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Saying 'Thank You' Isn't Awkward, Study Finds

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A new study shows that oftentimes people undervalue the power of expressing gratitude.

The study by researchers at the University of Chicago suggested that people misunderstand the importance of sending and receiving a "thank you" note.

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In five separate experiments, professors Nicholas Epley and Amit Kumar observed how participants measured expectations of awkwardness, surprise and happiness a letter would make the recipient feel. Then, they would compare these expectations with the recipients' actual feelings.

The study found that those who wrote the letters significantly underestimated how surprised recipients were about the reason for the expression of gratitude.

Those who wrote "thank you" notes overestimated how awkward recipients feel and underestimated how happy they would be.

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Researchers also found that predicted awkwardness and mood were directly connected to the participants' willingness to express gratitude.

Altogether, the study showed that expressing gratitude can immensely help maximize in one's own well-being and the well-being over others.

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