The John Templeton Foundation supports research on a range of subjects, including the science and practice of gratitude. Counting our blessings and giving thanks are two key elements of daily life encouraged by the late Sir John Templeton, whose optimism about the possibility of acquiring “new spiritual information" set the stage for this kind of innovative research.
Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, is leading a research project, Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude, in partnership with the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, Berkeley. This three-year project seeks to develop evidence-based practices that promote gratitude in schools, offices, and communities. Emmons is the author of author of several books, including the JTF-supported Words of Gratitude (Templeton Press), best-selling THANKS!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton-Mifflin), and the recently published, Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity (Jossey-Bass), which explores these practices in a compelling and accessible way and provides a step-by-step guide to cultivating gratitude.
A blog post by Emmons features this infographic, which lists some compelling reasons for why it's better to live gratefully. (Click on the infographic to enlarge.)
The Foundation has sponsored several initiatives to study gratitude, including: