Self-transcendent feelings such as gratitude, compassion, and awe are highly relevant for human societies. So far, empirical research has focused more on the relational aspects of these feelings (concrete persons), and less on the spiritual aspects referring to the Sacred in a person’s life. We intended to validate an extended version of the former three-item Gratitude/Awe scale. This extended scale was designed with a focus on the experiential aspects of being moved and touched by certain moments and places/nature, on related reactions of pausing with daily activities, and on the subsequent feelings of awe and gratitude. Enrolling 183 test persons (67% women; 59% with a Christian confession) in a cross-sectional study, we can confirm that the seven-item Gratitude/Awe scale (GrAw-7) has good psychometric properties (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.82) and moderate correlation (r = 0.42) with grateful disposition (GQ-6 questionnaire). Structured equation modeling (SEM) confirmed that both constructs, although moderately related, are different. While Gratitude/Awe was best predicted by the frequency of meditation practice, a grateful disposition was best predicted by the frequency of praying and by general life satisfaction. The GrAw-7 scale is not contaminated with specific religious topics or quality of life issues, and can be easily implemented in larger studies.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited