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Student Research Projects

A Dollar for your Thoughts: The Effects of Gratitude on Prosocial Behavior

Student Stephanie Vernell Compton
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Craig Jackson
Department Psychology
Course PSY 315: Research Methods in Psychology


For my research project I have found an interest in investigating the effects of gratitude on prosocial behavior, especially volunteerism. I am really enthusiastic about experimentally determining whether gratitude has a causal effect on volunteerism and to gather evidence that may encourage individuals to contribute to the progress of humanity. Scientifically testing gratitude is a new idea in psychology. Therefore, finding substantial literature reviews on past research has been a challenge. Honestly, it was not until I realized how I will manipulate gratitude and observe its effects on measures of prosocial behavior that I felt confident enough to write my introduction. My first introduction was choppy and consisted of a lot of holes. I was unsure about the organization of paragraphs and where to begin altogether. Basically, I was thinking in circles. Now that I have a better grasp of what I want to do and why it is important to me, I am secure with the direction of my project. I suggest to my peers that they start thinking about a project that they are really passionate about before taking Research Methods in Psychology. I think the research process is easier and more enjoyable when you find something that you are drawn to.

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