Journal article

You Didn't Have to Do That: Belief in Free Will Promotes Gratitude

Michael J MacKenzie, Kathleen D Vohs, Roy F Baumeister

PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2014

Abstract

Four studies tested the hypothesis that a weaker belief in free will would be related to feeling less gratitude. In Studies 1a and 1b, a trait measure of free will belief was positively correlated with a measure of dispositional gratitude. In Study 2, participants whose free will belief was weakened (vs. unchanged or bolstered) reported feeling less grateful for events in their past. Study 3 used a laboratory induction of gratitude. Participants with an experimentally reduced (vs. increased) belief in free will reported feeling less grateful for the favor. In Study 4, a reduced (vs. increased) belief in free will led to less gratitude in a hypothetical favor scenario. This effect was seriall..

View full abstract