Positive Interventions: Empirical studies on enhancing satisfaction with life

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Current research project
Title / Titel Positive Interventions: Empirical studies on enhancing satisfaction with life
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Research on positive psychology gains more and more interest in the scientific community. A special focus lies on interventions from this line of research as they are supposed to enhance well-being and alleviate depression among participants. A recent meta-analysis (Sin, & Lyubomirsky, 2009) underlines the effectiveness of such interventions. Some authors favor an approach that is based on character strengths (e.g., based on Peterson & Seligman’s classification, 2004). Some of these strengths (e.g., gratitude) were shown to be effective in boosting well-being. Additionally, identifying ones signature strengths and devoting more time to use them in ones everyday life was shown to be effective in increasing life-satisfaction and reducing depression (Seligman et al., 2005). The main aim of this project is testing several interventions from positive psychology (e.g., gratitude, three good things, signature strengths, humor, zest, etc.) and to compare their effectiveness in increasing well-being and alleviating depression. Additionally, we want to further examine relations to character strengths (e.g., do grateful people benefit more from gratitude interventions?) and other personality variables (e.g., do extraverts benefit more?). In a further study, we want to collect data with two yet understudied groups: adolescents and elderly people. There, we also want to add peer-ratings for a better understanding of the effects of the interventions. It is expected that the proposed studies have an impact on the applied but also on the scientific field. They provide further knowledge about mechanisms in positive psychological functioning but also might hold a key for improving well-being for the participants. It is planned to establish a research site as a follow-up of the project that regularly provides the possibility of regularly doing intervention studies.
Publications / Publikationen Ruch, W. & Proyer, R. T. (2011). Positive Psychologie: Grundlagen, Foschungsthemen und Anwendungen. Report Psychologie, 36, 60-70.
Ruch, W. & Proyer, R. T. (2011). Positive Interventionen: Stärkenorientierte Ansätze. In R. Frank (Hrsg.), Therapieziel Wohlbefinden (S. 83-92). Berlin: Springer.
Ruch, W., Proyer, R. T., Harzer, C, Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2010). Adaptation and Validation of the German Version of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) and the Development of a Peer-Rating Form. Journal of Individual Differences, 31, 138-149.
Ruch, W., Rodden, F. A., & Proyer, R. T. (in press). Humor and other positive interventions in medical and therapeutic settings. In B. Kirkcaldy (Ed.), The Art and Science of Health Care: Psychology and Human Factors for Practitioners. Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe Publishers.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe character strengths, intervention, positive psychology, positive interventions, well-being
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr.(Project Leader)
Prof. Dr.(Project Leader)
Lic.phil.
Lic.phil.
Other links to external web pages http://www.staerkentrainieren.org/, http://www.staerkentraining.ch/, http://www.psychologie.uzh.ch/fachrichtungen/perspsy/trainings/zsp.html
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)

Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jan 2011 to Dec 2013
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