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Age, well-being and personality : the relationship between age and the effectiveness of a positive psychology intervention and the role of personality

Baumann, T.S. (2014) Age, well-being and personality : the relationship between age and the effectiveness of a positive psychology intervention and the role of personality.

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Abstract:The aim of the present research was to examine the influence of two age groups (adolescents and middle aged/old people) on the effectiveness of a positive psychology intervention. The study further strived to investigate the degree in which the age groups, in addition to the personality, lead to improvements in predicting the effectiveness of the intervention. All participants took part in an online intervention in which they were asked to do the “three good things exercise” every day, for one week. In this exercise, participants are asked to write down three things that went well on that day and why it went well. This intervention was supposed to increase the participants' subjective well-being, which was defined by decreases in negative and increases in positive affect. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) was used to measure the changes in subjective well-being. In order to get to know how the participants score on the five personality traits, extraversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness, the Brief Big Five Inventory (BFI-10) was used. It was expected that the intervention would lead to a greater decrease in negative affect in adolescents compared to an older age group. It was further expected that the positive affect would increase more in old people than in adolescents. Besides the personality, it was assumed that the age group could lead to better predictions of the changes in positive and negative affect. In contrast to these expectations, the results showed that the negative affect decreased as much in the adolescents as in the old people. Whereas the positive affect increased in adolescents, it did not significantly change in the old people. With regard to personality, the results indicated that the addition of the age group as a predicting variable did not lead to improvements in predicting the changes of positive and negative affect. To conclude, the results of the present study indicate that the three good things exercise is more effective in adolescents than in old people. Future research can be conducted in order to examine if other positive psychology interventions are more convenient for older people.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65618
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