throughout the whole experiment session. Results: Data analysis revealed that 1) short-term gratitude writing exercise has significantly enhanced one’s gratitude emotion and lowered one’s anxiety level; and 2) one’s baseline depressive emotion is significantly negatively correlated with his or her heart-rate variability during gratitude induction but not during control condition. Conclusion: Findings suggest that even short-term gratitude induction is beneficial to one’s subjective well-being, and this relationship can be partially explained by a lowered heart-rate variability experienced by people who were more depressive at the beginning of the experiment. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
Awarding Institution
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • HOU, Wai Kai 侯維佳, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Gratitude
  • Psychophysiology
  • Depression
  • Heart-rate variability
  • Alt. title: 感謝的心與主觀心理健康的關系研究
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (BSocSc(Psy))--The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2016.


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