Erdley Quoted in BDN Article on Importance of Gratitude

Cynthia Erdley, a psychology professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “‘Let us give thanks’: Psychologists weigh in on importance of gratitude.” Erdley, who specializes in developmental psychology, said children 1 or 2 years old can be socialized to express thankfulness and will learn that it carries great meaning, but without direction, most children will not think to express thanks. “This suggests to me that a lot of prosocial behavior is much more influenced by socialization than by biological tendencies,” she said. In order to feel thankful, a person must have the ability to understand and appreciate intentional acts of kindness from others, Erdley said, adding that children may be close to 10 years old before understanding the meaning of gratitude.