Article

Nine beautiful things: A self-administered online positive psychology intervention on the beauty in nature, arts, and behaviors increases happiness and ameliorates depressive symptoms

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Abstract

We tested the effectiveness of a self-administered online positive psychology intervention which addressed the appreciation of beauty and excellence on happiness and depression directly after the intervention, after one week, and one, three, and six months. One hundred thirteen adults were randomly assigned to a “9 beautiful things” intervention (IG; n = 59), or a placebo control group (“early memories”; n = 54). Participants in the IG were asked to write down (a) three beautiful things in human behavior; (b) three things they experienced as beautiful in nature and/or the environment; and (c) three beautiful things related to beauty in general that they observed. Findings show increased levels of happiness in the intervention group at post-test, after one week and one month, and amelioration of depressive symptoms at the post-test and one week after the interven- tion. The effect sizes were small to medium (η2 = .03 to .07). Overall, this initial study provides support for the notion that the “9 beautiful things” intervention may be effective in increasing people's well-being—at least in a short term.

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... Affective reactions at work influence both behavior and attitudes (Fisher, 2002;Brief & Weiss, 2002). Some specific affective reactions (anger, frustration) have been linked to objective features of the physical work environment (e.g., Ashkanasy et al., 2014;Brown & Robinson, 2011), but the growing literature on organizational aesthetics suggests that perceiving beauty is an important factor (Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn & Ruch, 2016;White, 1996). Previous research has established the role and importance of aesthetic functions within the physical environment (Rafaeli & Vilnai-Yavetz, 2004). ...
... This dimension involves employees' noncognitive (emotional) responses to the work environment (Bitner, 1992). When people perceive beauty, they experience positive affect (Proyer et al., 2016). White (1996), in reviewing the relevance of aesthetics to organizations, finds that the experience of beauty is an essential, constitutive element of organizations and has important implications in organization theory; it is universal and necessary. ...
... The design of a physical work environment to elicit a sense of beauty can produce positive feelings, behaviors and cognitions (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). The appreciation of beauty has been demonstrated to increase well-being (Proyer et al., 2016). Research has also shown that the degree to which the physical work environment has a pleasing and attractive appearance shapes trust formation in organizations (Baer, van der Werff, Colquitt, Rodell, Zipay, & Buckley, 2017). ...
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
The first great philosophical work on Beauty, in the Western Canon, is Plato’s Symposium wherein he charts the stages of loving beauty: stage one, we fall in love with one particular beautiful body; stage two we love all beautiful bodies; stage three, the human soul (psyche) is more beautiful than the human body; stage four, a love of social order; stage five, loving knowledge and wisdom; and final stage six, loving the divine Beauty itself. Aristotle defines all of the human virtues as being beautiful, and that the telos (the purpose) of the virtues is to manifest moral beauty. Kant and Schopenhauer emphasized disinterest, having no goal concerning the object of beauty other than to appreciate it. Iris Murdoch focused on the ability for natural and artistic beauty to help us unself and become better human beings. Unity-in-diversity is shown as the most common definition for beauty by philosophers. Beauty experiences have both subjective and objective aspects. The feeling of beauty happens inside us, but there is something real about the beauty stimulus. It is the dialectic, the relationship, between the inner and the outer that creates an experience of beauty.
... Another study (Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, & Ruch, 2016) examined the effect of "9 beautiful things" intervention on happiness and well-being. It was reported that the intervention increased happiness and alleviated depression at least for the short term. ...
... Even though personality types and traits largely determine differences in emotional responses (McManus & Furnham, 2006), experimental studies show that even under laboratory conditions, encounters with beauty and aesthetic objects can retain the positive impact of being exposed to the aesthetic objects (Martínez-Martí, et al. 2018;Proyer, et al. 2016) 13 Appraisal theories of emotion (Lazarus, 1991;Roseman & Smith, 2001;Scherer, 2001aas cited in Silvia, 2005) may help to shed light into the processes and mechanisms through which perceiving emotions and emotional responses to art take shape. ...
Thesis
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The major goal of the current study was to investigate the influences of education on aesthetic emotions and aesthetic evaluation. Two groups of art and non-art students and graduates participated in the study by watching an artistic and poetic short film and completing a survey (AESTHEMOS). Parametric and non-parametric techniques were employed to compare two groups in terms of their emotional responses and aesthetic evaluation of an aesthetic object. Overall, and unexpectedly, non-art students and graduates reported experiencing higher aesthetic emotional levels than that of the art students/graduates. Likewise, the film was rated higher by non-art students and graduates compared to art students and graduates. In other word, non-art students/graduates reported that they experienced higher aesthetic emotional response to the film and liked the film more in comparison with the corresponding group of art students/graduates. Art students/graduates also answered an open-ended question and stated that art education had transformed the way they felt, saw, heard and evaluated aesthetic objects and the entire world. The study also strived to explain why non-art students/graduates compared with art students/graduates felt more aesthetic emotions while watching the poetic short film that was assumed to be an aesthetic object. To do so, two reasons were examined that may account for such a difference. It was argued that the professional expertise and the type of art education may hinder one to experience aesthetic emotions. Moreover, three approaches to art education including, traditional art education, arts integration education and aesthetic education, were discussed.
... Some PPIs have been centred on single aspects, such as strengths, optimistic views of oneself, gratitude, or savouring positive events. These interventions showed increases in well-being (Bolier et al., 2013;Proyer et al., 2016b), decreases in depressive symptoms (Bolier et al., 2013;Proyer et al., 2016b;Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005), and increases in PA (Emmons & McCullough, 2003;Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006). Other PPIs have several components (Moskowitz et al., 2012;Proyer et al., 2016a;Roepke et al., 2015), and findings have highlighted decreases in depression (Roepke et al., 2015) and NA (Moskowitz et al., 2012) and increases in life satisfaction (Roepke et al., 2015) and PA (Moskowitz et al., 2012;Proyer et al., 2016a). ...
... Some PPIs have been centred on single aspects, such as strengths, optimistic views of oneself, gratitude, or savouring positive events. These interventions showed increases in well-being (Bolier et al., 2013;Proyer et al., 2016b), decreases in depressive symptoms (Bolier et al., 2013;Proyer et al., 2016b;Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005), and increases in PA (Emmons & McCullough, 2003;Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006). Other PPIs have several components (Moskowitz et al., 2012;Proyer et al., 2016a;Roepke et al., 2015), and findings have highlighted decreases in depression (Roepke et al., 2015) and NA (Moskowitz et al., 2012) and increases in life satisfaction (Roepke et al., 2015) and PA (Moskowitz et al., 2012;Proyer et al., 2016a). ...
Article
Enhancing positive affect (PA) and reducing negative affect (NA) are targets of positive psychology interventions, and well‐being and positive functioning are core elements of mental health. However, the underlying temporal dynamics of these elements are unknown. This study aimed at identifying how a 42‐day daily positive psychology intervention (PPI) impacts affective longitudinal dynamics compared to a control condition. This study employed an experience sampling method (self‐observation diary including the Measurement of Affectivity: Valence/Activation scale, MAVA) with two non‐randomised groups—a control group (n = 43) and an intervention group (n = 43)—taken from a community sample. Compared to the control participants, the PPI participants’ trajectories for activated and deactivated NA showed an important decrease over the course of the PPI. The deactivated PA trajectory increased non‐linearly across the PPI, whereas the activated PA trajectory showed a linear increase. This study suggests that PPIs change daily affective life.
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
Semir Zeki coined the word “neuro-esthetics” (neuroaesthetics) in 1999. The first neuroaesthetic study was published in 2000 (Hansen, Brammer, & Calvert), followed by three seminal papers in 2004 (Vartanian & Goel; Kawabati & Zeki; Cela-Conde et al.). Why do we find something beautiful? Evo Psyc might be able to tell us. How do we find things beautiful? Neuroaesthetics sheds light on that. “The aesthetic triad” comprises the interaction of three neural systems to create our aesthetic experiences: the sensory-motor system, the emotion-valuation system, and the knowledge-meaning system (Chatterjee & Vartanian, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 370–375, 2014, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 172–194, 2016). Experiences of beauty involve the pleasure centers and reward circuits of the brain; pleasure may be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for experiences of beauty. The medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) may be involved in all or most experiences of beauty (Ishizu & Zeki, PLoS One e21852, 2011). However, caution is warranted in making such a claim. The meta-analytic review by Brown et al. (NeuroImage 250–258, 2011) indicated that the right anterior insula was the main nexus of all beauty experiences but that different kinds of beauty (taste, scent, visual, auditory) were processed in different parts of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Observing moral beauty may be simultaneously arousing and calming (activating both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems).
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
The higher the level of trait Engagement with Natural Beauty (EnB), the more one loves all humanity; and also loves their friends, family, and romantic partners more. The Kaplans found that we are most strongly attracted to natural scenes that are coherent, with repeated scenery that is somewhat uniform, but at the same time complex (rich with diversity) and that also have mystery. Unity-in-diversity + mystery = beauty. EnB indirectly influences proenvironmental behavior through feeling connected to nature. EnB may cause generosity and trust indirectly through the effect of positive emotions. EnB may also make us better human beings because it is positively related to such transcendent traits as gratitude, spiritual transcendence, and awe; and negatively related to materialism. EnB may influence levels of caring, moral identity, fairness and justice; and it is related to universalism, spirituality, and benevolence. EnB makes us smarter through relieving attentional fatigue, increasing concentration, and being open-minded. EnB makes us happier; and it may increase our emotional well-being, social well-being, psychological well-being, and sense of meaning in life. The annual 30 Days Wild campaign in the UK has shown increases in participants’ health, happiness, proenvironmental behaviors, and EnB itself.
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
A trait is defined as a stable pattern of behavior, cognition, emotion, and conation (choice making, the will); traits have a strong genetic component and are presumed to have adaptive value; but, nonetheless, can be substantially influenced by the environment, and thus develop and increase or deteriorate and lessen. In Positive Psychology, the traits of interest are called character strengths and virtues; appreciation of beauty (AoB) is one such trait. Traits can change levels fairly rapidly in childhood but become quite stable by age 30. The trait of Openness is highly associated with AoB. The trait of Openness increases from age 10 to 22; stays the same from age 22 to 50; has a small gain during age 50–60; and drops a fair amount from age 60 on. Based on a large meta-analytic study, it appears that Openness may be more difficult to intentionally change than any of the other four big traits. One study has found that giving elders inductive reasoning tasks to complete leads to an increase in trait Openness. There have been a handful of published studies which focused on interventions to increase AoB. One effective intervention, used across studies, is daily or weekly journaling about personal experiences of beauty (beauty logs).
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
Evolutionary psychology explains the why of appreciation of beauty and neuroaesthetics explains the how of appreciating beauty. Evolutionary psychologists focus on two major reasons for why we admire the beauty of nature: sexual selection and natural selection/adaptation. Human physical beauty is based on sexual selection and what we find beautiful in nature is based on natural selection. Men find an hour-glass figure to be a fitness indicator that they find beautiful in women (a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.70 seems to be ideal); and a V-shaped body is a fitness indicator that women find beautiful in men. Women and men who have these qualities are perceived as likely to produce strong babies who will survive and later reproduce. The Savanna Hypothesis argues that it was adaptive to evolve to find attractive: (a) open spaces with short grass and groups of trees; (b) water nearby; (c) a panoramic view; (d) animals and birds present; and (e) greenery with flowers and fruits. Through natural and sexual selection, combined with the rise of human culture, we have learned to find beauty in myriad forms of art and craft. Through natural and sexual selection and natural cooperation, the human virtues developed and have taken on moral beauty.
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
Traits are patterns of behavior, and the trait of engaging with moral beauty involves noticing the patterns of behavior that symbolize the moral beauty of the virtues; these patterns may be characterized as unity-in-diversity. Elevation is the emotion experienced when engaging with moral beauty; when experiencing elevation one desires to become a better person and is more likely to commit prosocial acts. Elevation, in experimentally designed studies, has been shown to cause volunteering; charitable donations; better mentoring; intentions to register as organ donor; increased cooperative behavior; reduction in prejudice against race or sexual orientation; increased belief in life as meaningful and in the benevolence of others; increase positive affect and prosociality (affiliation and compassionate goals) and decrease self-image goals; and increase in interest in the Paralympics, and a positive effect on the destigmatization of persons with disabilities in general. Longitudinal research has shown that experiences of elevation led to a decrease in anxiety and depression and improved interpersonal functioning in a clinical population. Moral beauty may be related to spiritual beauty. Will moral beauty save the world? Moral beauty level is unrelated to political persuasion (conservatives are just as likely to notice the moral beauty of others as are liberals).
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
Emotions are involved in nearly every thought, decision, and action we make. Aesthetic emotions motivate us to approach or avoid any object of our aesthetic contemplation. Jonathan Haidt has shown that intuitions, which are much like emotions, guide our moral decisions. Sarah Rose Cavanaugh has summarized the use of emotions in Andragogy. Emotions cause us to pay attention in class and pay attention to assignments; maximize working memory potential; encode information into our long-term memory and to retrieve information from long-term memory; and to be motivated to attend class, to study for exams, and to complete assignments. Sona Farid-Arbab notes that attraction to beauty (the prototypical aesthetic emotion) motivates us toward personal and collective transformation. Panos Paris argues that moral beauty bridges the gap between making deliberative moral judgments and acting morally, by motivating us toward virtue and away from vice. General education courses, such as Introduction to Psychology and Developmental Psychology, can be infused with the beauty of story-telling, myth, paintings, music, and poetry; and thus motivate students more effectively. Developmental Psychology is an excellent course in which to encourage the morally beautiful development of college students while they are studying the moral development of children and adults.
... A study by Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, and Ruch (2016) reinforces the potency of such beauty logs. They gave participants pre-and post-test measures of happiness and depression. ...
... One concrete behavior to increase AoB is journaling, or keeping a beauty log, about one's personal experiences of beauty. Studies have repeatedly shown, whether journaling daily about one's beauty experiences for 1-3 weeks (Martínez-Martí et al., 2014Proyer et al., 2016) or weekly beauty logs for 10-12 weeks Diessner & Steiner, 2017), that it likely has an effect on increasing one's trait of engagement with beauty. So off you go to a nice office supply store, or cool bookstore, or a lovely old-fashioned stationary store, and buy yourself an attractive empty journal. ...
Chapter
Existential psychologist Rollo May has explained, based on Plato, that Beauty outranks Truth and Goodness, because Beauty is harmony, and the test of the integrity of Truth and Goodness are whether they are harmonious. Post-modernists assure us there is no truth, only perspectives; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there can be no objectivity in beauty experiences; morality is all about power, whoever has the power determines what is right and wrong; there is no right and wrong, they are just cultural concepts; there are no moral universals and cannot be. Nonetheless, as Howard Gardner has noted, these concepts continue to engage human beings, one way or another. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in his Nobel lecture for the prize in Literature, pointed out that Dostoevsky’s famous remark, “Beauty will save the world,” is literally true. Einstein’s son said his father’s “highest praise for a good theory or good piece of work was not that it was correct nor that it was exact but that it was beautiful.” Every experience of love is an experience of beauty. Plato, in The Symposium, had Socrates argue that beauty is the object of all love. Nothing is more important than love and beauty.
... Research evidence shows that an appreciation of beauty generally (rather than specifically natural beauty) is positively associated with prosociality and well-being (Martínez-Martí et al., 2016). In an online empirical study, Proyer et al. (2016) found increased levels of happiness at three time points after participants noted "beautiful things" in human behavior, nature and generally, the design did not allow the functional type of beauty to be identified. Given the benefits, there have been attempts to develop interventions to improve the appreciation of beauty, although Proyer et al. (2016) noted a lack of intervention studies on appreciation of beauty, both human and nature focussed. ...
... In an online empirical study, Proyer et al. (2016) found increased levels of happiness at three time points after participants noted "beautiful things" in human behavior, nature and generally, the design did not allow the functional type of beauty to be identified. Given the benefits, there have been attempts to develop interventions to improve the appreciation of beauty, although Proyer et al. (2016) noted a lack of intervention studies on appreciation of beauty, both human and nature focussed. Martínez-Martí et al. (2014), using a qualitative evaluation, found that a 3-week web-based intervention improved well-being and appreciation of beauty generally. ...
Article
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Recent research suggests that engagement with natural beauty (EWNB) is key to the well-being benefits of nature connectedness. The Wildlife Trust's 30 Days Wild campaign provides a large-scale intervention for improving public engagement with nature and its beauty. The effect of 30 Days Wild participation on levels of EWNB and the relationship between EWNB, nature connectedness and happiness was evaluated during the 2017 campaign. Of the 49,000 people who signed up to the campaign, 308 people fully completed measures of EWNB, nature connection, health, happiness, and conservation behaviors at baseline, post-30 days and post-2 months. There were sustained and significant increases for scores in nature connection, health, happiness, and conservation behaviors. In addition, 30 Days Wild was the first intervention found to increase EWNB. Further, the significant increase in EWNB mediated the relationship between the increases in nature connectedness and happiness. In a supplementary study to understand the well-being benefits further (n = 153), emotional regulation was found to mediate the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness, but EWNB and emotional regulation were not related. The links between nature's beauty, nature connectedness and well-being are discussed within an account of affect-regulation.
... Meta-analyses of positive psychology interventions (PPIs) have shown moderate effects on depression and well-being (Bolier et al., 2013;Mitchell, Vella-Brodrick, & Klein, 2010;Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). Specific findings have indicated a lower level of depression (Fava, Rafanelli, Cazzaro, Conti, & Grandi, 1998;Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, & Ruch, 2016b;Roepke et al., 2015;Schueller & Parks, 2012;Seligman, Rashid, & Parks, 2006;Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005) and negative affectivity (Moskowitz et al., 2012) and increases in well-being (Fava et al., 1998;Proyer et al., 2016b;Seligman et al., 2005), positive affectivity (Emmons & McCullough, 2003;Moskowitz et al., 2012) and life satisfaction (Lyubomirsky, Sousa, & Dickerhoof, 2006), as well as better physical and mental health . The effectiveness of PPI in terms of affective variables has received substantial support; however, clarifying the underlying processes remains of interest. ...
... Meta-analyses of positive psychology interventions (PPIs) have shown moderate effects on depression and well-being (Bolier et al., 2013;Mitchell, Vella-Brodrick, & Klein, 2010;Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). Specific findings have indicated a lower level of depression (Fava, Rafanelli, Cazzaro, Conti, & Grandi, 1998;Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, & Ruch, 2016b;Roepke et al., 2015;Schueller & Parks, 2012;Seligman, Rashid, & Parks, 2006;Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005) and negative affectivity (Moskowitz et al., 2012) and increases in well-being (Fava et al., 1998;Proyer et al., 2016b;Seligman et al., 2005), positive affectivity (Emmons & McCullough, 2003;Moskowitz et al., 2012) and life satisfaction (Lyubomirsky, Sousa, & Dickerhoof, 2006), as well as better physical and mental health . The effectiveness of PPI in terms of affective variables has received substantial support; however, clarifying the underlying processes remains of interest. ...
Article
Objectives: A 6-week multicomponent positive psychology intervention (PPI) was assessed with the primary aim of determining its effects on affective variables including anxiety, depression and psychological distress, as well as processual ones, such as mindfulness and emotion regulation. Exploratory investigations were conducted to consider changes in individual differences according to baseline characteristics. Method: Participants were from a community sample of the French population. They were assigned to the control (n =43) or intervention group (n =59). Self-assessment measures included the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory and the General Health Questionnaire. Results: Trait anxiety, depressive symptoms and psychological distress significantly decreased over the course of the PPI in comparison to the control group. Regarding processual variables, mindfulness increased with a large effect size, acceptance and positive reappraisal increased, and scores for other-blame strategy significantly decreased. Exploratory analyses showed that mindfulness and positive reappraisal tended to increase even more when participants' initial levels were low. Conclusion: Future clinical interventions should account for baseline characteristics to ensure that participants are referred to the most effective, suitable programs for their own needs.
... Our findings shared the common viewpoints and results of many previous studies demonstrating that the short-term effects of character strength-based intervention are desirable. For instance, Proyer et al. (2016) conducted a self-administered online character strength-based intervention that addressed the appreciation of beauty and excellence on happiness and depression. They found short-term effects (1 month) for the intervention. ...
Article
Full-text available
Character strength-based interventions are an effective positive psychology approach in increasing happiness and reducing depression. However, little is known about whether the character strength-based interventions remain effective over an extended time period of 1 year, and why these activities (e.g., Identifying signature strengths and Using signature strengths in a new way) work. To address these issues, a 1-year randomized controlled intervention was conducted to examine the serial mediating role of strengths knowledge and strengths use. A hundred first-year students were randomly assigned into the intervention and the waiting-list control groups. The intervention group participated in four activities within a 90-min course and was encouraged to continue self-practice of the strengths-related activities after the intervention period. Immediate, short-term (i.e., 1 week), and long-term (i.e., 1 year) effectiveness were examined. Participants in the intervention group showed significant increase in thriving and decrease in negative emotional symptoms in the short term, but no effect was found for the control group. The long-term effects of thriving and negative emotional symptoms were insignificant for two experimental groups. Strengths use partially mediated the effectiveness of the intervention, but strengths knowledge did not significantly predict the outcomes. In conclusion, the character strength-based intervention can be an effective approach to improve the mental health of the first-year students. More attention should be paid to strengths use when practitioners design a character strength-based intervention.
... In 2011, Seligman revised his theory and suggested that accomplishment and positive relationships also contribute to human flourishing. Although first studies suggesting new measures for all components of Seligman's (2011) conception of flourishing have been developed (e.g., Butler & Kern, 2016;Gander, Proyer, & Ruch, 2016, 2017) that allow for assessing each of the components separately, the strong intercorrelations among these components suggest that one might still argue for the assessment of general well-being. If inspecting the items of the AHI one might further argue that these pursuits are also already partially covered there (e.g., "I feel I am extraordinarily successful", "I feel close to friends and family members"). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Authentic Happiness Inventory (AHI) is a frequently used measure for the subjective assessment of happiness and is primarily used in positive psychology intervention studies. It has been argued that it is sensitive to detect subtle changes in happiness and differentiates happiness at very high levels. We designed a series of studies to test some of the basic premises and to assess the reliability and validity of the German version of the AHI (total N = 5166). In Study 1, four independently collected samples provide evidence for its good psychometric properties and convergent as well as discriminant validity. Study 2 shows that the AHI has high test-retest correlations over a period of one week, and one, three and six months (r = .75–.85; N = 319). Also, the experience of positive life events went along with higher scores in the AHI. In Study 3, the AHI was used in a positive psychology intervention study by testing two well-established positive psychology interventions (i.e., “another door opens”, and “three good things”) against a placebo control group (N = 400 in total). Results show that the AHI reflects the expected changes in well-being (i.e., increase in the intervention in comparison with the placebo-control group). Overall, the three studies support the notion that the AHI has good psychometric properties and provides support for its validity. Potential further applications of the measure are discussed.
... These positive psychology interventions consist of techniques and exercises aimed at developing personal strengths and enhancing positive emotions, life satisfaction, personal growth, and meaning. 22 Examples of evidence-based positive psychology exercises are remembering three good things, [23][24][25] identifying and using character strengths, [26][27][28] performing acts of kindness, 29 counting one's blessings, 30 gratitude exercises, [31][32][33][34] appreciation of beauty exercises, 35 and savoring the moment exercises. 36 Positive psychology has contributed to a shift from a focus on the negative indicators of mental health toward more research on positive indicators of mental health. ...
Article
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Objectives: The aim of this study was to present an overview of the research on the effects of yoga on positive mental health (PMH) among non-clinical adult populations. Methods: This was a systematic literature review and meta-analysis, including a risk of bias assessment. The electronic databases PubMed/Medline, Scopus, IndMED, and the Cochrane Library were searched from 1975 to 2015. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of yoga interventions on PMH among a healthy adult population were selected. Results: A total of 17 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. Four indicators of PMH were found: psychological well-being, life satisfaction, social relationships, and mindfulness. A significant increase in psychological well-being in favor of yoga over no active control was found. Overall risk of bias was unclear due to incomplete reporting. Conclusions: The current body of research offers weak evidence that the practice of yoga contributes to an increase in PMH among adults from non-clinical populations in general. Yoga was found to contribute to a significant increase in psychological well-being when compared to no intervention but not compared to physical activity. For life satisfaction (emotional well-being), social relationships (social well-being), and mindfulness no significant effects for yoga were found over active or non-active controls. Due to the limited amount of studies, the heterogeneity of the intervention, and perhaps the way PMH is being measured, any definite conclusions on the effects of yoga on PMH cannot be drawn.
... En el área individual, se destaca la importancia de que cada persona conozca cuáles son sus fortalezas y cómo ponerlas en marcha en diferentes contextos. Identificar y ser capaz de desarrollarlas puede producir aumento en el bienestar como se muestra en el estudio de Proyer Ruch y Buschor (2012) y en los meta-análisis realizados por Bolier et al. (2013) y Sin y Lyubomirsky (2009), además de contribuir a reducir los síntomas depresivos ( Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn y Ruch, 2016). Se ha mostrado también que las fortalezas generan recursos que pueden fomentar la resistencia ante la adversidad e incluso un afrontamiento adaptativo ante la enfermedad física ( Peterson et al., 2006). ...
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Este trabajo presenta una revisión sistemática sobre las fortalezas psicológicas propuestas por el modelo Values in Action (VIA) y su relación con el bienestar, la satisfacción vital, la felicidad, la resiliencia y la salud en diferentes poblaciones. Los resultados de la revisión de 47 estudios permiten concluir que las fortalezas psicológicas están relacionadas positi-vamente con la satisfacción vital, el bienestar, la felicidad, la resiliencia y la salud, y en menor medida con indicadores de afecto negativo. Estos resultados son similares en distintos contextos y en diversos grupos de edad. Se discuten los hallazgos de los diversos estudios y se proponen implicaciones y perspectivas futuras del estudio y del desarrollo de las fortalezas psicológicas en los individuos, en los grupos y en la sociedad en general. Palabras clave: Fortalezas psicológicas; Modelo VIA; Resiliencia; Bienestar; Felicidad; Salud This study is a systematically review of the Values in Action (VIA) model of virtues and strengths and its correlation with well-being, life satisfaction, happiness, resilience, and health in different populations. A total of 47 studies were reviewed. The results showed that psychological strengths were associated with higher levels of happiness, well-being, resilience, health, and positive affect, and weakly associated with negative affect. These results are similar across different settings and ages. We discuss the results of the studies and consider their implications for future research related to the development of psychological strengths in individuals, groups, and society.
... ). Various studies have already shown that it is feasible to implement PPIs through the Internet (e.g.Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, & Ruch, 2016), including BPS studies (e.g..Chapter 4 included two RCTs that shared the same design except for the technologies used in their implementation. In both studies, participants learned one of the three versions of the BPS (past, present, or future) or the daily activities exercise (control condition). ...
Thesis
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Positive Psychology Interventions are valuable resources to promote wellbeing (Bolier et al., 2013). Within this framework, the Best Possible Self (BPS) intervention seems to be a promising approach (Loveday et al., 2016). This is a positive intervention that asks individuals to imagine themselves in the best possible future (King, 2001). Although there are many individual published studies about its efficacy, it is still unknown what the overall efficacy of this intervention is. In addition, research on the mechanisms which lie beneath the efficacy of this positive activity is scarce. Therefore, the aim of this dissertation is twofold: to explore the overall efficacy of the BPS, and to analyze the role of the mechanisms that can influence its efficacy. Concretely, the role of the temporal focus will be examined. Subsequently, this dissertation has the following specific objectives: 1) To review the overall efficacy of the BPS intervention based on the existing evidence, and to explore the role of the possible moderator variables related to the intervention implementation. 2) To contribute to a more accurate measurement of SWB considering the temporal frame. 3) To design and develop two temporal variants of the original BPS (Best Past Self and Best Present Self), applied through ICTs. 4) To analyze the efficacy of the three temporal versions of BPS, applied through ICTs, to increase wellbeing. 5) To analyze the possible underlying mechanisms that lie beneath their effectiveness, through qualitative analyses of the texts. This dissertation contains five studies (organized in four papers) and two additional chapters aimed at addressing the previously mentioned objectives. Chapter 1 described a general introduction of the main topics of this dissertation, including the main characteristics and effects of PPIs and the BPS intervention. In addition, the role of possible factors that can influence the efficacy of these interventions was briefly exposed, as well as the impact that ICTs can have in the field of PPIs. Chapter 2 consists of a systematic review and meta-analysis on the efficacy of the BPS compared with controls, which include the general efficacy levels of the intervention as well as the analyses of possible moderator variables. Chapter 3 is aimed at describing the Spanish validation of a scale that measures life satisfaction along the lifespan. In addition, exploring the temporal aspects of SWB and its relationship with sociodemographic variables and the affective components of SWB. Chapter 4 includes two randomized controlled trials (Study 1 and Study 2) in which the efficacy of the temporal variations of the BPS implemented through ICTs were compared with a control condition. Chapter 5 includes a mixed method design in which a qualitative analysis of the texts included in Study 1 was carried out and combined with quantitative data about the efficacy of the intervention on positive affect. Finally, Chapter 6 presents a general discussion that includes a summary of the main conclusions outlined by the results obtained in the previous publications, as well as the limitations and future directions of this dissertation.
... The results of this experimental study show that affect does not have a significant influence on the type of pacing chosen to cope with pain experience. However, pacing is a strategy used in most chronic pain intervention models, and thus interventions to enhance the effectiveness of pacing by inducing positive emotional states remains a topic of interest of future research (Proyer et al., 2016). ...
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People with chronic pain often change the way they carry out their daily activities according to different patterns, among which are pacing strategies. Cross-sectional studies on the association between pacing and affect show contradictory results. The study aim was to experimentally test whether the induction of positive affect vs negative affect would influence the choice of the type of pacing (pacing to increase productivity or pacing to reduce pain) when the participants were exposed to pain, while controlling for the variables optimism and catastrophism. The study participants comprised a sample of 145 undergraduates. The results of multinomial logistic regression showed that there was no association between the variables. Pacing is an intervention strategy in all chronic pain intervention models, and thus it is relevant to continue investigating the role of affect in relation to pacing. Las personas con dolor crónico cambian la forma de realizar las actividades cotidianas, diferenciándose diversos patrones, entre ellos, la secuenciación de actividades (pacing). La bibliografía acerca de la relación entre pacing y afecto muestran resultados contradictorios. El objetivo de este estudio fue contrastar experimentalmente, en una muestra de 145 estudiantes, si la inducción de afecto positivo vs negativo influía en la elección del tipo de “pacing” (“pacing para aumentar la productividad” y “pacing para reducir el dolor”) cuando los participantes eran expuestos a dolor, controlando las variables optimismo y catastrofismo. Los resultados de la regresión logística multinomial no mostraron relación entre las variables. El pacing es una estrategia de intervención presente en todos los modelos de intervención en dolor crónico y, por tanto, es relevante seguir profundizando acerca del rol del afecto en relación al mismo.
... Another study with adults applied a beauty log approach similar to the one of Diessner et al. (2006;2010), but only for seven consecutive days, and found effects on happiness and depressive symptoms. The intervention group in contrast to a placebo control group (reflecting on early childhood memories) showed increases in happiness one week and one month later as well as a decrease in depressive symptoms one week after the intervention (Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, & Ruch, 2016). ...
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Moral elevation is defined as the emotional response to witnessing acts of moral beauty. Studies have found that elevation entails pleasant feelings of warmth in the chest, feeling uplifted, moved, and optimistic about humanity. Elevation motivates affiliation with others as well as moral action tendencies. The main goal of this review was to gather and organize the empirical findings from the last 16 years of elevation research with regard to psychological and physiological characteristics, motivational tendencies, behavioral outcomes, neuronal mechanisms, moderators, and correlates of elevation. A secondary goal was to examine whether elevation is congruent with Fredrickson’s (2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. It was concluded that there is strong evidence that elevation broadens the thought-action repertoire and relatively weak evidence that it builds lasting resources. Potential evolutionary functions, the forms of measurement of elevation, the process of how elevation is triggered, practical applications and directions for future research were also addressed.
... Auch in Deutschland gewann die "Positive Psychologie" an Beliebtheit und lieferte zunehmend mehr Wirksamkeitsnachweise (Blickhan, 2015;Brohm et al., 2017;Brohm-Badry et al., 2018). Im Zuge der Etablierung dieser Strömung entwickelten sich zahlreiche Interventionsmöglichkeiten an verschiedensten Zielgruppen und in unterschiedlichen Settings: Online-Programme (Baez et al., 2017;Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn & Ruch, 2016), Programme für HIV-Infizierte (Jinghua, 2015), Programme für ältere Menschen (Ho et al., 2014), Programme für Paare mit Schlaganfall (Terrill et al., 2018). Wenngleich der überwiegende Teil der Forschungsarbeiten im englischsprachigen Raum stattfand, so wurden in den letzten Jahren auch immer mehr positiv psychologisch fundierte Programme im deutschen Sprachraum ( Da sich die Evaluation ausschließlich auf das komplette Programm, bestehend aus fünf Seminareinheiten, bezieht, können keine konkreten Schlussfolgerungen bezüglich der Wirksamkeit der Seminareinheit "Schutzfaktoren" gezogen werden. ...
Book
Ein auf die Bedürfnisse chronisch psychisch erkrankter Menschen zugeschnittenes Gruppenprogramm wurde entwickelt und hinsichtlich seiner Wirksamkeit untersucht. Das Programm zielt darauf ab, verschiedene personale Ressourcen der schwer belasteten Klientel auf- und auszubauen. Die Evaluation des achtwöchigen Gruppenprogramms erfolgte mittels einer quasi-experimentellen Prä-, Post-, Follow-up Feldstudie (N = 275, IG = 134, KG = 141). Insgesamt konnte gezeigt werden, dass sich mit der Teilnahme an dem besagten Gruppenprogramm eine Vielzahl gesundheitsrelevanter Faktoren signifikant verbesserten (Selbstwertgefühl, Positive Emotionen, Kognitives, Emotionales und Körperliches Wohlbefinden, Selbstfürsorge, Depressivität). Im Allgemeinen ist das ressourcenorientierte Gruppenprogramm als gewinnbringende und ergänzende Methode für die sozialpsychiatrische Arbeit mit chronisch psychisch erkrankten Menschen zu bewerten.
... Other activities such as appreciating beauty and enjoying nature can also act as a positive intervention to increase well-being as well as minimize short-term depressive symptoms (Proyer et al., 2016). Even doing interventions that help us savor experiences, express and reflect upon gratitude, as well as engage in acts of kindness have shown evidence of enhancing one's positive affect (good mood), decreasing negative affect (bad mood) and minimizing stress (Cohn et al., 2014). ...
Article
Approximately four out of five employees globally are either disengaged or actively disengaged at work. Recent data shows a rapid drop in engagement in the leadership and management sector of organizations. This literature review explores the efficacy of Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) designed to increase the state-like constructs of Positive Emotions and Psychological Capital (PsyCap), a construct combining Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism). Results from multiple studies show small to medium effect sizes for Positive Emotion and PsyCap Interventions for increasing employee engagement, productivity, job satisfaction, commitment to the organization, organizational citizenship behavior and reductions in stress, absenteeism, and intention to leave the organization. Individuals low in targeted state-like traits pre-intervention experience greater growth than individuals high in the state-like traits. Brief, online, self-directed interventions were effective and longer, in-person, group interventions showed greater benefit. No negative side effects were discovered. Limitations are discussed and an appendix of evidence-based interventions is provided. PPIs targeting Positive Emotions and PsyCap are a scalable, cost-effective strategy to increase employee engagement and satisfaction at the workplace.
... Positive Psychology Interventions (PPI) focus on mobilising humans' cognitive and behavioural resources in order to promote life satisfaction and well-being through psychological processes, as opposed to interventions designed to reduce dysfunctional symptoms (Bolier et al., 2013;Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011b;Proyer et al., 2016). Many studies in the last two decades have shown the efficacy of various low-intensity PPIs, such as counting positive events, practicing acts of kindness, expressing gratitude or using personal strengths, as summarised in the meta-analyses of Bolier et al. (2013) and Sin and Lyubomirsky (2009). ...
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Ehlers–Danlos-Syndromes (EDS) is a group of hereditary, chronic and potentially disabling conditions. Few studies have tested the effects of psychological interventions to increase well-being in this population. We hypothesized that Positive Psychology Interventions (PPI), first applied to healthy and mentally ill subjects, can also be useful for people with somatic conditions and conducted a study to evaluate the efficacy of a 5-week online PPI designed to improve well-being in EDS patients. A sample of 132 EDS patients were allocated to three groups: assigned PPI, self-selected PPI, and waitlist control-group (WLC). Measures of positive and negative affect, pain disability, fatigue, and life satisfaction were administered before program start, 6 weeks later, and 1 month later. Satisfaction with the program was also evaluated. The results revealed that participants in the self-selected PPI-group, but not in the assigned PPI group, reported significantly lower levels of fatigue and higher levels of positive affect and life satisfaction compared to WLC after 6 weeks. There were no effects on negative affect and pain disability measures. Finally, 77% of the participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the program. These findings confirm and extend previous research by showing the efficacy of PPI for people with chronic illness under the condition that individuals can choose the program content. From a healthcare perspective, online PPIs could complement treatments aimed at symptom reduction and increase well-being in patients with EDS.
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This review of the trait of appreciation of beauty (AoB) draws from the literature in personality psychology, philosophy, religion, neuroscience, neuro-aesthetics, evolutionary psychology, and the psychology of morality. We demonstrate that AoB can be mapped onto a definition of appreciation that includes perceptual, cognitive, emotional, trait, virtue, and valuing elements. A classic component of defining beauty, unity-in-diversity, is described based on the works of a variety of major philosophers. We next describe that there are at least four channels of appreciation of beauty: natural beauty, artistic beauty, moral beauty, and beautiful ideas. Examining the neuro-aesthetics research indicates that many networks of the brain are involved in mental acts of appreciating beauty, but the medial orbital front cortex (mOFC) is implicated across all four channels of beauty. We then explain how the trait of AoB is a member of three different families of traits: traits of love, traits of transcendence, and traits of inquiry. Next we briefly explain why Kant may have been more correct than Hegel concerning beauty and the good soul. We then present evidence that women may appreciate beauty somewhat more than men. Data from many cultures and nations consistently indicate this. After that we claim AoB leads to individual and collective flourishing. We examine and summarize studies that indicate appreciation of natural beauty leads to a wide variety of positive outcomes; we focus on the importance of open-mindedness that accompanies engagement with artistic beauty; and we summarize studies regarding the moral emotion of elevation and appreciation of moral beauty. Suggested future directions for research are embedded in each subsection of the paper.
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This exploratory qualitative study investigated self-perceived risk and protection factors that may reinforce the ability of children living in refugee camps on the Gaza Strip to adjust to a traumatic and risky life context characterized by loss and dispossession. The sample comprised 200 Palestinian children recruited at primary schools in four refugee camps in the Gaza Strip following the Israeli military operation "Pillar of Defence" in 2012. Thematic content analysis was applied to written materials and narratives produced by the children. Environment, friends, emotions, family, play, self, sociality, health, school, and spirituality were the dimensions that emerged from the narrative texts. Palestinian children's psychological adaptability and ability to reposition themselves along the continuum between ease and disease is underpinned by constant political agency and activism - a dimension that guides sense-making activities in a traumatizing environment marked by continuous uncertainty, loss and bereavement. We therefore recommend a politically-informed focus, both when assessing children and when designing intervention for them in contexts of chronic political violence and war.
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A growing body of empirical evidence suggests that PERMA (positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishments) may be a robust framework for the measurement, management and development of wellbeing. While the original PERMA framework made great headway in the past decade, its empirical and theoretical limitations were recently identified and critiqued. In response, Seligman (2018) clarified the value of PERMA as a framework for and not a theory of wellbeing and called for further research to expand the construct. To expand the framework into organizational contexts, recent meta-analyses and systematic literature reviews showed that physical health, mindset, physical work environments and economic security could be seen as essential contextually relevant building blocks for work-related wellbeing and are therefore prime candidates to expand the PERMA framework for use within organizational contexts. Through expanding the original PERMA framework with these four factors, a new holistic approach to work-related wellbeing and work performance was born: The PERMA+4. As such, the purpose of this brief perspective paper is to provide a conceptual overview of PERMA+4 as holistic framework for work-related wellbeing and work performance which extends beyond the predominant componential thinking of the discipline. Specifically, we aim to do so by providing: (a) a brief historical overview of the development of PERMA as a theory for wellbeing, (b) a conceptual overview of PERMA+4 as a holistic framework for work-related wellbeing and work performance, (c) empirical evidence supporting the usefulness of PERMA+4, and (d) charting a course for the second wave of positive organizational psychological research.
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The "Three Good Things" is a self-administered positive psychological intervention that is effective in reducing depressive symptoms and improving well-being; however, there is still little known about its possible underlying mechanisms. I examined the efficacy of the Three Good Things intervention and investigated the mediating role of positive and negative affect in the intervention's effect on depressive symptoms and subjective well-being. Participants were undergraduate students randomly assigned to either the intervention group ( n = 128), who participated in a 16-week trial of the intervention and completed assessment measures, or to the control group ( n = 121), who completed assessment measures but not the intervention. The three time points for assessment were Week 1 (baseline), Week 8 (Time 1), and Week 16 (Time 2). The results show that levels of depression and negative affect were lower in the intervention group than in the control group at Time 2, whereas positive affect and subjective well-being were higher. Thus, the intervention can reduce depression and promote well-being by reducing negative affect and improving positive affect.
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We conducted a meta-analysis to analyze the effects of randomized controlled positive psychological interventions on subjective and psychological well-being. Our aim was to extend previous research by following a more comprehensive approach in the selection of studies, by including new moderators, by focusing on adult nonclinical populations and increases in well-being, and by comparing the effects of interventions targeting subjective and psychological well-being (i.e., hedonism or eudemonia) or a combination of the two. In contrast to previous analyses, we compared effects on different outcomes and contrasted effects of technology-assisted interventions with traditional ones. We included 68 randomized controlled studies of nonclinical populations with a total of 16,085 participants. The results showed that positive psychological interventions do increase well-being. The overall effect size (Cohen’s d) was 0.23, but it was 0.08 for psychological well-being, 0.22 for subjective well-being, and 0.43 when the studies targeted both types of well-being. Longer interventions showed stronger immediate effects than shorter ones, and interventions based on traditional methods were more effective than those that used technology-assisted methods. With respect to short-term outcomes, there was a negative relation to age, but when long-term effects were considered, the relation to age was positive. Overall, we also found evidence of long-term effects of the interventions.
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Este trabajo presenta una revisión sistemática sobre las fortalezas psicológicas propuestas por el modelo Values in Action (VIA) y su relación con el bienestar, la satisfacción vital, la felicidad, la resiliencia y la salud en diferentes poblaciones. Los resultados de la revisión de 47 estudios permiten concluir que las fortalezas psicológicas están relacionadas positivamente con la satisfacción vital, el bienestar, la felicidad, la resiliencia y la salud, y en menor medida con indicadores de afecto negativo. Estos resultados son similares en distintos contextos y en diversos grupos de edad. Se discuten los hallazgos de los diversos estudios y se proponen implicaciones y perspectivas futuras del estudio y del desarrollo de las fortalezas psicológicas en los individuos, en los grupos y en la sociedad en general.
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People who regard nature as important and personally meaningful are often compelled to conserve it. This compulsion is increasingly vital in a world where global climate and biodiversity crises are worsening, with younger generations set to bear most of the resulting ecological burden. By understanding why children and adolescents value nature, we can gain insights into how they might act for its benefit. In this study, we asked over 1000 Australian students (aged 8–14) to explain why ‘nature’ was—or was not—important to them. Qualitative responses were gathered via a survey methodology using an online questionnaire, with thematic analysis used to identify key findings. Results show that respondents valued nature for its ability to keep humans alive and resourced, also appreciating nature as beautiful and relaxing. Respondents frequently commented on how nature made them feel: happiness, love, freedom, and calm featured prominently. A small number of students reported ambivalence about nature, or even feelings of fear. These results demonstrate substantial depth to students’ understandings of nature and the ways they choose to engage with their surroundings. Encompassing a diversity of perspectives on nature allows us to better engage with youth on environmental matters.
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Introduction: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes various psychological, emotional and academic damages in the students. Aim: The present study was conducted with the purpose of investigating the effectiveness of positivist psychotherapy on inefficient attitudes and experiential avoidance in the students with generalized anxiety disorder. Method: It was a quasi-experimental study with pretest, posttest and control group design. The statistical population of the current study included female students with generalized anxiety in the city of Ahvaz in academic year 2018-2019. 30 female students with generalized anxiety disorder were selected through purposive sampling method and they were randomly accommodated into experimental and control groups (each group of 15). The experimental group received ten seventy-five-minute sessions of positivist psychotherapy intervention (Rashid, 2015). The applied questionnaires included inefficient attitudes questionnaire (Wiseman and Beck, 1978), experiential avoidance questionnaire (Bond, et.al, 2011) and generalized anxiety disorder questionnaire (Spitzer et.al, 2006). The data were analyzed through MANCOVA method. Results: The results showed that positivist psychotherapy has significant effect on ineffective attitudes and experiential avoidance in female students with generalized anxiety disorder (P
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A meta-analysis of positive psychology intervention (PPIs) studies was conducted. PPIs were defined as interventions in which the goal of wellbeing enhancement was achieved through pathways consistent with positive psychology theory. Data were extracted from 347 studies involving over 72,000 participants from clinical and non-clinical child and adult populations in 41 countries. The effect of PPIs with an average of ten sessions over six weeks offered in multiple formats and contexts was evaluated. At post-test, PPIs had a significant small to medium effect on wellbeing (g = 0.39), strengths (g = 0.46), QoL (g = 0.48), depression (g = −0.39), anxiety (g = −0.62), and stress (g = −0.58). Gains were maintained at three months follow-up. Individuals in non-western countries with clinical problems, who engaged in longer individual or group therapy programs containing multiple PPIs benefited most. This meta-analysis shows that PPIs have an extensive evidence base supporting their effectiveness.
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Accumulating evidence for the unique social, behavioral, and physical health benefits of positive emotion and related well-being constructs has led to the development and testing of positive psychological interventions (PPIs) to increase emotional well-being and enhance health promotion and disease prevention. PPIs are specifically aimed at improving emotional well-being and consist of practices such as gratitude, savoring, and acts of kindness. The purpose of this narrative review was to examine the literature on PPIs with a particular focus on positive emotion outcomes. We evaluated the evidence on the effects of PPIs on positive emotion specifically, and discussed the range of evidence regarding the relative responsiveness of emotion measures to PPIs in order to gain a better understanding of the specific emotional pathways through which PPIs influence psychological and physical well-being. We conclude with recommendations for best evaluating effects of PPIs on positive emotion outcomes.
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Appreciation of beauty and excellence (ABE) is one of the least studied character strengths. Therefore, this study aims at advancing the knowledge in this area by (1) developing a scale that measures the three categories of appreciation (i.e., beauty, moral excellence, and non-moral excellence), (2) assessing many of its psychometric properties, and (3) examining the relationship of ABE with personality, prosociality, and well-being. In Study 1, we create and assess an initial set of items measuring ABE. In Study 2, we examine the dimensionality of ABE, and test the internal consistency and validity of the scale. Moreover, we assess the relationships between ABE and personality, prosociality and well-being. In Study 3, we test the temporal stability of the scale. Results revealed that a three-dimensional model of ABE showed the best fit to the data. The scale showed good validity (construct, factorial, incremental) and reliability (internal and temporal). Finally, ABE yielded positive associations with prosociality and well-being, and demonstrated to be more than a linear combination of the Big Five factors of personality.
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Recent years have seen an increasing interest in research in positive psychology interventions. There is broad evidence for their effectiveness in increasing well-being and ameliorating depression. Intentional activities that focus on those character strengths, which are most typical for a person (i.e., signature strengths, SS) and encourage their usage in a new way have been identified as highly effective. The current study aims at comparing an intervention aimed at using SS with one on using individual low scoring (or lesser) strengths in a randomized placebo-controlled trial. A total of 375 adults were randomly assigned to one of the two intervention conditions [i.e., using five signature vs. five lesser strengths (LS) in a new way] or a placebo control condition (i.e., early memories). We measured happiness and depressive symptoms at five time points (i.e., pre- and post-test, 1-, 3-, and 6-months follow-ups) and character strengths at pre-test. The main findings are that (1) there were increases in happiness for up to 3 months and decreases in depressive symptoms in the short term in both intervention conditions; (2) participants found working with strengths equally rewarding (enjoyment and benefit) in both conditions; (3) those participants that reported generally higher levels of strengths benefitted more from working on LS rather than SS and those with comparatively lower levels of strengths tended to benefit more from working on SS; and (4) deviations from an average profile derived from a large sample of German-speakers completing the Values-in-Action Inventory of Strengths were associated with greater benefit from the interventions in the SS-condition. We conclude that working on character strengths is effective for increasing happiness and discuss how these interventions could be tailored to the individual for promoting their effectiveness.
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This study presents qualitative findings from a three-week web-based intervention of appreciation of beauty. The intervention consisted of exercises aimed at (i) increasing the awareness of beauty and of how it affects our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, (ii) cultivating an esthetic attitude in front of beauty, and (iii) encouraging participants to expose themselves to beauty. The website included a personal beauty journal, a personal multimedia-based beauty portfolio, a forum to share beauty experiences, and didactic information in audio and video sessions. Most participants reported that the intervention improved some aspects of appreciation of beauty and well-being, and, to a lesser extent, an increased perceptive awakening and self-transcendence.
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Objectives: Various positive psychology interventions have been experimentally tested, but only few studies addressed the effects of such activities in participants aged 50 and above. Method: We tested the impact of four self-administered positive psychology interventions in an online setting (i.e., gratitude visit, three good things, three funny things, and using signature strengths in a new way) on happiness and depressive symptoms in comparison with a placebo control exercise (i.e., early memories). A total of 163 females aged 50–79 tried the assigned interventions or the placebo control exercise for one week and completed measures on happiness and depressive symptoms at five times (pre- and post-test, 1, 3, and 6 months). Results: Three out of the four interventions (i.e., gratitude visit, three good things, and using signature strengths in a new way) increased happiness, whereas two interventions (three funny things and using signature strengths in a new way) led to a reduction of depressive symptoms on at one post-measure. Conclusion: Positive psychology interventions yield similar results for people aged 50 and above as for younger people. The dissemination of such interventions via the Internet offers a valuable opportunity for older age groups as well.
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The current work replicated a landmark study conducted by Seligman and colleagues (2005) that demonstrated the long-term benefits of positive psychology exercises (PPEs). In the original study, two exercises administered over 1 week ("Three Good Things" and "Using your Signature Strengths in a New Way") were found to have long-lasting effects on depression and happiness (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005). These exercises were tested here using the same methodology except for improvements to the control condition, and the addition of a second "positive placebo" to isolate the common factor of accessing positive, self-relevant constructs. This component control design was meant to assess the effect of expectancies for success (expectancy control), as well the cognitive access of positive information about the self (positive placebo). Repeated measures analyses showed that the PPEs led to lasting increases in happiness, as did the positive placebo. The PPEs did not exceed the control condition in producing changes in depression over time. Brief, positive psychology interventions may boost happiness through a common factor involving the activation of positive, self-relevant information rather than through other specific mechanisms. Finally, the effects of PPEs on depression may be more modest than previously assumed.
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This research answers the question whether there are multiple channels through which we connect with beauty and excellence, and thus contributes to the understanding of the structure of appreciation. Two models were examined: the appreciation of beauty and excellence (ABE) model [Haidt, J., & Keltner, D. (2004). Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]. In C. Peterson & M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.). Character strengths and virtues (pp. 537-551). New York, NY: Oxford University Press], and the engagement with beauty model [Diessner, R., Solom, R., Frost, N. K., Parsons, L., & Davidson, J. (2008). Engagement with beauty: Appreciating natural, artistic, and moral beauty. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 142, 303-329]. Study 1 describes the development and initial validation of the ABE Test (ABET), which assesses the types of appreciation included in Haidt and Keltner's (2004) model. In study 2, the ABE subscale of the Values In Action Inventory of Strengths [VIA-IS; Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Assessment of character strengths. In G. P. Koocher, J. C. Norcross, & S. S. Hill III (Eds.), Psychologists' desk reference (Vol. 3, pp. 93-98). New York, NY: Oxford University Press], the Engagement with Beauty Scale (Diessner et al., 2008), and the ABET were included in a structural equation modeling analysis. Results suggested a new model encompassing the two previous ones, and distinguishing between natural beauty, artistic beauty, and non-aesthetic goodness.
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This study aimed to examine the relations between character strengths and dispositional positive emotions (i.e. joy, contentment, pride, love, compassion, amusement, and awe). A sample of 574 German-speaking adults filled in the Dispositional Positive Emotion Scales (DPES; Shiota, Keltner, & John, 2006), and the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson, Park, & Seligman, 2005). The factorial structure of the DPES was examined on item level. Joy and contentment could not be clearly separated; the items of the other five emotions loaded on separate factors. A confirmatory factor analysis assuming two latent factors (self-oriented and object/situation specific) was computed on scale level. Results confirmed the existence of these factors, but also indicated that the seven emotions did not split up into two clearly separable families. Correlations between dispositional positive emotions and character strengths were positive and generally low to moderate; a few theoretically meaningful strengths-emotions pairs yielded coefficients > .40. Finally, the link between five character strengths factors (i.e. emotional strengths, interpersonal strengths, strengths of restraint, intellectual strengths, and theological strengths) and the emotional dispositions was examined. Each of the factors displayed a distinctive "emotional pattern"; emotional strengths evidenced the most numerous and strongest links to emotional dispositions. © 2012 The Authors. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being © 2012 The International Association of Applied Psychology.
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Mitchell, J., Vella-Broderick, D., & Klein, B. (2011). Positive psychology and the internet: A mental health opportunity. e-Journal of Applied Psychology, 6, 30-41
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The impact of nine strengths-based positive interventions on well-being and depression was examined in an Internet-based randomized placebo-controlled study. The aims of the study were to: (1) replicate findings on the effectiveness of the gratitude visit, three good things, and using character strengths interventions; (2) test variants of interventions (noting three good things for 2 weeks; combining the gratitude visit and three good things interventions; and noting three funny things for a week); and (3) test the effectiveness of the counting kindness, gift of time, and another door opens-interventions in an online setting. A total of 622 adults subjected themselves to one of the nine interventions or to a placebo control exercise (early memories) and thereafter estimated their degrees of happiness and depression at five times (pre- and post-test, 1-, 3-, and 6 months follow-up). Eight of the nine interventions increased happiness; depression was decreased in all groups, including the placebo control group. We conclude that happiness can be enhanced through some “strengths-based” interventions. Possible mechanisms for the effectiveness of the interventions are discussed.
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Pedagogical intervention regarding engagement with natural, artistic and moral beauty can lead to an increase in trait hope. In a quasi‐experimental design with college students the intervention group showed significantly higher gain scores on trait hope than did the comparison group; the effect size was moderate. The experimental group also experienced significantly larger increases with engagement with moral beauty; the effect size was large. The discussion section focuses on integrating understanding beauty with moral education pedagogy, using a key element in philosophical definitions of beauty: unity‐in‐diversity. It is hypothesized that such pedagogy will increase engagement with natural, artistic and moral beauty and thus raise trait hope.
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Background The use of positive psychological interventions may be considered as a complementary strategy in mental health promotion and treatment. The present article constitutes a meta-analytical study of the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions for the general public and for individuals with specific psychosocial problems. Methods We conducted a systematic literature search using PubMed, PsychInfo, the Cochrane register, and manual searches. Forty articles, describing 39 studies, totaling 6,139 participants, met the criteria for inclusion. The outcome measures used were subjective well-being, psychological well-being and depression. Positive psychology interventions included self-help interventions, group training and individual therapy. Results The standardized mean difference was 0.34 for subjective well-being, 0.20 for psychological well-being and 0.23 for depression indicating small effects for positive psychology interventions. At follow-up from three to six months, effect sizes are small, but still significant for subjective well-being and psychological well-being, indicating that effects are fairly sustainable. Heterogeneity was rather high, due to the wide diversity of the studies included. Several variables moderated the impact on depression: Interventions were more effective if they were of longer duration, if recruitment was conducted via referral or hospital, if interventions were delivered to people with certain psychosocial problems and on an individual basis, and if the study design was of low quality. Moreover, indications for publication bias were found, and the quality of the studies varied considerably. Conclusions The results of this meta-analysis show that positive psychology interventions can be effective in the enhancement of subjective well-being and psychological well-being, as well as in helping to reduce depressive symptoms. Additional high-quality peer-reviewed studies in diverse (clinical) populations are needed to strengthen the evidence-base for positive psychology interventions.
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This study investigates whether using a selection method based on participant preference increased preference, adherence, or efficacy compared to an unmatched group. Undergraduate students (N = 127) participated in the study over a 4-week period. All participants randomly received, completed, and rated their preference for an initial positive psychology exercise. These data were used to select a second activity: participants in the matched group received a second exercise based on a previously defined matching rule, whereas a comparison group received a second exercise selected randomly from the set of unmatched exercises. Individuals preferred the matched exercise more significantly and although not statistically significant, reported slightly larger boosts in well-being than those who received an unmatched exercise. No significant differences were found between the groups for exercise adherence. Future efforts to construct treatment packages should follow this model of combining individually validated components using empirical data.
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The effectiveness of two online exercises intended to help individuals experience (1) self-compassion (n = 63) and (2) optimism (n = 55) were compared to a control intervention where participants wrote about an early memory (n = 70). A battery of tests was completed at 1 week following the exercise period, and at 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-ups. Both active interventions resulted in significant increases in happiness observable at 6 months and significant decreases in depression sustained up to 3 months. The interventions were examined in relationship to dependency and self-criticism, both related to vulnerability to depression. Individuals high in self-criticism became happier at 1 week and at 1 month in the optimism condition in the repeated measures analysis. A sensitivity test using multi-level modeling failed to replicate this effect. More mature levels of dependence (connectedness) were related to improvements in mood up to 6 months in the self-compassion condition. This study suggests that different personality orientations may show greater gains from particular types of positive psychology interventions.
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This study examined the effects of positive interventions and orientations to happiness on well-being. Participants were 218 self-selected adults randomly assigned to one of four positive interventions (pleasure, engagement, meaning or a combination), or daily events or no intervention control groups. Participants completed the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form and Orientations to Happiness Questionnaire. Analysis of variance results supported the hypothesis that well-being would significantly increase for participants in all intervention groups with those in the meaning, engagement, pleasure and combination groups showing larger increases than those in the control groups. Contrary to expectations, the control group also showed an increase in well-being. The prediction that participants’ dominant orientation to happiness would influence the success of the positive interventions in increasing well-being was supported at post-intervention but not at follow-up. Findings support the effectiveness of positive interventions in increasing well-being and underscore the importance of including individual difference factors such as Orientations to Happiness.
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The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson, Park, & Seligman, 2005a) is an English-language self-report questionnaire that measures 24 widely-valued character strengths. The present paper describes the creation and adaptation of the German version of the VIA-IS and its peer-rating form using a sample of 1,674 adults. The 24 subscales had high reliability (median α = .77; median corrected item-total correlations = .45) and high stability across 9 months (median test-retest correlation = .73). The VIA-IS peer form also had high reliability (median α = .81). Self- and peer-ratings of strengths converged as expected (median correlation = .40), and on average ordered the strengths in the same way, correlating .88 across the 24 strengths. There were low to modest correlations of the VIA subscales with demographic variables. Neither the VIA-IS nor the VIA-IS Peer was strongly influenced by social desirability. Correlations with three different measures of subjective well-being replicated findings from earlier studies of the original English VIA-IS and supported the validity of the scale. Furthermore, relations to self-reported behavior and contentment with various aspects of life were modest but congruent with the meaning of the scales (e.g., higher endorsement of religion among spiritual participants, less cigarette smoking among participants with higher self-regulation). Overall, the German VIA-IS and VIA-IS Peer demonstrated good psychometric properties and promising validity evidence. These scales can be recommended for the assessment of strengths of character in the German-speaking world. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The happiness that comes from a particular success or change in fortune abates with time. The Hedonic Adaptation Prevention (HAP) model specifies two routes by which the well-being gains derived from a positive life change are eroded--the first involving bottom-up processes (i.e., declining positive emotions generated by the positive change) and the second involving top-down processes (i.e., increased aspirations for even more positivity). The model also specifies two moderators that can forestall these processes--continued appreciation of the original life change and continued variety in change-related experiences. The authors formally tested the predictions of the HAP model in a 3-month three-wave longitudinal study of 481 students. Temporal path analyses and moderated regression analyses provided good support for the model. Implications for the stability of well-being, the feasibility of "the pursuit of happiness," and the appeal of overconsumption are discussed.
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Why are certain character strengths more associated with life satisfaction than others? A sample of U.S. adults (N = 12,439) completed on-line surveys in English measuring character strengths, orientations to happiness (engagement, pleasure, and meaning), and life satisfaction, and a sample of Swiss adults (N = 445) completed paper-and-pencil versions of the same surveys in German. In both samples, the character strengths most highly linked to life satisfaction included love, hope, curiosity, and zest. Gratitude was among the most robust predictors of life satisfaction in the U.S. sample, whereas perseverance was among the most robust predictors in the Swiss sample. In both samples, the strengths of character most associated with life satisfaction were associated with orientations to pleasure, to engagement, and to meaning, implying that the most fulfilling character strengths are those that make possible a full life.
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We propose that aesthetic pleasure is a function of the perceiver's processing dynamics: The more fluently perceivers can process an object, the more positive their aesthetic response. We review variables known to influence aesthetic judgments, such as figural goodness, figure-ground contrast, stimulus repetition, symmetry, and prototypicality, and trace their effects to changes in processing fluency. Other variables that influence processing fluency, like visual or semantic priming, similarly increase judgments of aesthetic pleasure. Our proposal provides an integrative framework for the study of aesthetic pleasure and sheds light on the interplay between early preferences versus cultural influences on taste, preferences for both prototypical and abstracted forms, and the relation between beauty and truth. In contrast to theories that trace aesthetic pleasure to objective stimulus features per se, we propose that beauty is grounded in the processing experiences of the perceiver, which are in part a function of stimulus properties.
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Positive psychology has flourished in the last 5 years. The authors review recent developments in the field, including books, meetings, courses, and conferences. They also discuss the newly created classification of character strengths and virtues, a positive complement to the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (e. g., American Psychiatric Association, 1994), and present some cross-cultural findings that suggest a surprising ubiquity of strengths and virtues. Finally, the authors focus on psychological interventions that increase individual happiness. In a 6-group, random-assignment, placebo-controlled Internet study, the authors tested 5 purported happiness interventions and 1 plausible control exercise. They found that 3 of the interventions lastingly increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms. Positive interventions can supplement traditional interventions that relieve suffering and may someday be the practical legacy of positive psychology.
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The Engagement With Beauty Scale (EBS), designed from the aesthetics of I. Kant (1790/1987), G. W. F. Hegel (ca. 1835/1993), and T. Aquinas (ca. 1260/1947) and the psychological work of J. Haidt (J. Haidt & D. Keltner, 2004), measures engagement with natural, artistic, and moral beauty. In Studies 1 and 2, the authors describe scale construction, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, internal consistency, and temporal stability. In Studies 1 and 2, the authors also establish concurrent validity with the Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence subscale of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (C. Peterson & M. E. P. Seligman, 2004), the Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Test (P. C. Watkins, K. Woodward, T. Stone, & R. L. Kolts, 2003), and the Spiritual Transcendence Scale (R. L. Piedmont, 2004). In Study 3, the authors used the EBS Artistic Beauty subscale to differentiate students engaged in the arts from those who were not.
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While correlational evidence exists that humor is positively associated with well-being, only few studies addressed causality. We tested the effects of five humor-based activities on happiness and depression in a placebo-controlled, self-administered online positive psychology intervention study (N = 632 adults). All of the five one-week interventions enhanced happiness, three for up to six months (i.e. three funny things, applying humor, and counting funny things), whereas there were only short-term effects on depression (all were effective directly after the intervention). Additionally, we tested the moderating role of indicators of a person × intervention-fit and identified early changes in well-being and preference (liking of the intervention) as the most potent indicators for changes six months after the intervention. Overall, we were able to replicate existing work, but also extend knowledge in the field by testing newly developed interventions for the first time. Findings are discussed with respect to the current literature.
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Recent years have seen an increasing interest in research in positive psychology interventions. There is broad evidence for their effectiveness in increasing well-being and ameliorating depression. Intentional activities that focus on those character strengths, which are most typical for a person (i.e., signature strengths, SS) and encourage their usage in a new way have been identified as highly effective. The current study aims at comparing an intervention aimed at using SS with one on using individual low scoring (or lesser) strengths in a randomized placebo-controlled trial. A total of 375 adults were randomly assigned to one of the two intervention conditions [i.e., using five signature vs. five lesser strengths (LS) in a new way] or a placebo control condition (i.e., early memories). We measured happiness and depressive symptoms at five time points (i.e., pre- and post-test, 1-, 3-, and 6-months follow-ups) and character strengths at pre-test. The main findings are that (1) there were increases in happiness for up to 3 months and decreases in depressive symptoms in the short term in both intervention conditions; (2) participants found working with strengths equally rewarding (enjoyment and benefit) in both conditions; (3) those participants that reported generally higher levels of strengths benefitted more from working on LS rather than SS and those with comparatively lower levels of strengths tended to benefit more from working on SS; and (4) deviations from an average profile derived from a large sample of German-speakers completing the Values-in-Action Inventory of Strengths were associated with greater benefit from the interventions in the SS-condition. We conclude that working on character strengths is effective for increasing happiness and discuss how these interventions could be tailored to the individual for promoting their effectiveness.
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In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human strength central to the study of human flourishing.
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In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human strength central to the study of human flourishing.
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Background: Robust evidence exists that positive psychology interventions are effective in enhancing well-being and ameliorating depression. Comparatively little is known about the conditions under which they work best. Models describing characteristics that impact the effectiveness of positive interventions typically contain features of the person, of the activity, and the fit between the two. This study focuses on indicators of the person × intervention fit in predicting happiness and depressive symptoms 3.5 years after completion of the intervention. Methods: A sample of 165 women completed measures for happiness and depressive symptoms before and about 3.5 years after completion of a positive intervention (random assignment to one out of nine interventions, which were aggregated for the analyses). Four fit indicators were assessed: Preference; continued practice; effort; and early reactivity. Results: Three out of four person × intervention fit indicators were positively related to happiness or negatively related to depression when controlled for the pretest scores. Together, they explained 6 per cent of the variance in happiness, and 10 per cent of the variance of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Most tested indicators of a person × intervention fit are robust predictors of happiness and depressive symptoms-even after 3.5 years. They might serve for an early estimation of the effectiveness of a positive intervention. © 2014 The International Association of Applied Psychology.
Article
The study compares the impact of character strengths-based positive interventions in a sample of 178 adults. An experimental group that trained strengths of the Values-in-Action classification that typically correlate highly with life satisfaction (curiosity, gratitude, hope, humor, and zest) was compared in its gain in life satisfaction with a group that trained strengths that usually demonstrate low correlations with life satisfaction (appreciation of beauty and excellence, creativity, kindness, love of learning, and perspective) and a wait-list control group. If pre and post measures in life satisfaction were compared, the group with the strengths most correlated with life satisfaction improved significantly (statistically) in their satisfaction in comparison to a control group. This could be interpreted as support for the idea that primarily those strengths that correlate highly with life satisfaction should be addressed in strengths-based interventions. When asked for subjective ratings of well-being after the interventions concluded, participants in both intervention groups indicated gains above that of a wait-listed control group. Further analyses underscore the special role of self-regulation in facilitating success in the interventions. Overall, the data underline the potential of strength-based interventions for improving human well-being.
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In this paper we present a prototype approach to awe. We suggest that two appraisals are central and are present in all clear cases of awe: perceived vastness, and a need for accommodation, defined as an inability to assimilate an experience into current mental structures. Five additional appraisals account for variation in the hedonic tone of awe experiences: threat, beauty, exceptional ability, virtue, and the supernatural. We derive this perspective from a review of what has been written about awe in religion, philosophy, sociology, and psychology, and then we apply this perspective to an analysis of awe and related states such as admiration, elevation, and the epiphanic experience.
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The CES-D scale is a short self-report scale designed to measure depressive symptomatology in the general population. The items of the scale are symptoms associated with depression which have been used in previously validated longer scales. The new scale was tested in household interview surveys and in psychiatric settings. It was found to have very high internal consistency and adequate test- retest repeatability. Validity was established by pat terns of correlations with other self-report measures, by correlations with clinical ratings of depression, and by relationships with other variables which support its construct validity. Reliability, validity, and factor structure were similar across a wide variety of demographic characteristics in the general population samples tested. The scale should be a useful tool for epidemiologic studies of de pression.
Article
Includes 14 papers which review and present new findings on reactions to art and the psychological processes which operate in aesthetic appreciation. Topics include verbal and exploratory responses to visual and auditory patterns varying in uncertainty level; the measurement of novelty, complexity, and interestingness; hedonic tone and reward value of exposure to paintings; and correlates of humor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
aesthetics / referring to the study of how stimuli defined as being artistic or beautiful induce disinterested pleasure need for a paradigm change in psychological aesthetics / Berlyne's psychobiological theory / the Wundt curve anomaly / the collative anomaly / hedonic contrast anomaly / additive arousal anomaly / the isohedonic anomaly / possible redundancy of the arousal system / confounding of psychophysical, ecological, and collative variables a cognitive model / structural cognitive aesthetics / literature / music / visual arts / cross-media similarities cognitive hedonics / simultaneous effects / sequential effects (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The pursuit of happiness is an important goal for many people. However, surprisingly little scientific research has focused on the question of how happiness can be increased and then sustained, probably because of pessimism engendered by the concepts of genetic determinism and hedonic adaptation. Nevertheless, emerging sources of optimism exist regarding the possibility of permanent increases in happiness. Drawing on the past well-being literature, the authors propose that a person's chronic happiness level is governed by 3 major factors: a genetically determined set point for happiness, happiness-relevant circumstantial factors, and happiness-relevant activities and practices. The authors then consider adaptation and dynamic processes to show why the activity category offers the best opportunities for sustainably increasing happiness. Finally, existing research is discussed in support of the model, including 2 preliminary happiness-increasing interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Although theorists have proposed the existence of multiple distinct varieties of positive emotion, dispositional positive affect is typically treated as a unidimensional variable in personality research. We present data elaborating conceptual and empirical differences among seven positive emotion dispositions in their relationships with two core personality constructs, the ''Big Five'' and adult attachment style. We found that the positive emotion dispositions were differentially associated with self-and peer-rated Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, and Neuroticism. We also found that different adult attachment styles were associated with different kinds of emotional rewards. Findings support the theoretical utility of differentiating among several dispositional positive emotion constructs in personality research.
Article
Do positive psychology interventions-that is, treatment methods or intentional activities aimed at cultivating positive feelings, positive behaviors, or positive cognitions-enhance well-being and ameliorate depressive symptoms? A meta-analysis of 51 such interventions with 4,266 individuals was conducted to address this question and to provide practical guidance to clinicians. The results revealed that positive psychology interventions do indeed significantly enhance well-being (mean r=.29) and decrease depressive symptoms (mean r=.31). In addition, several factors were found to impact the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions, including the depression status, self-selection, and age of participants, as well as the format and duration of the interventions. Accordingly, clinicians should be encouraged to incorporate positive psychology techniques into their clinical work, particularly for treating clients who are depressed, relatively older, or highly motivated to improve. Our findings also suggest that clinicians would do well to deliver positive psychology interventions as individual (versus group) therapy and for relatively longer periods of time.
Article
Four separate metaanalyses of factor analyses were conducted for the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). The total number of participants (N) and studies (k) included in each of the metaanalyses were the following: BDI (N = 13,643, k = 33), CES-D (N = 22,340, k = 28), HRSD (N = 2,606, k = 17), and SDS (N = 12,621, k = 13). Metaanalysis results suggest that the specific depression symptom factors within each test appear to be relatively robust and well established and match fairly closely previously hypothesized factor structures. A general Depression Severity factor and a small Somatic Symptoms factor are found in all four tests and two tests had a small Positive Affect factor. There were fewer common specific depression symptom factors across tests than expected.
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Appreciation of beauty and excellence
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Haidt, J., & Keltner, D. (2004). Appreciation of beauty and excellence [Awe, Wonder, Elevation].
Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: Is beauty in the perceiver's processing experience? Personality and Social Psychology Review
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Toward a better understanding of what makes positive psychology interventions work: Predicting happiness and depression from the person × intervention fit in a follow-up after 3.5 years Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
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Allgemeine Depresssionskala (ADS)
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The foundation of aesthetics
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Neperud (Eds.), The foundation of aesthetics, art and art education (pp. 7–42). New York, NY: Praeger.
Appreciation of beauty and excellence [Awe, Wonder, Elevation]
  • Haidt
The challenge of staying happier: Testing the hedonic adaptation prevention model
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