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Gratitude, Self-Monitoring and Social Intelligence: A Prosocial Relationship?

Gulliford, L., Morgan, Blaire ORCID:, Hemming, Emily and Abbott, Jenny (2019) Gratitude, Self-Monitoring and Social Intelligence: A Prosocial Relationship? Current Psychology, 38 (4). pp. 1021-1032. ISSN Print: 1046-1310 Online: 1936-4733

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To date, gratitude has been discussed as a positive construct that is linked to various prosocial outcomes, including helping behaviours and altruism, as well as intrapersonal and interpersonal gains such as life satisfaction and social bonds. The emphasis on gratitude as positive has created a dearth of research examining its potential shadow side. This current paper attempts to explore gratitude in a more critical light in order to question whether gratitude always functions in a prosocial manner. First, the theoretical relationship between gratitude, ingratiation and impression management behaviours are explored with reference to social intelligence (SI) and self-monitoring as key constructs that might underlie gratitude’s shadow side. This argument outlines that the apparent prosocial nature of gratitude might, sometimes, mask manipulative and self-serving goals.
Preliminary empirical evidence of the relationship between gratitude, SI and self-monitoring is then provided, with Study 1 demonstrating correlational links between these constructs, and Study 2 evidencing how practicing gratitude can function to increase SI. The possible prosocial and manipulative functions of this relationship are then discussed alongside suggestions for future research avenues.

Item Type: Article
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© The Author(s) 2019

Open Access
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: gratitude, ingratiation, social intelligence, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, IRWRG
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
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Copyright Info: Open Access article (UW Springer OA agreement)
Depositing User: Blaire Morgan
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2019 14:32
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2023 13:31

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