Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

The Science of Thanks Giving 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "This is Americans' big week to give thanks. Now Russell McLendon writes that giving thanks can do wonders for the human brain according to researchers at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center where scientists have developed an easy way for people to do just that and, at the same time, contribute to a national research project and maybe also improve their lives. The project is part of a $5.6 million, three-year national effort called 'Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude,' funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The center has gone live with Thnx4.org, an interactive, shareable gratitude journal and has invited people in the campus community to take part in the Cal Gratitude Challenge by keeping a two-week online 'gratitude journal' and, if they choose, sharing their posts with others. Early research into the power of gratitude journals ended up proving that students who wrote down everything they were grateful for strengthened their overall resilience and became less vulnerable to everyday stresses and complaints like rashes and headaches, says Emiliana Simon-Thomas. 'Thnx4.org wanted to make this spiral notebook very accessible, and to make the research a little more specific than it has been historically,' says Simon-Thomas. Online, anyone can take part — and potentially reap the benefits. The Cal Gratitude Challenge opened November 1 and will remain open throughout November but the project has a three-year grant and participants will be able to maintain their journals for the duration and first results from the data are expected in January. 'We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we've received,' writes Robert Emmons as part of the project. 'This doesn't mean that life is perfect; it doesn't ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Science of Thanks Giving

Comments Filter:
  • A few nice words (Score:4, Informative)

    by azalin (67640) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:14AM (#42065459)
    A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important
    • by Nyder (754090)

      A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

      That was a very post, thank you for it.

    • A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

      I try to maintain a policy of: Don't let a day go by without thanking someone who's doing a thankless task.

      • A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

        I try to maintain a policy of: Don't let a day go by without thanking someone who's doing a thankless task.

        In that case... Thank You, Slashdot Editors!!!

  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:24AM (#42065497)

    for posts like this that give me tips on how to feel better about myself and my life. And for *anything* that reminds me of all I have to be grateful for, because I find it far too easy to forget.

    • for posts like this that give me tips on how to feel better about myself and my life. And for *anything* that reminds me of all I have to be grateful for, because I find it far too easy to forget.

      For the overwhelming majority of us, no matter how bad we think things are, there are others who have it far, far, worse. That's something you can be grateful for even when you're having trouble keeping your chin up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!!

  • I am thankful that being thankful makes me more thankful. Wait, could I get into an endless happy feedback loop?
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:43AM (#42065599)
    I am feeling very grateful that I don't have such a myopic world-view that I believe that everyone participates in the same cultural festivals as I do.-- ~~~~
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:48AM (#42065623)
    So people feel better about themselves when they say thanks? Perhaps this is part of the reason why so many religions have special prayers before / after meals.
  • by 3seas (184403) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:50AM (#42065633) Journal

    ... you eat....

  • by sycodon (149926) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:05AM (#42065713)

    Every now and then Science stumbles across something that people who deal work in matters of the spirit have known for a long time.

    • by HnT (306652)

      There is a HUGE difference between unconsciously and unquestioningly applying whatever religious rituals were passed down to you and discovering the psychological science behind or at least scientific proof for what is actually going on. For example, the latter is typically far less connected to centuries of cruelties against people who happen to follow different rituals.

    • by dadioflex (854298)
      I doubt that keeping a journal "strengthened their overall resilience and (made them) became less vulnerable to everyday stresses and complaints like rashes and headaches" - in fact I doubt there was any physical effect whatsoever. Any positive results will be down to carefully worded questions framed to elicit a desired response. If anything this is testimony to the effectiveness of research, most notably in the softer "sciences", in being able to achieve whatever results you feel biased towards.

      Ask the
  • by jnowlan (618290)

    to that

  • Is this only for Americans, because we Canadians -- from the TRUE Land of the Free & the REAL Home of the Brave -- had Thanksgiving in early October..?!
    • by mark-t (151149)
      Hello. You must be new here... let me introduce you to the conservative party of Canada.

      "free and brave"... hah. if only.

  • There's such a thing as the 'reader' (the human-kind, I mean),
    or in a broader sense, the 'consumer' (not meant in its commer-
    cial sense).

    There's some indication that gripes, cynicism, irony, angst and
    all the nefarious psychological categories you can think of that
    come with them -- put down in bytes, ink, celluloid or on stage,
    provide for greater literature and entertainment.

  • I'm grateful for people like Vi! Turduckenen-duckenen [youtube.com]

EARTH smog | bricks AIR -- mud -- FIRE soda water | tequila WATER

Working...