A study recently published in Psychological Science shows that an attitude of gratitude tempers impulsive urges. In the study, participants had the option of receiving $54 now or $80 in a month. The researchers then induced moods of happiness, neutrality, or gratitude. Participants in the happy or neutral groups preferred the smaller sum immediately—the typical response in delayed gratification experiments.
The surprise came from those who felt grateful. They preferred to wait for the larger sum, which is the smarter, if less immediately gratifying, option.
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