Don't I Owe You? the Discrepancy Between Expected and Experienced Gratitude

Benjamin Converse, University of Chicago, USA
Ayelet Fishbach, University of Chicago, USA
This research examines discrepancies between expected and experienced gratitude. We propose that beneficiaries feel more gratitude to helpers before help is delivered (when the helpers are still instrumental) than after. In contrast, helpers feel they are owed more after they have finished their assistance than before. We document this discrepancy in real, ongoing interpersonal helping interactions among students working on academic tasks (study 1), “business partners” in an economic exchange game (study 2), and "coworkers" completing projects (study 3). We discuss implications of these results for reward programs, product and personnel evaluations, bonus distributions, and interpersonal conflict.
[ to cite ]:
Benjamin Converse and Ayelet Fishbach (2010) ,"Don't I Owe You? the Discrepancy Between Expected and Experienced Gratitude", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 495-496 .