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Positive psychology interventions: A comparison of the effects of three good things, best possible selves and a control task of early memories on dispositional gratefulness, life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect.

Summerfield, Tessa (2016) Positive psychology interventions: A comparison of the effects of three good things, best possible selves and a control task of early memories on dispositional gratefulness, life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect. University of Derby. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Positive psychology interventions are intentional activities designed to promote positive feelings (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). Different types of interventions have different focuses such as gratitude (Three Good Things) and optimism (Best Possible Selves). However, there are inconsistent findings for which type of intervention is the most effective (Seligman, Steen, Park & Peterson, 2005; Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006b). It is suggested that individual factors may explain this inconsistency, with dispositional gratefulness (predisposition to experience gratitude) being put forward (Chan, 2010). The present study investigated whether type of intervention affected life satisfaction, positive and negative affect, and dispositional gratefulness comparing Three Good Things, Best Possible Selves and a control task of Early Memories. A 3 x 2 mixed design was used with participants randomly allocated to one of the tasks. Forty five participants completed post-intervention measures five days later. Life satisfaction had significantly increased post-intervention in the Best Possible Selves and Early Memories conditions. This study provides further support for the trait of dispositional gratefulness. Future research could investigate whether dispositional gratefulness is a moderator for the effectiveness of gratitude interventions. It is argued that future studies should be adequately powered and a greater clarification is needed regarding definitions for happiness.

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