Gratitude and the Positive Impact on Learning

A most endearing part of our Thanksgiving tradition is reflecting on what we are grateful for. Previous research has revealed that gratitude is directly related to well-being, personal accomplishment and other positive psychological outcomes. This included a significantly reduced risk of a range of diagnoses such as phobiaamong others. Gratitude has been shown to affect the brain through the threat-reducing effects of support-giving, via neural dynamics to reduce inflammatory responses.

But do gratitude’s positive benefits spill over into other areas?

While the effect on the mind has been explored, the connection between gratitude and educational outcomes has never been deeply investigated.

However, recent research into the effect on learning outcomes has unearthed evidence of a positive association.

This study built on a body of research that combined gratitude interventions with educational technology by evaluating the impacts of a Facebook-based gratitude intervention. It explored its effect on academic motivation and engagement among Filipino high school students.

During the quantitative phase of the study, students who were assigned to the intervention group had higher scores than those in the control group around autonomous motivation, controlled motivation and cognitive engagement.

During the qualitative stage, the findings pointed to increased learning outcomes such as a perceived increase in social support, motivation, positive thinking and the desire to thank parents and other significant people in the students’ lives.

This investigation suggests that gratitude interventions could boost positive learning processes and outcomes.

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