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The power of strength-oriented feedback enlightened by self-determination theory: a positive technology-based intervention

Abstract

Strength interventions at work have been shown to influence workers’ optimal functioning and well-being. To increase the accessibility of these interventions in the workplace, relying on digital platforms would be a realistic idea. Akin to the Character Strengths 360-degree feedback activity, a smartphone (and computer) application allows users to send or receive anonymous strength-oriented descriptive feedback to/from colleagues, hence disseminating the identification and use of each other’s signature strengths associated with their enacted behaviors. Drawing on Self-Determination Theory, an intervention was developed to investigate if the use of the online platform may impact psychological well-being, by increasing psychological need satisfaction and autonomous motivation and decreasing need frustration and controlled motivation. A sample of full-time workers (n = 112) experienced the application, while participants who did not use the platform were assigned to the a posteriori control condition (n = 54). Data were collected before and after the 4-weeks intervention. Results showed (1) that participants from the experimental group reported significantly higher levels of strength use, need satisfaction, autonomous motivation, and psychological well-being compared to the a posteriori control group, and (2) that increases in the levels of need satisfaction reported by participants from the experimental group were related to increases in autonomous motivation, which in turn resulted in higher levels of well-being. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Data Availability Statement

The ethical approval obtained to conduct this study forbids any type of data sharing.

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Funding

This work was financially supported by a doctoral grant of the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Société et culture (FRQSC) to the first author.

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Correspondence to Marc-Antoine Gradito Dubord.

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Conflict of Interest

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The authors received no financial compensation for conducting this study. Participation in the study was completely free.

Ethical Declaration

The ethical committee of the Université du Québec à Montréal (CERPE UQAM)has approved the present research (approval number: 4377). All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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

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Gradito Dubord, MA., Forest, J., Balčiūnaitė, L.M. et al. The power of strength-oriented feedback enlightened by self-determination theory: a positive technology-based intervention. J Happiness Stud 23, 2827–2848 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-022-00524-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-022-00524-3

Keywords

  • Strength-oriented feedback
  • Strength interventions
  • Positive technology
  • Self-determination theory
  • Psychological well-being