Study suggests that this emotion can be more powerful in curbing impulsiveness than thoughts

Posted on April 25, 2016

Professor David DeSteno, one of the study's authors says, "daily gratitude boosters will function like a vaccine against impulsiveness and enhance self-control and future orientedness.”

The study involved testing people’s levels of gratitude for an ordinary event in the lab.

Then they were followed over the next three weeks to record their emotional states via their smartphones.

Then, to test their ability to delay gratification until later for greater rewards, people were asked whether they would rather have $30 now or $50 at some point in the future.

Professor DeSteno explains that they found that people who had higher levels of gratitude in their daily lives were more patient and less impulsive when it came to those financial decisions. This suggests that the more you regularly experience gratitude, the more self-control you have in various areas of your life.

This is a fascinating finding because we tend to think of self-control as being linked to cognitive processes.

The idea that the emotion of gratitude can help us increase self-control and reduce impulsiveness is very appealing.

Source material from PsyBlog

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