Study shows people rarely express gratitude to those closest to them

center_img Saying “thank you” when someone does something for you is a way of expressing gratitude. It is also generally considered the polite thing to do—but mostly only in public conversations, the researchers with this new effort found.To learn more about expressions of gratitude as part of social interactions, the researchers installed microphones in the homes and community gathering places of volunteers. In all, the team recorded 1,057 conversations from which they counted instances when someone offered thanks to the other. They did this for people living on five continents using eight languages.In analyzing their tallies, the researchers found that people say “thank you” far less than might be assumed—at least when talking with family or close friends. They also found that there were differences among different groups. Those speaking English, for example, tended to offer thanks approximately 14.5 percent of the time. Those speaking Italian were close behind at 13.5 percent. But in other countries, it was much lower, such as just 2 percent for Polish speakers. Overall, the average was just 5.5 percent. The researchers suggest what they found is not an example of people feeling freer to be rude to family, but an example of a basic standard of reciprocity. This suggests, they note, that the default answer is “yes” when asked for something in a family situation. The expectation is that the person receiving the request will do it. And it happens a lot more than most might think. The researchers found that during normal conversation, people make requests of others approximately every 1.5 minutes, on average. They also noted that when thanks were not expressed, the other person was not upset—and, indeed, rarely even noticed it. It was only when the other person said “no” that the person asking responded in a meaningful way. And it was the same for the person being asked—they only felt the need to explain themselves when turning down a request. An international team of researchers has found that people around the world rarely say “thank you” to those closest to them. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes their study of expressing gratitude and what they found. What we mean when we ask for the milk This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img