Introduction

Gratitude is a "generalized tendency to recognize and respond with grateful emotion to the roles of other people’s benevolence in the positive experiences and outcomes that one obtains" (McCullough et al., 2002). The study of gratitude is a good example of a topic in the area of positive psychology.

According to the influential study by McCullough et al. (2002), the following can be concluded about grateful people:

grateful people appear to be different from their less grateful counterparts in three interesting psychological domains: (a) emotionality/well-being, (b) prosociality, and (c) spirituality/religiousness. Compared with their less grateful counterparts, grateful people are higher in positive emotions and life satisfaction and also lower in negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, and envy. They also appear to be more prosocially oriented in that they are more empathic, forgiving, helpful, and supportive than are their less grateful counterparts. Relatedly, grateful people are less focused on the pursuit of materialistic goals. Finally, people with stronger dispositions toward gratitude tend to be more spiritually and religiously minded.

The GQ-6 scale has only 6 items. The score on this scale ranges somewhere between 6 and 42 points (because there are 6 7-point Likert scale items).

Here are some group averages from different studies that give you

some idea of the ranges (all the details are in this document):

Group N Average score

Post-traumitic disorder group (PTSD)

75

22.1

16-year olds from Long Island

260

28.08

Taiwanese college students

608

28.55

US high school students aged 14-19

1,035

33.17

Australian college students

275

34.35

Adult volunteers aged 18-75

1,228

36.9

Business school graduate students

603

38.50

Run the demo

The scale can be used for research when citing and acknowledging the authors and their paper.

Technically

This is implemented as a very basic scale item with some reverse scored items.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: agree
- strongly disagree
- disagree
- slightly disagree
- neutral
- slightly agree
- agree
- strongly agree

l: gq6
t: scale agree
o: width 25%
q: Indicate how much you agree with each statement
- I have so much in life to be thankful for.
- If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list
- {reverse} When I look at the world, I don’t see much to be grateful for.
- I am grateful to a wide variety of people.
- As I get older I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.
- {reverse} Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.

l: score
t: set
- sum $gq6

l: feedback
t: radio
q: Your gratitude score is {$score}.
- I am grateful for the answer :-)

References

  • McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112- 127.

  • A scoring sheet with some extra information which can be retrieved from Emmons' lab.