1 Department of Psychology, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea
2 Department of Global Business Management, KC University, Seoul, South Korea
3 Department of Business Administration, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea
4 Department of Psychology, Kyungnam University, Changwon, South Korea
How important gratitude is in terms of helping people to overcome their mental discomfort and behave adaptively? Conflicting evidence has appeared about the effects of gratitude on work engagement, and other aspects of life. In the present study, gratitude intervention was introduced to test it in the Nepali population who experienced a natural disaster, the Gorkha earthquake in 2015. Positive and negative affect, work engagement, and perceived damage were measured before, during, and after the intervention. Participants were sampled from the employees of 5-star hotel in Kathmandu valley and were assigned to one of the three conditions: Gratitude, Job Diary, and No Exposure. In gratitude, they were asked to write the names of 3 grateful people. Participants of Job Diary were instructed to write 3 major duties. No intervention was given to participants in No Exposure. This exercise lasted for two weeks. Only those in Gratitude showed increased positive affect and work engagement and decreased negative affect during this intervention. These positive changes seemed related to decreased perceived damage of a natural disaster. Even though there have been mixed results about the effect of gratitude, findings of the present study showed that it is robust even against a real disaster. Conducting research with survivors against natural disasters is extremely difficult, but more effort should be made with those who have similar experiences.
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