People experience gratitude when they affirm that something good has happened to them and when they recognize that someone else is largely responsible for this benefit. The source of the benefit is often (but not always) another human. The benefit prompting a grateful response may be the absence of some negative event, as well as the occurrence of a positive favor. Some of the strongest gratitude responses have been found to occur when individuals feel that something bad could have or should have happened to them but did not. Although early research in this area often equated the feelings of gratitude and indebtedness (feeling obligated to repay), recent research has shown that there are important differences between these emotions, and they probably should be seen ...

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