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A quasi-experimental study into the influence of a short-term positive psychological intervention on social anxiety, gratitude and happiness in undergraduates

Hayes, Katie (2016) A quasi-experimental study into the influence of a short-term positive psychological intervention on social anxiety, gratitude and happiness in undergraduates. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The introduction of Positive Psychological Interventions (PPI’s) has been recognised to represent the ethos of the relatively novel area of Positive Psychology, regarding the value of developing positive individual traits. Numerous PPI’s have been praised for their ability to influence an individual’s experience of gratitude and happiness and reducing social anxiety. Research has suggested that focussing on these traits in undergraduates have shown benefits in academic achievement and social and moral development, therefore justifying investigating the use of the short-term ‘Three Good Things,’ intervention for influence on these variables. On completion of pre-intervention measures of social anxiety, gratitude and happiness, forty-six undergraduate students were randomly allocated to a short-term ‘Three Good Things’ intervention or an active control group, where they were required to complete the corresponding activity for one week. A series of 2x2 mixed ANOVA’s were conducted, where despite observation of positive changes in happiness and gratitude, and negative changes in social anxiety for participants in the experimental group from pre to post-intervention, all interactions were non-significant. This limits implications for the use of the ‘Three Good Things’ task on influencing these variables. However, various moderators of PPI’s have been recognised for their influence on the effectiveness of these methods, thus proposing the need for further research.

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