A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way : Gratitude Reduces Objectification

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationThe Journal of Positive Psychology
Online published20 Mar 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 20 Mar 2022


Objectification, treating others merely as things or tools while denying their personhood, results in severe consequences. While prior research predominantly focused on the triggers of objectification, we aimed to investigate a possible intervention. We hypothesized that gratitude could reduce objectification toward general others (i.e., people who are not the benefactors). Across three studies (N = 1007), our hypothesis was supported. Study 1 showed that dispositional gratitude negatively predicted trait objectification. Studies 2 and 3 further found a causal relationship. Specifically, after heightening participants’ state of gratitude, participants showed a lower level of objectification towards others (Study 2). Using a scenario study that described a working context, we further showed the alleviating effect of gratitude on objectification toward a group of factory workers, targets often suffering from objectification (Study 3). Our reported effect is prevalent, such that it is observed across samples from two countries (i.e., the United States and China).

Research Area(s)

  • objectification, gratitude, general others, factory workers