Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 1241–1259 | Cite as

Strength-Based Positive Interventions: Further Evidence for Their Potential in Enhancing Well-Being and Alleviating Depression

  • Fabian Gander
  • René T. Proyer
  • Willibald Ruch
  • Tobias Wyss
Research Paper

Abstract

The impact of nine strengths-based positive interventions on well-being and depression was examined in an Internet-based randomized placebo-controlled study. The aims of the study were to: (1) replicate findings on the effectiveness of the gratitude visit, three good things, and using character strengths interventions; (2) test variants of interventions (noting three good things for 2 weeks; combining the gratitude visit and three good things interventions; and noting three funny things for a week); and (3) test the effectiveness of the counting kindness, gift of time, and another door opens-interventions in an online setting. A total of 622 adults subjected themselves to one of the nine interventions or to a placebo control exercise (early memories) and thereafter estimated their degrees of happiness and depression at five times (pre- and post-test, 1-, 3-,

and 6 months follow-up). Eight of the nine interventions increased happiness; depression was decreased in all groups, including the placebo control group. We conclude that happiness can be enhanced through some “strengths-based” interventions. Possible mechanisms for the effectiveness of the interventions are discussed.

Keywords

Positive psychology Well-being Positive interventions Character strengths 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The preparation of the manuscript has been facilitated by a research grant of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF; No. 132512), and the Suzanne and Hans Biäsch Foundation for Research in Applied Psychology. The authors wish to thank Katharina Klohe and Frank A. Rodden for proofreading the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabian Gander
    • 1
  • René T. Proyer
    • 1
  • Willibald Ruch
    • 1
  • Tobias Wyss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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