Development and Preliminary Validation of the Existential Gratitude Scale (EGS) | Dr. Paul Wong
Abstract This paper reports the development and preliminary validation of a new Existential Gratitude Scale (EGS), designed to measure the tendency to give thanks in difficult times. This study is part of the research agenda of second-wave positive psychology (PP2.0) which emphasizes the positive psychology of suffering. After a pilot study based on a small convenient sample, we did a validity study based on 186 participants from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. They completed the revised 13-item EGS, the Short Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Test (SGRAT) which measures dispositional gratitude, Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWB) and Trauma Screening Questionnaire (TSQ). Results supported the factorial validity and our hypothesis that EGS was associated with spiritual well-being while dispositional gratitude scale is not; this association was shown to be dependent on the presence of symptoms of PTSD. These findings support our proposition that existential gratitude is distinct from the more general dispositional gratitude. The benefits of Existential Gratitude Interventions were discussed.