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Happy Days: Positive Psychology interventions effects on affect in an N-of-1 trial


Woodworth, RJ and O'Brien-Malone, A and Diamond, MR and Schuez, B, Happy Days: Positive Psychology interventions effects on affect in an N-of-1 trial, International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 16, (1) pp. 21-29. ISSN 1697-2600 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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© 2015 Asociación Espanola de Psicología Conductual. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ijchp.2015.07.006


Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) have been suggested as self-help tools to increase subjective well-being and happiness. However, most previous studies have been based on between-group comparisons, which are not informative with regard to trajectories of individual change over time. This study is a first attempt at examining whether completing frequently used PPIs - ‘Three Good Things in Life’, ‘Using Signature Strengths in a New Way’ and ‘Gratitude Visit’ - results in consistent changes in affect at the level of the individual. In an N-of-1-study design, participants were randomly allocated to one of six counterbalanced patterns of the PPIs over a 9–10 week period. The affective aspect of subjective well-being was measured daily using the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). Hierarchical linear modelling showed significant changes in PANAS scores, but no statistically significant differential impact on positive affect of the PPIs, apart from a marginally significant time × intervention interaction for ‘Using Signature Strengths in a New Way’. This suggests that frequently used PPIs do not result in changes in affect over time. This finding questions recommending the use of PPIs as self-help tools.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:subjective well-being, positive affect, positive psychology, n-of-1, multilevel modeling, Cuasi-experimental study
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Woodworth, RJ (Miss Rosalind Woodworth)
UTAS Author:O'Brien-Malone, A (Dr Angela O'Brien-Malone)
UTAS Author:Diamond, MR (Dr Mark Diamond)
UTAS Author:Schuez, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
ID Code:102896
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-09-10
Last Modified:2018-03-21
Downloads:231 View Download Statistics

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