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The effects of being kind : a review and meta-analysis of the acts of kindness intervention

Tönis, K.J.M. (2017) The effects of being kind : a review and meta-analysis of the acts of kindness intervention.

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Abstract:A growing number of studies focuses on the acts of kindness intervention, an intervention in which participants perform acts of kindness for others, such as helping a fellow student with an assignment or helping with cooking. The current study aims to examine the effectiveness of the classical acts of kindness intervention on well-being and distress and to test possible moderators. Five electronic databases were searched, references were cross-checked, websites of the top three authors and unpublished trials were searched. Ten papers met the inclusion criteria and tested the effectiveness of the acts of kindness intervention on adults. Included outcome measures were hedonic well-being, eudaimonic well-being and distress components. The acts of kindness intervention had a significant effect on eudaimonic well-being (g=0.18) and hedonic well-being (g=0.17) in comparison to placebo control conditions post-intervention. These results were not robust, perhaps due to missing studies. One significant moderator was found for eudaimonic well-being, namely duration. Results showed that acts of kindness can enhance eudaimonic and hedonic well-being, although results have to be interpreted with caution due to low amounts of included studies. High quality studies published in peer-reviewed journals are needed to test which intervention characteristics are effective for different types of samples.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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