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Culture Matters When Designing a Successful Happiness-Increasing Activity A Comparison of the United States and South Korea

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Research shows that performing positive activities, such as expressing gratitude and doing acts of kindness, boosts happiness. But do specific positive activities work equally well across cultures? Our study examined the role of culture–activity fit by testing two positive activities across two cultures. Participants from the United States (n = 250) and South Korea (n = 270) were randomly assigned to express gratitude, perform kind acts, or engage in a neutral activity for the first half of a 6-week positive activity intervention. Multilevel growth modeling analyses revealed that the effect of practicing gratitude or kindness was moderated by culture: U.S. participants increased in well-being (WB) from both activities, γ11 = 0.19, SE = 0.06, t(511) = 3.04, p = .0006; γ12= 0.11, SE = 0.06, t(511) = 1.73, p = .03 (compared with the control group), but South Korean participants benefited significantly less from practicing gratitude than did U.S. participants, γ13 = −0.24, SE = 0.07, t(511) = −3.36, p = .002. South Korean participants, however, showed similar increases in WB as did U.S. participants when performing kind acts, γ14 = −0.06, SE = 0.07, t(511) = −0.82, ns. Finally, although greater self-reported effort yielded significantly larger increases in WB for U.S. participants, the effect of effort was not as strong for South Korean participants. We posit that, due to their dialectical philosophical tradition, South Koreans might have been more prone to feel mixed emotions (e.g., indebtedness and gratitude) while engaging in the gratitude letter activity than did U.S. participants.
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2013 44: 1294 originally published online 9 May 2013Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Kristin Layous, Hyunjung Lee, Incheol Choi and Sonja Lyubomirsky
Comparison of the United States and South Korea
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Article
Culture Matters When Designing
a Successful Happiness-Increasing
Activity: A Comparison of the
United States and South Korea
Kristin Layous1, Hyunjung Lee2, Incheol Choi3,
and Sonja Lyubomirsky1
Abstract
Research shows that performing positive activities, such as expressing gratitude and doing
acts of kindness, boosts happiness. But do specific positive activities work equally well across
cultures? Our study examined the role of culture–activity fit by testing two positive activities
across two cultures. Participants from the United States (n = 250) and South Korea (n = 270)
were randomly assigned to express gratitude, perform kind acts, or engage in a neutral activity
for the first half of a 6-week positive activity intervention. Multilevel growth modeling analyses
revealed that the effect of practicing gratitude or kindness was moderated by culture: U.S.
participants increased in well-being (WB) from both activities, γ11 = 0.19, SE = 0.06, t(511) =
3.04, p = .0006; γ12= 0.11, SE = 0.06, t(511) = 1.73, p = .03 (compared with the control group),
but South Korean participants benefited significantly less from practicing gratitude than did
U.S. participants, γ13 = −0.24, SE = 0.07, t(511) = −3.36, p = .002. South Korean participants,
however, showed similar increases in WB as did U.S. participants when performing kind acts,
γ14 = −0.06, SE = 0.07, t(511) = −0.82, ns. Finally, although greater self-reported effort yielded
significantly larger increases in WB for U.S. participants, the effect of effort was not as strong for
South Korean participants. We posit that, due to their dialectical philosophical tradition, South
Koreans might have been more prone to feel mixed emotions (e.g., indebtedness and gratitude)
while engaging in the gratitude letter activity than did U.S. participants.
Keywords
happiness, subjective well-being, positive activities, positive interventions, kindness, gratitude
Happiness is not only a highly valued goal to people across the world (Diener, 2000), but also a
goal that is associated with multiple positive life outcomes (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005).
Fortunately, theory (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade, 2005) and empirical evidence (Sin &
1University of California, Riverside, USA
2University of Texas, Austin, USA
3Seoul National University, South Korea
Corresponding Author:
Kristin Layous, Department of Psychology, University of California, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521,
USA.
Email: klayo001@ucr.edu
487591JCC44810.1177/0022022113487591Journal of Cross-Cultural PsychologyLayous et al.
research-article2013
Layous et al. 1295
Lyubomirsky, 2009) show that people can intentionally improve their happiness levels by regu-
larly performing simple positive activities, like practicing gratitude or kindness. Whether all
positive activities work equally well for all people, however, is an important research question,
as the degree of person–activity or culture–activity fit is theorized to influence the efficacy of any
positive practice (Lyubomirsky & Layous, 2013). This article addresses the question “Do certain
positive activities work equally well across cultures?” Specifically, we explore whether the effect
of engaging in two happiness-increasing strategies (expressing gratitude and performing kind
acts) varies in participants from the United States and South Korea.
Positive Activities in Eastern Versus Western Cultures
Culture undoubtedly affects how people practice and ultimately benefit (or not) from positive
activities. Eastern and Western cultures vary in the epistemologies that guide patterns of thoughts,
emotions, and behavior (Peng, Ames, & Knowles, 2001; see Oatley, Keltner, & Jenkins, 2006,
for a review). Influenced by the philosophical traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,
members of Eastern cultures are more susceptible to contradictory (dialectical) thoughts and
emotions than are members of Western cultures (Peng & Nisbett, 1999). For example, East
Asians often feel positive and negative emotions simultaneously, whereas Westerners tend to
experience them as oppositional (Bagozzi, Wong, & Yi, 1999; Kitayama, Markus, & Kurokawa,
2000; Schimmack, Oishi, & Diener, 2002). Furthermore, dialectical thinking is a mediator
between culture and increased experience of emotional complexity (Spencer-Rodgers, Peng, &
Wang, 2009). A culture’s propensity toward emotional complexity will inevitably affect how
members of that culture experience certain positive activities. For example, if a positive activity
elicits conflicting emotions, members of an Asian culture may be more likely to experience bit-
tersweet feelings than members of cultures without a dialectical tradition.
Positive Activities: Expressing Gratitude and Performing Kind
Acts
Gratitude is a state that involves endorsing that (a) one has acquired a positive outcome and (b)
this outcome came from an external source (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). Although express-
ing gratitude has been reliably shown to boost well-being (WB; Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009), the
external nature of the gratitude object might produce conflicting feelings (e.g., concurrently
evoking the distinct emotions of gratitude and indebtedness; Watkins, Scheer, Ovnicek, & Kolts,
2006). For example, a daughter could feel valued and connected to others as she realizes how
much her parents sacrificed for her, or, possibly, indebted and guilty. Related evidence suggests
that Asians are uncomfortable seeking social support from close others, likely because of poten-
tial negative relational consequences (e.g., worrying others; Kim, Sherman, Ko, & Taylor, 2006).
In addition, Asians associate happiness with social harmony (whereas Americans associate hap-
piness with personal achievement; Uchida & Kitayama, 2009), so “putting others out” enough to
feel grateful toward them could elicit unhappiness. Because of their dialectic tradition and desire
to avoid making waves in their social networks, we predict that South Koreans will be especially
likely to feel positive and negative emotions when expressing gratitude to others (e.g., see
Furukawa, Tangney, & Higashibara, 2012, for evidence that South Koreans are prone to guilt),
which may temper any overall happiness they obtain from trying to be grateful.
Doing acts of kindness, however, may not elicit similarly conflicting feelings. Humans as
young as 18 months engage in prosocial behavior (Warneken & Tomasello, 2006), suggesting
that doing good for others might be evolutionarily adaptive and have cross-cultural appeal.
Performing kind acts might appeal to Westerners because it fuels an image of themselves
1296 Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 44(8)
as caring and selfless and to Easterners because it allows them to fulfill the cultural values of
interdependence or filial responsibility. Supporting this premise, a 6-week acts-of-kindness inter-
vention revealed similar benefits for U.S. and South Korean participants (Della Porta, Jacobs
Bao, & Lyubomirsky, 2012).
The Current Study
Participants were randomly assigned to engage in one of three activities over 6 weeks. For the
first half of the experiment, they either wrote gratitude letters to individuals for whom they were
very grateful, performed three kind acts, or listed what they did in the past 24 hrs (a neutral activ-
ity) once a week. For the second half, participants either continued doing the same positive activ-
ity (gratitude or kindness) or switched to the alternate activity (i.e., those writing gratitude letters
switched to performing kind acts and vice versa).1 The control group switched to a different
neutral activity (keeping track of three locations they had visited).
Our first hypothesis was that participants in the positive activity conditions (gratitude or kind-
ness) would show greater linear increases in WB during the intervention (and at a 1-month
follow-up) than participants in the control condition. Our second hypothesis was that the effect
of the gratitude condition would be moderated by culture, such that participants from the United
States would show larger boosts in WB than participants from South Korea when they begin the
intervention by practicing gratitude. However, we expect to see no differences between U.S. and
South Korean participants who begin the intervention by performing kind acts. Because a rapid
positive response to interventions has been shown to predict long-term positive outcomes (Cohn
& Fredrickson, 2008), we posited that the efficacy of the first activity practiced would be crucial
to the success of the overall intervention. Third, we hypothesized that, overall, participants who
put more effort into practicing positive activities would show larger WB benefits (Lyubomirsky,
Dickerhoof, Boehm, & Sheldon, 2011).
Method
College students from the United States (n = 250) and South Korea (n = 270) were recruited from
medium-sized colleges for an online study (317 female, 199 male, 4 did not answer). The major-
ity of U.S. participants identified as Latino(a) (30.4%) or Asian (34.8%), with 10.8% White and
24% Other categories.2 All participants from South Korea identified as Asian. Sample sizes per
cell were as follows: Start with Gratitude (n = 203), Start with Kindness (n = 213), and Control
(n = 104).3
Each week, participants performed their assigned activity and logged in to the study website
to report what they did and to rate the effort they applied (1 = no effort at all, 7 = a great deal of
effort). In addition, they completed the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons,
Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) and the Modified Differential Emotions Scale (mDES; Fredrickson,
Tugade, Waugh, & Larkin, 2003) at baseline, midpoint (3 weeks in), posttest (after 6 weeks), and
1-month follow-up. Students’ scores on the SWLS and the mDES were standardized within cul-
ture and then averaged to create a WB composite.4 Their weekly reported effort was averaged to
produce one effort score per participant.5
Results
To assess within-person change in WB over time and between-person differences in change over
time, we used multilevel growth modeling techniques (Singer & Willett, 2003). We used the lme4
package in R to estimate fixed and random effects and goodness-of-fit statistics (Bates, Maechler,
& Bolker, 2011). In addition, we estimated significance values using Monte Carlo simulations
Layous et al. 1297
from the languageR package (Baayen, 2011). An unconditional linear growth model (specifying
linear increases in WB through the posttest—baseline coded as 0, midpoint coded as 1, and
posttest coded as 2) was a better fit to the data than a model predicting no growth, Δχ2(3) = 17.00,
p = .0007, see Model 1, Table 1. All subsequent models test between-person differences in the
rate of WB change over time (slope), building upon the unconditional linear growth model (see
Table 1).
Composite model: Yij = γ00 + γ10Timeij + (εij + ζ0i + ζ1iTimeij).
Level 1 model: Yij = π0i + π1iTimeij + εij.
Level 2 models: π0i = γ00 + ζ0i and π1i = γ10 + ζ1i.
Table 1. Model Parameters (Standard Errors) and Goodness of Fit for Linear Changes in Well-Being
Through Posttest.
Effect Parameter
Model 1:
Unconditional
linear growth
Model 2: Gratitude
and kindness vs.
control
Model 3: Gratitude and
kindness vs. control
moderated by culture
Fixed effects
Status at baselin, π0i
Intercept γ00 0.06 (0.14) 0.06 (0.14) 0.06 (0.15)
Rate of chang, π1i
Time γ10 0.06 (0.11) −0.01 (0.12) −0.01 (0.12)
Gratitude γ11 0.10 (0.06)** 0.19 (0.06)****
Kindness γ12 0.08 (0.06)* 0.11 (0.06)**
Gratitude ×
Culture
γ13 −0.24 (0.07)***
Kindness ×
Culture
γ14 −0.06 (0.07)
Random effects
Level 1
Residual σε
20.51 (0.72)**** 0.51 (0.72)**** 0.51 (0.71)****
Level 2
Intercept σ0
20.17 (0.41)**** 0.17 (0.41)**** 0.17 (0.41)****
Time σ1
20.02 (0.15)*** 0.02 (0.15)*** 0.03 (0.16)***
Goodness of fit
Deviance 2,892 2,889 2,877
AIC 2,908 2,917 2,916
BIC 2,933 2,952 2,962
Note: In all models, the intercept parameter estimate (γ00) represents the average well-being (WB) score at baseline
across the sample. Because no model attempted to predict differences in baseline scores, the intercept retained the
same meaning throughout the models. In Model 1, γ10 is the estimate of the slope (rate of linear change in WB over
time) across the sample. In Model 2, γ10 shifts to represent the slope of the control group, whereas γ11 and γ12 rep-
resent the additional effect of being in the gratitude or kindness conditions, respectively, over and above the control
group. In Model 3, γ10 still represents the effect of being in the control condition (across cultures), but γ11 and γ12 now
represent the additional effect of being in the gratitude and kindness conditions, respectively, for U.S. participants (as
opposed to the control group), and γ13 and γ14 represent the additional effect of being in the gratitude and kindness
conditions, respectively, for South Korean participants (over and above the effect shown by U.S. participants). In all
models, the intercept and slope (Time) were free to vary.
*p < .10. **p < .05. ***p < .01. ****p < .001. All p values in this table are two-tailed.
1298 Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 44(8)
To test Hypothesis 1, we dummy-coded condition, such that the parameter estimates for
expressing gratitude or performing kind acts (coded as 1) reflect the difference in linear change
in WB over time for participants in the positive activity (gratitude or kindness) conditions ver-
sus the control task (coded as 0). As predicted, across cultures, practicing the gratitude, γ11 =
0.10, SE = 0.06, t(513) = 1.80, p = .03, and kindness, γ12 = 0.08, SE = 0.06, t(513) = 1.52, p =
.056, activities predicted greater changes in WB than practicing the control task (see Model 2,
Table 1).
To test whether practicing gratitude first would be especially effective for Americans and inef-
fective for South Koreans (Hypothesis 2), we added a dummy-coded culture variable to the
model (South Korea = 1), such that parameter estimates including a positive activity condition by
culture interaction reflect the effect of being from the South Korean versus U.S. sample. As pre-
dicted, the effect of practicing gratitude or kindness is moderated by culture: U.S. participants
increased in WB from both activities, γ11 = 0.19, SE = 0.06, t(511) = 3.04, p = .0006; γ12 = 0.11,
SE = 0.06, t(511) = 1.73, p = .03 (compared with the control group), but South Korean partici-
pants benefited significantly less from practicing gratitude than did U.S. participants, γ13 = −0.24,
SE = 0.07, t(511) = −3.36, p = .002. As predicted, however, South Korean participants showed
similar increases in WB as U.S. participants when performing kind acts, γ14 = −0.06, SE = 0.07,
t(511) = −0.82, ns (see Model 3, Table 1, and Figure 1).6 The linear growth in WB continued
through the follow-up, as a model predicting linear changes in WB was a better fit than a model
predicting no growth, Δχ2(3) = 19.00, p = .0002. Furthermore, all significant trends remained at
least marginally significant through the follow-up (see Table 2).
Greater self-reported effort was also expected to predict larger increases in WB. Supporting
Hypothesis 3, greater effort predicted linear gains in WB across the sample, γ11 = 0.13, SE = 0.03,
t(405) = 5.23, p = .0001 (see Model 8, Table 3).7 Further examination revealed, however, that the
strength of the effect of effort on changes in WB varied by culture. Greater effort yielded increases
in WB for U.S. participants, γ11 = 0.13, SE = 0.03, t(403) = 4.84, p = .0001, but trended toward
paying off less for the South Korean participants, γ14 = −0.08, SE = 0.05, t(403) = −1.80, p = .13
(see Model 9, Table 3, and Figure 2).
Figure 1. Model predicted changes in well-being through posttest.
Note: On the x-axis, 0 = baseline, 1 = midpoint, and 2 = posttest.
Layous et al. 1299
Discussion
Increasing evidence shows that people can purposely and effortfully improve their own happi-
ness through simple self-directed positive practices (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). This study
sought to identify for whom the pursuit of happiness is most successful and under what condi-
tions. As predicted, participants from the United States benefited more from expressing gratitude
than those from South Korea, perhaps because they are less likely to experience conflicting emo-
tions (such as guilt) when they are grateful. In addition, participants from the United States
reported putting more effort into the practice of positive activities than South Koreans, and effort
was relatively more predictive of WB increases in them. This finding may be rooted in Americans’
belief that personal happiness is in their own hands and can be changed by force of will or effort
(Oishi, Graham, Kesebir, & Galinha, 2012). By contrast, indicating a different perspective, the
word happiness in Korean means “fortunate or lucky blessing” (Oishi et al., 2012).
Table 2. Model Parameters (Standard Errors) and Goodness of Fit for Linear Changes in Well-Being
Through Follow-Up.
Effect Parameter
Model 4:
Unconditional
linear growth
Model 5: Gratitude
and kindness vs.
control
Model 6: Gratitude
and kindness vs.
control moderated
by culture
Fixed effects
Status at baselin, π0i
Intercept γ00 0.08 (0.10) 0.08 (0.10) 0.08 (0.10)
Rate of chang, π1i
Time γ10 0.03 (0.06) −0.02 (0.06) −0.02 (0.06)
Gratitude γ11 0.06 (0.04)* 0.10 (0.04)***
Kindness γ12 0.06 (0.04)* 0.04 (0.04)
Gratitude ×
Culture
γ13 −0.11 (0.05)**
Kindness ×
Culture
γ14 0.05 (0.05)
Random effects
Level 1
Residual σε
20.47 (0.68)**** 0.47 (0.68)**** 0.47 (0.68)****
Level 2
Intercept σ0
20.22 (0.47)**** 0.22 (0.46)**** 0.22 (0.46)****
Time σ1
20.01 (0.12)**** 0.01 (0.12)**** 0.01 (0.12)****
Goodness of fit
Deviance 3,312 3,309 3,304
AIC 3,330 3,341 3,348
BIC 3,356 3,377 3,395
Note: In all models, the intercept parameter estimate (γ00) represents the average well-being (WB) score at baseline
across the sample. Because no model attempted to predict differences in baseline scores, the intercept retained the
same meaning throughout the models. In Model 4, γ10 is the estimate of the slope (rate of linear change in WB over
time) across the sample. In Model 5, γ10 shifts to represent the slope of the control group, whereas γ11 and γ12 rep-
resent the additional effect of being in the gratitude or kindness conditions, respectively, over and above the control
group. In Model 6, γ10 still represents the effect of being in the control condition (across cultures), but γ11 and γ12 now
represent the additional effect of being in the gratitude and kindness conditions, respectively, for U.S. participants (as
opposed to the control group), and γ13 and γ14 represent the additional effect of being in the gratitude and kindness
conditions, respectively, for South Korean participants (over and above the effect shown by U.S. participants). In all
models, the intercept and slope (Time) were free to vary.
*p < .10. **p < .05. ***p < .01. ****p < .001. All p values in this table are two-tailed.
1300 Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 44(8)
People all around the world are increasingly attempting to improve their happiness through
simple positive activities. Indeed, one of the authors’ books describing empirically validated
happiness-increasing strategies has been translated and sold in 22 countries. Our study revealed,
however, that, while some positive activities (doing kindness) might have universal appeal, oth-
ers (writing gratitude letters) might only work in certain cultures. Future studies need to continue
to investigate the cultural boundary conditions, as well as the critical mediators (e.g., guilt), that
might affect the efficacy of positive activities. For example, South Koreans may actually feel
relatively more “well” when experiencing a balance of positive and negative emotions (Uchida,
Norasakkunkit, & Kitayama, 2004), yet a conception of happiness as an average of life satisfac-
tion, positive emotion, and (less) negative emotion would not reflect that (Busseri & Sadava,
2010). In sum, because happiness not only feels good but also positively affects the happy per-
son’s family, workplace, and community (Lyubomirsky, King, et al., 2005), improving happiness
across the globe is a worthy pursuit.
Table 3. Model Parameters (Standard Errors) and Goodness of Fit for Linear Changes in Well-Being by
Level of Effort (Through Posttest).
Effect Parameter
Model 7:
Unconditional
linear growth
Model 8: Level of
effort
Model 9: Level of
effort moderated
by culture
Fixed effects
Status at baselin, π0i
Intercept γ00 0.04 (0.16) 0.04 (0.16) 0.05 (0.17)
Rate of chang, π1i
Time γ00.08 (0.12) 0.07 (0.12) 0.11 (0.13)
Effort γ11 0.11 (0.02)**** 0.13 (0.03)****
Culture γ12 −0.11 (0.04)***
Effort × Culture γ13 −0.08 (0.05)
Random effects
Level 1
Residual σε
20.52 (0.72)**** 0.51 (0.71)**** 0.50 (0.71)****
Level 2
Intercept σ0
20.17 (0.41)**** 0.16 (0.40)**** 0.16 (0.40)****
Time σ1
20.03 (0.16)*** 0.03 (0.17)**** 0.03 (0.18)****
Goodness of fit
Deviance 2,585 2,558 2,549
AIC 2,600 2,581 2,584
BIC 2,625 2,611 2,624
Note: Models 4 to 7 cannot be directly compared with Models 1 to 3 because 109 participants failed to provide
enough information about their level of effort to be included in these analyses. In all models, the intercept param-
eter estimate (γ00) represents the average well-being (WB) score at baseline across the sample. Because no model
attempted to predict differences in baseline scores, the intercept retained the same meaning throughout the models.
In Model 7, γ10 is the estimate of the slope (rate of linear change in WB over time) across the sample. In Model 8,
γ10 shifts to represent the rate of change in WB for participants who exerted the average level of effort (effort was
centered), whereas γ11 represents the effect of more or less than average effort on an individual’s rate of change over
time (regardless of culture). In Model 9, γ10 again shifts to represent the rate of change in WB for participants who
exerted the average level of effort in the U.S. sample, whereas γ11 represents the effect of more or less than average
effort on an individual’s change in WB over time in the U.S. sample. γ12 represents the additional effect of being from
the South Korean sample (over and above the U.S. sample) for participants who exerted the average level of effort,
whereas γ13 represents the additional effect of being from the South Korean sample (over and above the U.S. sample)
and exerting more or less than average effort on an individual’s change in WB over time. In all models, the intercept
and slope (Time) were free to vary.
*p < .10. **p < .05. ***p < .01. ****p < .001. All p values in this table are two-tailed.
Layous et al. 1301
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or pub-
lication of this article.
Funding
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publica-
tion of this article: How and why do positive activity interventions work to enhance happiness?: The role of
variety, commitment, social support, and motivation. Seoul National University, Center for Happiness
Studies. Amount of Award: $20,000. Dates of Award: 1-01-10 to 12-31-11. PI: Lyubomirsky, S.
Notes
1. We tested the effect of switching (vs. not switching) positive activities during the 6-week interven-
tion period to examine the effect of variety. Because no differences were found between people who
changed positive activities during the intervention and those who did not, we combined all participants
who started with gratitude into one group, all participants who started with kindness into a second
group, and all participants who completed the control task into a third group.
2. We analyzed the data from Asian participants in the U.S. sample separately from the rest of the U.S.
sample and found that they followed the same trends as the overall U.S. sample (as opposed to mirror-
ing the South Korean trends).
3. No significant group differences on our primary dependent variables were found at baseline.
4. U.S. participants scored higher on both scales than South Korean participants, so scores were standard-
ized within culture to account for potential response biases. Midpoint, posttest, and follow-up scores
were standardized based on the mean and standard deviation from baseline. We also ran all analyses
with scores standardized across cultures and found all of the same between-person trends.
5. Further details about method and results (including activity instructions) are available from the first
author.
6. This nonsignificant effect demonstrates that South Korean participants in the kindness condition
showed similar increases in well-being as did U.S. participants.
7. One hundred and nine participants were excluded from the effort analyses for not reporting their level
of effort at half or more of the time points.
Figure 2. Changes in well-being by level of effort through posttest.
Note: On the x-axis, 0 = baseline, 1 = midpoint, and 2 = posttest.
1302 Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 44(8)
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... Our participants also came from a single, oversampled individualist nation: the USA. Past research shows that gratitude interventions may produce no benefits or even backfire in collectivist cultures (Layous et al., 2013), so large-scale digital gratitude interventions implemented in countries like Japan or Korea may not be as effective. We also cannot speak to the durability of effects presented here because the study took place over about a week and did not include follow-up assessments. ...
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... Some research demonstrates that members of collectivist cultures (e.g., residents of South Korea and Asian-Americans) may benefit less (or not at all) from gratitude interventions [106][107][108], while other studies do not offer evidence of such cultural differences. A recent experiment, for example, found that Indian adolescents randomly assigned to write and deliver a gratitude letter reported gains in well-being after 1 week [109]. ...
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... Applying TOP10 gave us 3.57 effects, which we rounded up to 4 to capture greater variety. These effects are: d = 0.08, 0.30, 0.20, and 0.18 [13,65,84]. The average of these four effects is d = 0.19. ...
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Statistical analysis is a useful skill for linguists and psycholinguists, allowing them to understand the quantitative structure of their data. This textbook provides a straightforward introduction to the statistical analysis of language. Designed for linguists with a non-mathematical background, it clearly introduces the basic principles and methods of statistical analysis, using ’R’, the leading computational statistics programme. The reader is guided step-by-step through a range of real data sets, allowing them to analyse acoustic data, construct grammatical trees for a variety of languages, quantify register variation in corpus linguistics, and measure experimental data using state-of-the-art models. The visualization of data plays a key role, both in the initial stages of data exploration and later on when the reader is encouraged to criticize various models. Containing over 40 exercises with model answers, this book will be welcomed by all linguists wishing to learn more about working with and presenting quantitative data.
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Change is constant in everyday life. Infants crawl and then walk, children learn to read and write, teenagers mature in myriad ways, and the elderly become frail and forgetful. Beyond these natural processes and events, external forces and interventions instigate and disrupt change: test scores may rise after a coaching course, drug abusers may remain abstinent after residential treatment. By charting changes over time and investigating whether and when events occur, researchers reveal the temporal rhythms of our lives. This book is concerned with behavioral, social, and biomedical sciences. It offers a presentation of two of today's most popular statistical methods: multilevel models for individual change and hazard/survival models for event occurrence (in both discrete- and continuous-time). Using data sets from published studies, the book takes you step by step through complete analyses, from simple exploratory displays that reveal underlying patterns through sophisticated specifications of complex statistical models.