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Een gerandomiseerd gecontroleerd onderzoek (RCT) naar de mate van welbevinden bij het uitvoeren van vriendelijke activiteiten voor familie, vrienden of vreemden

Postma, C.M. (2019) Een gerandomiseerd gecontroleerd onderzoek (RCT) naar de mate van welbevinden bij het uitvoeren van vriendelijke activiteiten voor familie, vrienden of vreemden.

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Abstract:Background: Research suggests that, performing acts of kindness leads to an increased level of wellbeing, but it is yet unknown if it matters who is the recipient of this behavior. Therefore, this study examined whether a 4-week intervention was effective in increasing wellbeing and if this effect was larger when acts of kindness were directed towards family and friends instead of strangers. Also, it was examined whether the influence of kindness on mental wellbeing is mediated by positive emotions. Methods: In total, 152 second-year psychology students (72.4 % female, average age M= 21) were randomly assigned to ‘doing acts of kindness for family and friends (n=76) or ‘doing acts of kindness for strangers’ (n= 76). Online questionnaires were completed prior to the study and directly after the 4-week intervention. Results: An independent t-test revealed significant more improvement on wellbeing within the two conditions. However, the results did not reveal that performing prosocial activities for family or friends led to significant more wellbeing than performing prosocial activities for strangers. As an indirect component, experiencing positive emotions during performing prosocial activities, also didn't seem to predict an increased wellbeing. Limitations: There was a high percentage of dropouts (69.8%) and a high percentage of non-adherence (94.7%). The results are difficult to generalize due to the homogeneity of the participants. The participants were mainly young, female psychology students. Conclusion: The current research confirms earlier studies, which demonstrated that acts of kindness lead to an increase in wellbeing. However, it is not confirmed that wellbeing increases more when these acts of kindness are performed towards family and friends instead of strangers. Follow-up research is required to examine to whom acts of kindness should be directed in order to enhance wellbeing most effectively.
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/79358
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