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The role of specific positive emotions in enhancing flourishing : a randomized controlled trial

Vogelsang, K. (2019) The role of specific positive emotions in enhancing flourishing : a randomized controlled trial.

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Abstract:A lot of research revealed positive outcomes on resilience and well-being of enhancing positive emotions based on the Broaden- and Build Theory. Yet, little is known about the role of specific positive emotions in enhancing flourishing. This study examined the efficacy of nine positive emotions on enhancing flourishing utilizing a six-week gratitude intervention. 169 participants (89.9% female; Mean age = 48.67; SD = 9.42) were randomly assigned to the gratitude intervention or a waitlist control condition. A Chi-square test showed that the gratitude intervention led to significantly more flourishers compared to the waitlist control group at post-test (!2 (1) = 6.149, p = 0.013). Results of ANCOVA’s showed that participants in the intervention condition experienced the specific positive emotions to a significantly greater extent at post-test compared to waitlist, except for feeling calm, for which a marginally significant effect was found. Multiple mediation analyses revealed that only increased levels of feeling grateful during the intervention were a significant mediator in the relationship between the gratitude intervention and flourishing at post-test, indicating that people in the gratitude intervention who felt more grateful during the intervention, were found to flourish at post-test compared to waitlist. It is recommended that future research in the field of PPI’s tries to recruit more heterogeneous samples regarding educational level and gender to increase generalizability of findings. This study implicates the beneficial effects of gratitude interventions on specific positive emotions as well as on flourishing, indicating that practicing gratitude is not only beneficial for feeling well, but also for leading a meaningful life. The 6- week gratitude intervention might be a promising self-help intervention, in order to promote flourishing mental health and to prevent mental diseases in turn.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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