The Gratitude Questionaire (GQ-6)

Author of Tool: 

McCullough M., E

Key references: 

Gray, S. A., Emmons, R. A., & Morrison, A. (2001 August). Distinguishing gratitude from indebtedness in affect and action tendencies. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.
McCullough, M. E., Tsang, J., & Emmons, R. A. (2004). Gratitude in intermediate affective terrain: Links of grateful moods to individual differences and daily emotional experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 295-309

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Gratitude Questionnaire-Six-Item Form (GQ-6) is a six-item self-report questionnaire designed to assess individual differences in the proneness to experience gratitude in daily life.

Background: 

Gratitude, like other affects, conceivably could exist as an affective trait, a mood, or an emotion. The article associated with this paper is concerned primarily with gratitude as an affective trait that we call the grateful disposition or disposition toward gratitude. The grateful disposition is defined here as as a generalized tendency to recognize and respond with grateful emotion to the roles of other people’s benevolence in the positive experiences and outcomes that one obtains.The Gratitude Questionnaire-Six-Item Form (GQ-6) is a six-item self-report questionnaire designed to assess individual differences in the proneness to experience gratitude in daily life. Respondents endorse each item on a 7-point Likert-type scale (where 1 = strongly disagree and 7 = strongly agree).

Psychometrics: 

Cronbach’s alpha estimates for the six-item totals have ranged from .76 to .84. Scores on the GQ-6 correlate substantially with other measures hypothesized to assess the extent to which people experience gratitude in daily life. McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang (2002) correlated the GQ-6 with a self-report measure that instructed participants to indicate how well each of three gratitude-related words (i.e., grateful, thankful, appreciative) described them. Scores on the two measures were correlated at r (N = 1182) = .65, p < .001. Using structural equation modeling to control measurement error, the correlation increased to r (N = 1182) = .75, p < .001. Scores on the GQ-6 also correlated with peers’ ratings of targets’ amounts of dispositional gratitude at r = .33, p< .01. Finally, people with high scores on the GQ-6 report feeling more “grateful,” “thankful,” and “appreciative” for benefits or gifts they have received than do people who score below the median on the GQ-6 (Gray, Emmons, & Morrison, 2002).

McCullough, Tsang, and Emmons (2002) also correlated scores on the GQ-6 with the typical amount of gratitude that people experienced in daily life, as expressed in mean ratings of their moods (viz., the extent to which they felt “thankful,” “grateful,” and “appreciative”) during the course of either a 21-day or 14-day diary reports of their daily mood. Effect size correlations in two studies were r = .37 and .49, respectively, ps < .01. Scores on the GQ-6 were also correlated significantly with how much gratitude people typically reported feeling in response to individual events that caused them to feel grateful (r = .25), and with how many people they perceived to be responsible for the benefits they received in everyday life (r = .21). However, scores on the GQ-6 were not substantially correlated GQ-6 with the number of gratitude-eliciting events that people encountered in the course of a 14-day diary period.

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