Gratitude is the felt sense of the fullness of one’s life. It is a taking stock of what one has, of what is good now and has been good in the past. Martin Seligman has said, “The reason gratitude works to increase life satisfaction is that it amplifies good memories about the past: their intensity, their frequency, and the tag lines the memories have.”
Take the Gratitude Survey by Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons. Using the scale below as a guide, write a number beside each statement to indicate how much you agree with it.
1 = Strongly disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Slightly disagree
4 = Neutral
5 = Slightly agree
6 = Agree
7 = Strongly agree
_____ 1. I have so much in life to be thankful for.
_____ 2. If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long llist.
_____ 3. When I look at the world, I don’t see much to be grateful for.
_____ 4. I am grateful to a wide variety of people.
_____ 5. As I get older, I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.
_____ 6. Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.
1. Add up your scores for items 1, 2, 4, and 5.
2. Reverse your scores for items 3 and 6. That is, if you scored a 7, give
yourself a 1, if you scored a 5, give yourself a 3, etc.
3. Add up the total for all 6 items. The number should be between
6 and 42.
If you scored between 35 or below, then you are in the bottom one fourth of the sample in terms of gratitude. If you scored between 36 and 38, you are in the bottom one half. If you scored between 39 and 41, you are in the top 25%, and if you scored a perfect 42, you are in the top one eighth. Older people tend to score higher than young people, and women usually score higher than men.
Enter your score here: _______________
McCullough, M., Emmons, R., & Tsang, J. 2002. The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 442-447.