Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 319–339 | Cite as

Effectiveness of Two Cognitive Interventions Promoting Happiness with Video-Based Online Instructions

  • Leonie MantheyEmail author
  • Viktor Vehreschild
  • Karl-Heinz Renner
Research Paper


A 3-month experimental online study examined the short-term and 1 month follow-up effects of regularly practicing one of two cognitive interventions on subjective well-being. Participants were 435 self-selected adults (366 female, 69 male, aged 18–63) randomly assigned to one of three conditions: writing about best possible selves in the future (n = 135), making gratitude lists (n = 150) or writing to-do-lists as a control condition (n = 150). The study was fully self-administered and exercise instructions were given in online videos. Repeated-measures MANOVA revealed that both interventions significantly increased subjective well-being in comparison to the control condition. Effect sizes for the different components of subjective well-being ranged from r = .09–.13 (η2 = .01–.02) for the 2 months intervention period. These effects were maintained until the 1-month follow-up. Enjoyment and interest regarding the exercise as indicators of perceived person-intervention-fit moderated the effect; participants of the happiness interventions who perceived a better fit showed greater increases in subjective well-being. These findings confirm previous research on these interventions and encourage further studies on online interventions, especially regarding possibilities to increase participants’ motivation and reduce dropout attrition.


Subjective wellbeing Happiness Gratitude Best possible selves Cognitive intervention Internet-based study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonie Manthey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Viktor Vehreschild
    • 1
  • Karl-Heinz Renner
    • 2
  1. 1.FernUniversität in HagenHagenGermany
  2. 2.Universität der Bundeswehr MünchenMunichGermany

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