The virtue of gratitude: A developmental and cultural approach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan R. Tudge, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: There has been a burgeoning interest in gratitude in adults, adolescents, and children, with most scholars examining the relations between variations in level of gratitude, treated largely as an emotional state, and measures of well-being. In this paper we explain why we think that gratitude should be defined as a virtue, as discussed by neo-Aristotelian virtue ethicists, rather than simply as an emotional state. Defining gratitude as a virtue has clear developmental implications (no child or adolescent could be considered virtuous in the Aristotelian sense), allowing us to consider its likely precursors. It also has cultural implications, as one might expect cultural variations in how gratitude is cultivated in the young. We then discuss methods we think are helpful in allowing an understanding of the development of gratitude, and provide some supportive evidence for its development in different cultural contexts.

Additional Information

Human Development, 58(4), 281–300
Language: English
Date: 2016
Cultural values, Gratitude, Moral development

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