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"Studies have shown gratitude treatments to successfully enhance well-being in participants. Of these treatments, the ones most frequently used are what Watkins (2014) referred to as grateful recounting tasks. These tasks generally involve participants writing down things in their life that they are grateful for. While some studies have found this task to be effective at enhancing well-being, others have had mixed results. A possible avenue for helping to understand these inconsistencies is that participants likely differ in how they write in these tasks. Using a grateful recounting treatment completed in a previous study (Watkins, Uhder, & Pichinevskiy, 2015), participants' grateful listings were measured along six writing dimensions: human benefactors, interpersonal benefits, benefactor span, gratitude expression, specificity, and surprise. Watkins et al. (2015) found this task, compared to a placebo and pride condition, to significantly enhance well-being in participants at three post treatment assessments (immediately post treatment, one week post treatment, and five weeks post treatment). It was predicted that scores on each of the six dimensions would be positively associated with the increases in participants' well-being found in Watkins et al. (2015). Results indicated that gratitude expression, specificity, and surprise scores were positively correlated with increases in well-being immediately post treatment. These findings provide partial support that differences on these dimensions may moderate the effectiveness of grateful recounting tasks"--Leaf iv.
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McCurrach, Duncan W., "Grateful recounting: do differences in participants' writing impact well-being?" (2015). EWU Masters Thesis Collection. 301.