You are the (biodegradable) swizzle stick that stirs the drink.

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If you’re asking yourself, “Should I send Joao a thank you note for saving my dog that fell 100 feet from a balcony?” The answer is a decided yes.

You make think Joao won’t think much of the gesture, but the reality is that thank you notes are much more appreciated than the authors tend to believe.

New research suggests that the people who pen the thank you note underestimate the positive feelings it will produce and overestimate the likelihood of the recipient viewing the message as insincere or awkward.

In the study from the University of Texas, Austin, scientists focused on short but heartfelt thank yous—not just quick messages of the “thanks for getting me a coffee” variety. Participants wrote letters of gratitude for things like career or academic guidance and help through a rough patch of life. The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that the letter senders also tended to falsely believe that their writing would be judged negatively by the reader.

The recipients cared little how the missive was worded, study author Amit Kumar said, it was the warmth that mattered.

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