To find out, take the Gratitude Questionnaire-Six Item Form (GQ-6) from the Emmons lab. Using the scale below as a guide, write a number beside each statement to indicate how much you agree with it.
1 = strongly disagree
2 = disagree
3 = slightly disagree
4 = neutral
5 = slightly agree
6 = agree
7 = strongly agree
____ 1. I have so much in life to be thankful for.
____ 2. If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list.
____ 3. When I look at the world, I don’t see much to be grateful for.*
____ 4. I am grateful to a wide variety of people.
____ 5. As I get older I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.
____ 6. Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.*
1. Add up your scores for items 1, 2, 4, and 5.
2. Reverse your scores for items 3 and 6. That is, if you scored a “7,” give yourself a “1,” if you scored a “6,” give yourself a “2,” etc.
3. Add the reversed scores for items 3 and 6 to the total from Step 1. This is your total GQ-6 score. This number should be between 6 and 42.
Here are some findings from Dr. Emmons
- Most people report being grateful (an average rating of nearly 6 on a 7 point scale).
- Well-Being: Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.
- Prosociality: People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002).
- Spirituality: Those who regularly attend religious services and engage in religious activities such as prayer reading religious material score are more likely to be grateful. Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others (McCullough et. al., 2002). Gratitude does not require religious faith, but faith enhances the ability to be grateful.
- Materialism: Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of others; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful persons.