Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Warm thanks: Gratitude can win you new friends

Date:
August 28, 2014
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Parents have long told their children to mind their Ps and Qs, and remember to say thank you. Now the evidence is in on why it matters. A study has shown for the first time that thanking a new acquaintance for their help makes them more likely to seek an ongoing social relationship with you. Saying thank you provides a valuable signal that you are someone with whom a high-quality relationship could be formed.

Parents have long told their children to mind their Ps and Qs, and remember to say thank you. Now the evidence is in on why it matters.

Related Articles


A UNSW Australia-led study has shown for the first time that thanking a new acquaintance for their help makes them more likely to seek an ongoing social relationship with you.

"Saying thank you provides a valuable signal that you are someone with whom a high quality relationship could be formed," says UNSW psychologist Dr Lisa Williams, who conducted the research with Dr Monica Bartlett of Gonzaga University in the US.

The study, to be published in the journal Emotion, involved 70 university students who provided advice to a younger student. Some of those advice-givers were thanked for their advice.

The study was designed to test a theory proposed two years ago to explain the benefits to individuals and society of the emotion of gratitude. This find-remind-and-bind theory suggests gratitude helps people develop new relationships (find), build on existing relationships (remind), and maintain both (bind).

The study tested the first aspect of the theory -- finding.

The university students were led to believe they were mentoring a high school student, and were asked to comment on a university admissions essay, supposedly written by the mentee.

In reply, all mentor participants received a hand written note from their supposed mentee. In about half the cases the note included an expression of gratitude: "Thank you SO much for all the time and effort you put into doing that for me!"

The university students who were thanked were more likely to provide their contact details, such as their phone number or email address, for the mentee than those who were not thanked.

The grateful mentees were also rated as having significantly warmer personalities. The results suggest that the reason why people 'find' grateful others is because of this perceived warmth.

Perhaps surprisingly, this kind of experiment had not been conducted before.

"Our findings represent the first known evidence that expression of gratitude facilitates the initiation of new relationships among previously unacquainted people," says Dr Williams.

"With more people communicating by social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, it would be interesting to find out whether just observing someone express gratitude increases another person's desire to form a relationship with them."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lisa A. Williams, Monica Y. Bartlett. Warm Thanks: Gratitude Expression Facilitates Social Affiliation in New Relationships via Perceived Warmth.. Emotion, 2014; DOI: 10.1037/emo0000017

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Warm thanks: Gratitude can win you new friends." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828110810.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2014, August 28). Warm thanks: Gratitude can win you new friends. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828110810.htm
University of New South Wales. "Warm thanks: Gratitude can win you new friends." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828110810.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins