Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Program or Major


Second Department

Economics, Finance, and International Business Department

Second Program or Major


Faculty Advisor

Maria Parmley


The present study investigated the relationship between two positive emotions (gratitude and compassion) and persuasion susceptibility. Participants were randomly assigned to be induced to feel gratitude or compassion and read either strong or weak arguments. Participants then rated how favorable they found the arguments. We hypothesized that participants feeling gratitude would be more easily persuaded than those feeling compassion, particularly in the weak argument condition. The hypotheses were not supported. In the strong argument condition, the gratitude and compassion groups were equally persuaded. In the weak argument condition, the compassion group was more persuaded than the gratitude group, though not significantly. Multiple limitations are addressed. The manipulation check indicated that the induction procedure for compassion was problematic. In addition, the arguments were perceived more negatively in the present study than in past studies. Future research should revise the induction procedure, include additional emotions, and pilot the use of less controversial arguments.

Included in

Psychology Commons