I was excited to see the front page feature on Monica Bartlett’s research on the social impact of expressing gratitude in the Nov. 26 Spokesman-Review. It’s timely research with a very practical message: If we want others to like us, perceive us warmly and treat us more positively, expressing gratitude works.
It turns out that there is a lot of evidence that feeling and expressing gratitude is a primary ingredient of the good life, and it’s good to see psychology research that focuses on how to have happy, meaningful lives (rather than always focusing on what goes wrong).
For those who are interested in the growing science of gratitude, readers should know that we have one of the world’s foremost gratitude scholars right here on our own front doorstep. For over the past 15 years, professor Philip Watkins of Eastern Washington University has pioneered this area of research with a systematic set of studies (and books) examining the impacts and dynamics of gratitude and how it can improve our lives.
I would encourage people and groups who are interested in the science of gratitude to connect with Watkins, who regularly gives talks on the subject.