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Studying Happiness: Well-Being Interventions And Individual Differences. Annabel Naftali Dianne Vella-Brodrick School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Monash University. Background - SWB. Subjective well-being Positive affect (PA) Negative affect (NA)
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School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Monash University
The benefits of being happy
(Set-point theory, dynamic equilibrium)
– Sustained change is unlikely
Model of longitudinal well-being (Chronic Happiness)
(Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade, 2005)
‘‘Counting blessings’’ means that you make an effort to think about the many things in your life, both large and small, that you have to be grateful about. These might include particular supportive relationships, sacrifices or contributions that others have made for you, facts about your life such as your advantages and opportunities, or even gratitude for life itself, and the world that we live in. In all of these cases you are identifying previously unappreciated aspects of your life, for which you can be thankful.
Why is gratitude a good thing?
“Best Possible Self” means that you imagine yourself in the future, after everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of your life dreams, and of your own best potentials. In all of these cases you are identifying the best possible way that things might turn out in your life, in order to help guide your decisions now.
Why is it good to write about life goals?
- Triggers healthy self regulation processes – increases awareness into emotional reactions, values, and priorities
-Insightful thinking is linked to positive outcomes
- Visualizing goals promotes progress towards the goals
- Both goal striving and goal progress are important for well-being
“Life details’’ means that you take notice of the ordinary details of your life that you wouldn’t typically think about. These might include particular classes or meetings you attend, typical interactions with acquaintances, typical thoughts that you have during the day, or your typical schedule as you move through the day. In all of these cases, you may be helped to better identify problem areas in your life, and to take action to change them.
What determines the effectiveness of those techniques?
Classification system of humans’ strengths
Values In Action (VIA)
(Peterson & Seligman, 2004)
24 Character Strengths and Virtues
Investigate the effect of counting blessings (CB) and best-possible self (BPS) on SWB
Explore the involvement of gratitude and hope in the effect of CB and BPS
in the counting blessings group
3. Hope will be positively correlated with change in SWB (from pre- to post-intervention measures)
in the best possible self group
Positive and Negative Affect Scales(PANAS)
(Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988)
Satisfaction With Life Scale(SWLS)
(Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985)
The Adult Trait Hope Scale (THS)
(Snyder, Harris, Anderson, et. Al, 1991)
The Gratitude Questionnaire(GQ-6)
(McCollough Emmons, & Tsang, 2002)
Short version of Marlowe-Crowne’s [MC-(20)]
(Strahan & Gerbasi, 1972)
CB and BPS will increase PA, NA, SWL
Three (2X3) mixed model Two-way ANOVAs:
Within factor: Time of measurement: pre, post
Between factor: Intervention type: CB, BPS, Control
Depenent Variable: 1.Post PA
Hypothesis2: Gratitude is related to SWBchange* in CB
Hypothesis3: Hope is related to SWBchange in BPS
Separate correlations were calculated for the three intervention groups (CB, BPS, Control) between the scales:
Gratitude, Hope, PAchange, NAchange, SWLchange
* Change variables are (Post SWB scores) – (Pre SWB scores)
1. PA: Time: F(1,302)=67.67, p<.001, ²=.18
Intervention: F(2,302)=1.26, p>.05, ²=.01
Interaction: F(2,302)=8.89, p<.001, ²=.06
2. NA: Time: F(1,302)=28.02, p<.001, ²=.09
Intervention: F(2,302)=2.76, p>.05, ²=.02
Interaction: F(2,302)=0.34, p>.05, ²=.00.
3. SWL: Time: F(1,302)=65.20, p<.001, ²=.18
Intervention: F(2,302)=.07, p>.05, ²=.00
Interaction: F(2,302)=7.37, p<.01, ²=.05
Three (2X3) mixed model Two-way ANOVAs: Main effects of time of measurement, main effects of intervention type, and interaction effects (time X intervention):
Are the counting blessings (CB) andbest possible self (BPS) interventions effective?
Positive Affect (PA)
Negative Affect (NA)
Satisfaction With Life (SWL)
Correlation Coefficients Between the Strengths Hope and Gratitude and the SWB Change Scores for CB, BPS and control Groups.
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
Are the strengthsofgratitudeandhopeinvolved in the effect of the interventions?
The only significant correlation between character strengths and subjective well-being change was between:
Gratitude and Positive Affect for the counting blessings group (4.3%)