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Can You Change How You View Life? – A Randomized Controlled Trial on The Changeability of Life Mindsets

Boroch, M.G. (2019) Can You Change How You View Life? – A Randomized Controlled Trial on The Changeability of Life Mindsets.

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Abstract:Background: To date, there is little evidence on whether a life mindset can be changed. The current study was therefore set out to examine whether a life mindset can be changed to be more optimistic (‘life is long and easy’) and whether a changed mindset also indicates a change in the well-being of a person. Further, it was examined whether the age of a person influences the likelihood that they change their life mindset. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with a total of 102 participants (Mage = 33.72, 52.9% female) which were randomly assigned to either the life mindset intervention (n= 51) or the control group (n= 51). The group receiving the life mindset intervention was provided with a text on the benefits of the ‘life is long and easy’ mindset, while the control group received a text on personality. Participants further completed online self-reporting questionnaires at baseline and directly after the intervention. Results: Analyses revealed that reading the intervention text did not lead to a higher rate of beneficial mindset changes than reading the control text [χ2(3) = 4.39, p=0.223]. Further, a mediation analysis revealed that a change in mental well-being was not mediated by a change in the life mindset (indirect effect= -0.01, BC 95% CI = -0.03 to 0.01). No moderation effect of age on change of mindset was found. However, a significant difference in mindsets between age groups was found with younger people endorsing the short-hard life philosophy, while older people endorsed the short-easy life mindset [baseline: χ2(3) = 14.75, p=0.002; posttest: χ2(3) = 15.72, p=0.001]. Limitations: The manipulation text was not tested before with qualitative research and further, no long-term effects of the intervention were examined. Conclusion: As, to my knowledge, the current study is one of the first to examine the changeability of life mindsets and their influence on mental well-being, as well as age-related differences, further research is needed to explain the results of the current study and to explain possibly underlying constructs.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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