Do positive emotions prompt people to be more authentic? The mediation effect of gratitude and empathy dimensions on the relationship between humility state and perceived false self
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Department of Psychology, Institute of Pedagogy, University of Rzeszow, Poland
Katarzyna Tomaszek   

Department of Psychology, Institute of Pedagogy, University of Rzeszow, Poland
Submission date: 2021-10-14
Final revision date: 2022-04-27
Acceptance date: 2022-04-28
Online publication date: 2022-11-14
Gratitude, empathy and humility have been defined as personality dispositions, as complex interpersonal emotions, and as states that prompt people to be more pro-social. However, studies on the associations between these emotions and authen-ticity are scarce. The main purpose of this study was to analyze the mediation effect of gratitude and empathy on the asso-ciation between humility and perceived false identity.

Participants and procedure:
The number of participants who took part in the survey was equal to 220 university students (91% female). Students com-pleted questionnaires concerning humility (BSHS scale), gratitude (GQ scale), empathy (QCAE inventory), and perceived false self (POFS scale).

The results confirmed significant correlations between gratitude, empathy and authenticity, but not with humility. Further analysis revealed that gratitude and affective and cognitive empathy explain 9% of the perceived false identity level. The findings confirmed the mediation effect of gratitude on the associations between (1) humility and false self, (2) affective empathy and false self, but not between cognitive empathy and false self. The results also indicated that humility may in-fluence authenticity indirectly via gratitude, but not via dimensions of empathy.

The findings confirm the significance of gratitude and cognitive empathy as dispositions that promote a feeling of being authentic. On the other hand, the relationship between affective empathy and false self was positive.

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