Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Raymond Fleming

Committee Members

Diane Reddy, Shawn Cahill, Susan Lima, William Davies


Gratitude has been shown to be beneficial for self-reported positive health measures in previous research (Aghababaei, & Farahani, 2011; Algoe & Stanton, 2012; Emmons & Stern, 2013; Hill & Allemand, 2011; Hill, Allemand, & Roberts, 2013; Hyland, Whalley, & Geraghty, 2007; Lin, 2014; Lin & Yeh, 2014). However, previous research had not evaluated a gratitude intervention in conjunction with physiology. The current study attempted to evaluate the impact of a 14-day gratitude intervention on self-reported health measures, positive emotions, and heart rate and pNN50 in a sample of undergraduate college students. Self-reported health measures were taken before and after the intervention with mood being assessed during an ambulatory period. Physiological measures were recorded during the same ambulatory period and also in a laboratory setting. The results indicated non-significant differences between gratitude and control on physiology, self-reported positive health and mood, seemingly due to a lack of a successful manipulation.

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