The Evolution of Gratitude

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Malini Suchak, assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology, and conservation at Canisius College, researches gratitude, discovering that “Gratitude is one of the fundamentally important parts of human life.” But why is it “as much a part of our social relationships as gossip?” Darwin himself suggested that humans and other animals share the “same emotions, even the more complex ones such as jealousy, suspicion, emulation, gratitude, and magnanimity.” As for gratitude — her initial research among chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys suggests that Darwin might be right.

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