Positive Interventions: Empirical studies on enhancing satisfaction with life

Background

One core topic of Positive Psychology is the development and validation of positive interventions; treatment programs or intentional activities that aim at cultivating positive emotions, positive behaviors or positive cognitions and thereby increasing well-being (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009).

This project focuses on the development of and research on such positive interventions based on several Positive Psychology concepts (e.g., playfulness, humor, pleasure, engagement, meaning, relationships, or accomplishment) and examine their effects on well-being.

A broad array of earlier studies has shown that positive interventions are potent means of increasing the well-being and ameliorating negative experiences.

Aims of the project

The current project is a follow-up of a previous project on positive interventions that was conducted from 2011 to 2015 and was also supported by the SNSF . This project aims at examining basic working mechanisms of positive interventions, exploring under what conditions intervention work best, and studying the effects of interventions based on hitherto neglected concepts, such as humor or playfulness.

The interventions are mainly (but not exclusively) addressed at people that are not dissatisfied with their lives but still see some room for improvement in their well-being and would like to work on their strengths.

The current project aims at contributing to basic research (e.g., exploring working mechanisms of interventions) and practical applications (e.g., how should a intervention be designed for maximizing the positive effects on well-being).