The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of GratePic, a mobile health (mHealth) application dedicated to helping users enhance gratitude. A large body of empirical research indicates a strong association between gratitude and psychological well-being, to include: reduction in depressive symptoms, a decrease in suicidal ideations, an increased sense of meaning in life, and less aggressiveness with more pro-social behavior. The most common technique for increasing gratitude is the text gratitude journal, where individuals write down things for which they are grateful. While the traditional text gratitude journal is an accepted and proven technique for cultivating gratitude, there are significant limitations with this intervention. We propose that images are a better medium for the gratitude journal. GratePic is a gratitude journal of images ? a social network where users can cultivate gratitude in their daily lives. GratePic combines a picture with gratitude in order to form a gratepic; an image representing appreciation for what is valuable and meaningful to the user. We will use a RCT design to assess the relationship between GratePic and gratitude, well-being, depressive symptoms, positive affect, gratitude fatigue, and user engagement. We expect images representing gratitude will elicit a strong positive response from the user, and we also expect the social network feature will enrich the gratitude journaling process for the user and provide a more engaging environment.
Research suggests that gratitude offers a wide range of physical and psychological benefits. The goal of the GratePic mHealth application is to help users become more grateful and realize many of the associated benefits discovered in previous research projects. The purpose of this project is to test the effectiveness of GratePic. An app with the proven capability to enhance gratitude has the potential to make a significant positive impact on society.