Positive Interventions: Happiness Attained from Acts of Kindness and Gratitude

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Positive interventions have previously been shown to have a positive effect on those involved in these types of activities. This investigation hypothesized that performing kind acts and noting gratitude would have a positive effect on happiness as measured by self-esteem. Further, it was predicted that differences would be observed based on several factors: experimental condition, gender, and religious commitment. Participants (N=30) from a large, northeastern, urban university participated in an experiment in which positive interventions were performed daily for one week. Pre-test and post-test measures of happiness were obtained. The findings confirmed an increase in happiness following both interventions. However, the differences…show more content…
Therefore, the current research aims to increase the knowledge base about the most efficient methods to increase happiness for a population that can substantially benefit from the information.
Previous work has shown that performing positive activities, such as acts of kindness and the noting of gratitude, can positively affect well-being. Buchanan and Bardi (2010) found support for increases in life satisfaction and well-being from performing acts of kindness. Emmons and McCollough (2003) identified increases in positive affect and decreases in negative affect through gratitude listing. However, clear evidence in support of greater beneficence in one of these methods over the other does not exist. In aiming to obtain this “crucial” evidence, the current study compares the changes in happiness related to these two interventions.
Furthermore, evidence has been published that individual differences in those participating in interventions have an effect on the outcomes obtained. Froh, Yurkewicz, and Kashdan (2009) obtained proof that adolescent males obtained more social benefit from gratitude than adolescent females. The current study explores this relationship in older participants and extends the inquiry to see if differences exist due to gender in the outcomes obtained from acts of kindness, as well.
The third aspect the current study investigates is the role of religion in happiness gains. Certain

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