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Gratitude, thankfulness, thanksgiving, or gratefulness, from the Latin word gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’, is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other types of generosity, towards the giver of such gifts. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions. It has also been a topic of interest to ancient, medieval and modern philosophers, and continues to engage contemporary western philosophers. The systematic study of gratitude within psychology only began around the year 2000, possibly because psychology traditionally focused more on understanding distress than on understanding positive emotions. The study of gratitude within psychology has focused on the understanding of the short term experience of the emotion of gratitude (state gratitude), individual differences in how frequently people feel gratitude (trait gratitude), and the relationship between these two aspects.
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