Date of Award

Fall 2019


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology: Clinical




The purpose of this research was to determine if a person’s disposition of gratitude can be modified through Interpretation Bias Modification (IBM) techniques. This research should help us understand the causal relationship between interpretation-bias and gratitude. Because gratitude is vital to subjective well-being (SWB), enhancing one’s disposition for gratitude is important, and IBM may provide one means for enhancing gratitude. This research involved students, randomly assigned to one of two conditions (Positive IBM, Negative IBM). Following the training phase, benefit-related interpretation bias was assessed with several measures, as well as current emotional states. Data from 82 participants were analyzed and included in the results of this experiment. I predicted that those in the positive benefit-related interpretation training condition would show a stronger positive interpretation bias and greater gratitude than those in the comparison condition. Results found that participants in the positive training condition were more positive in their benefit interpretations than those assigned to the negative training condition. Evaluating a personal benefit from their life, participants in the positive training evaluated the benefit as having greater value, and the benefactor was viewed as being more altruistic, although the cost of the benefit was not changed compared to the negative training condition. Additionally, those in the positive training condition showed greater gratitude and joy and less negative emotions as compared to participants in the negative training condition.