Gratitude induction and death anxiety reconsidered

  • A. Honda
  • Y. Hirose


Lau and Cheng (2011) reported that brief gratitude induction can reduce death anxiety but not positive and negative affect. They observed this phenomenon by using the between-subjects design and Chinese younger adults in Hong Kong. In this study, we tried to confirm their findings by using the within-subjects design and Japanese younger adults. Thirty college students completed three experimental conditions (gratitude, neutral, and hassle) in counterbalanced order. In each condition, participants were instructed to spend 15 minutes to reflect on past events and to write up to five events of designated category. Subsequently, they responded to the short version of the Profile of Mood States, and the WHO Subjective Well-Being Inventory, and the Death Attitude Profile-Revised. Results showed that the gratitude condition and the neural condition reported higher positive affect and lower negative affect than those in the hassle condition. And the results also showed that gratitude condition had no effects on the death attitude scale including the index of death anxiety. Lau and Cheng (2011) pointed out that the effect of gratitude induction may be specific to death anxiety, but not a general effect on emotional well-being. Because our findings did not correspond to those of Lau and Cheng (2011), further study is need to clarify whether brief gratitude induction can reduce death anxiety and promote emotional well-being.
Poster presentations