Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey D. Green


Gratitude and indebtedness are construed as separate constructs in recent research.It is hypothesized by this thesis that self-focused attention affects feelings of gratitude and indebtedness. Focusing less attention on the self, thus turning attention resources outward, may allow for the experience of gratitude, whereas focusing inward may create feelings of indebtedness. Two studies examined how focusing one's attention inward may be related to indebtedness, whereas being focused outward may be related to gratitude. A correlational study showed that people who self-focus tend to feel more indebtedness and less gratitude. An experiment was designed to show that manipulating social anxiety, a specific type of self-focused attention, would increase feelings of indebtedness and decrease feelings of gratitude. However, no significant differences of indebtedness or gratitude were found between the experimental condition and control condition.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons