Gratitude is a universal phenomenon that is experienced and expressed differently by individuals. The differences in experience and expression of gratitude are based on a number of factors, important among them is gender. There are very few studies that have explored gender differences using quantitative methods in gratitude interventions. However, this phenomenon can best be understood by employing qualitative methods like Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), as it is concerned with trying to understand any phenomenon, from the participant’s point of view. There is a paucity of research in this area. Therefore, we tried to explore experience, expression, and effects of gratitude among males and females using IPA. For this purpose, a semi-structured interview was administered on 20 students (10 males and 10 females) and it was subjected to IPA. Three themes that emerged from the analysis were Experience of gratitude, Expression of gratitude and Effects of experiencing and expressing gratitude. These themes were further classified under several subthemes. Though there were similarities between males and females for many subthemes but there were some differences also. Feeling grateful towards strangers and sharing grateful experiences with others were subthemes that emerged only in female participants. Using grateful experiences as a coping strategy was a subtheme that emerged dominantly among male participants. The findings of the present study are explained with the help of available literature.


Gratitude, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Gender Difference

Author Bio(s)

Naved Iqbal is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. India. Please direct correspondence to niqbal@jmi.ac.in.

Supriya Srivastava is a Research Scholar in the Department of Psychology at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India. Please direct correspondence to supriyasri2008@gmail.com.

Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar is a Research Scholar in the Department of Psychology at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India, Please direct correspondence to psyimtiyaz@gmail.com.


We would like to express our special thanks of gratitude to the participants for taking part in the current study.

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