Positive potentiation effects of positive emotions in a daily setting: the role of positive mental health

Coulibaly, D.Z. (2016) Positive potentiation effects of positive emotions in a daily setting: the role of positive mental health.

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Abstract:Background: The broaden-and-build theory posits that experience of positive emotions triggers expansive mindsets which eventually lead to building of psychological, physical and social resources and a high level positive mental health (PMH). Research suggest that over time, these broadening and building characteristics can increase reciprocally, leading to an upward spiral of positive emotions. However, analogous to the rather salient nature of emotions, upward spirals might as well generate in short time periods of a daily setting. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the relationship between the repeated experience of positive emotions, positive mental health and performance in divergent thinking tasks. Method: 106 Dutch and German respondents were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control condition. The 30-minute long online study consisted of a pre-measurement of the mDES and MHC-SF and a post-measurement of the mDES. After pre-measurement participants completed four tasks of the Guilford Alternative Uses Test on divergent thinking. Between tasks, specific emotional states were induced in participants. Herefore, participants were shown either positive or neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), depending on allocation to the experimental or control group, respectively. Results: In both conditions, high-arousal positive emotions have increased- and low-arousal positive emotions decreased between measurements. No significant relationship was found for experience of positive emotions and performance on the divergent thinking tasks. Individuals with high PMH reported significantly more positive emotions than participants with low PMH. However, no interaction between PMH and increase in positive emotion or PMH and performance on the divergent thinking task was found. Discussion: Results did not suggest that experience of positive emotions significantly increased divergent thinking ability or chances to generation of an upward spiral over a brief course of time. Except for differences in the experience of positive emotions, positive mental health was unrelated to divergent thinking or increase in positive emotions. The unexpected changes in positive emotions highlight the necessity for future research to differentiate between individual positive emotions and their function in task performance.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70515
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