Relationship between Gratitude and Realistic Optimism: A Study on Indian University Students


In this study, the researcher examined the relationship between realistic optimism and gratitude. Schneider (2001) states that realistic optimism is an outlook of the future by recognizing, inspecting, and flexibly accepting the highly uncertain reality as objectively as possible. Based on the ideas of Schneider (2001), Nishaat & Magari (2018) developed a realistic optimism scale, consisting of three factors: future orientation, flexibility, and will/courage. Gratitude is an emotional response to the moral actions of others (McCullough et al., 2001). Methodology: In this study, the researcher conducted a questionnaire survey at 2 universities in India (N: 206, M: 107, F: 99, age range: 18-24). For this purpose, the gratitude scale developed by McCullough et al. (2002) and the realistic optimism scale developed by Nishaat & Magari (2018), was used. Pearson correlation coefficient analysis was performed to analyze the data. Result: A significant positive correlation was found between realistic optimism and gratitude. Results of Pearson correlation coefficient analysis showed that gratitude is positively correlated with future orientation (r= .25, p<.01), will/courage (r= .15, p<.05), and flexibility (r= .14, p<.05). The result also shows that realistic optimism as a whole is also positively correlated with gratitude (r= .26, p<.01). Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that people with a high realistic optimism orientation have a high level of gratitude. In particular, a significant correlation was found between future orientation and gratitude. This indicates that people who have hope for the future tend to be more grateful toward others.

Author Information
Aneesah Nishaat, Soka University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2022
Stream: Psychology & Social Psychology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon