Fostering the X-Factor in Pakistan’s university students

  • Zane Asher GreenEmail author


Possessing the X-Factor makes one more interesting, valuable, and unique than the rest. Based on a sample of 427 bachelor’s students, results of Study 1 supported the psychometric integrity of an X-Factor scale derived from various theoretical perspectives. Study 2 was a positive psychology strengths intervention, which entailed developing the X-Factor in 200 bachelor’s students (50 students randomly allocated to four groups; one untreated control and three experimental groups). The three interventions (individual, pair, and small group work) succeeded in developing the X-Factor in bachelor’s students, as indicated by the significant interaction effects of group and time of measurement (Pretest-Posttest-Follow-up test) on scores related to the X-Factor and its dimensions/subscales (self-insight, personal magnetism, self-determination, self-discipline, catalytic learning ability, and optimism). To examine the relative difference in the effect of the interventions, three sets of analysis of effect sizes were undertaken. The first set of analysis revealed that individual work was comparatively more suitable for enhancing the total X-Factor as well as self-determination, self-discipline, and optimism in university students. The second showed that pair work was comparatively more appropriate for improving self-insight and catalytic learning capability, whereas, the third demonstrated that small group work was more fitting for developing personal magnetism. Results have potential implications for education administrators, faculty members, student affairs practitioners, and positive psychology practitioners/facilitators. Researchers may use the valid and reliable scale in various innovative contexts to evaluate the potential of the X-Factor.


X-Factor scale Dimensions of the X-Factor Positive psychology training intervention Strengths intervention Individual, pair, and small group work activities 



I am grateful to all the participants and the cooperation extended by their respective universities. The study would not have been possible without the support of Dr. Abdul Basit. I am also grateful to Farooq Ahmed, Mansoor Khan, Shahzaib Abbasi, Inayat Ullah, Saqib Maqbool, Nourez Aman Wattoo, Ali Haider, Aliya Rubab, and Mohammad Nawaz Hashemi for their generous help during Study 1. My special thanks to Munazza Mah Jabeen, Huma Malik, Rubina Kishwar, Mehrab Ali Qureshi, and Adeel Ahmed for their dedicated support during the different phases of the research study.

This manuscript has not been published elsewhere and that it has not been submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the studies.

Conflict of Interest

The author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business AdministrationPreston University, Islamabad CampusIslamabadPakistan

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