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‘Practicing Gratitude’ Evaluated: A Chat with Gena Gorlin

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer interviews professor and clinical psychologist Gena Gorlin about the value of gratitude, possible misconceptions about it, and how it’s being understood and implemented in psychology and psychotherapy.

Among the topics covered:

  • Gratitude and its role in psychological exercises within the gratitude movement;
  • Whether these kinds of exercises are useful and valuable;
  • How the psychological benefits of gratitude exercises depend on a purposeful orientation towards values;
  • Why it’s important to distinguish the good that comes from others from natural goods, such as a sunny day;
  • Why the difference between gratitude, humility and pride in one’s own achievements is important;
  • Whether there’s a point at which it’s proper to stop expressing gratitude and start feeling angry about what’s bad or unjust in life;
  • The importance of acknowledging and learning from the achievements of others—including business entrepreneurs, which we benefit from;
  • How some entrepreneurs internalize the culture’s unjust attitude towards them and fail to appreciate what’s good in them;
  • Why we need to understand that gratitude is ultimately selfish.

Mentioned in this podcast are Ayn Rand’s novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Also mentioned is Matt Bateman’s essay “A Pedagogy of Gratitude.”

The podcast was recorded on November 23, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Ziemowit Gowin

Ziemowit Gowin, PhD candidate in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and web editor of New Ideal.

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