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.

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 October 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Urgent-care clinics popping up across the US are not equipped to treat a serious illness like Ebola and have been told to immediately call a hospital and public health officials if they suspect a patient may be infected. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
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