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Humor-based online positive psychology interventions: A randomized placebo-controlled long-term trial


Wellenzohn, Sara; Proyer, Rene T; Ruch, Willibald (2016). Humor-based online positive psychology interventions: A randomized placebo-controlled long-term trial. Journal of Positive Psychology, 11(6):584-594.

Abstract

While correlational evidence exists that humor is positively associated with well-being, only few studies addressed causality. We tested the effects of five humor-based activities on happiness and depression in a placebo-controlled, self-administered online positive psychology intervention study (N = 632 adults). All of the five one-week interventions enhanced happiness, three for up to six months (i.e. three funny things, applying humor, and counting funny things), whereas there were only short-term effects on depression (all were effective directly after the intervention). Additionally, we tested the moderating role of indicators of a person × intervention-fit and identified early changes in well-being and preference (liking of the intervention) as the most potent indicators for changes six months after the intervention. Overall, we were able to replicate existing work, but also extend knowledge in the field by testing newly developed interventions for the first time. Findings are discussed with respect to the current literature.

Abstract

While correlational evidence exists that humor is positively associated with well-being, only few studies addressed causality. We tested the effects of five humor-based activities on happiness and depression in a placebo-controlled, self-administered online positive psychology intervention study (N = 632 adults). All of the five one-week interventions enhanced happiness, three for up to six months (i.e. three funny things, applying humor, and counting funny things), whereas there were only short-term effects on depression (all were effective directly after the intervention). Additionally, we tested the moderating role of indicators of a person × intervention-fit and identified early changes in well-being and preference (liking of the intervention) as the most potent indicators for changes six months after the intervention. Overall, we were able to replicate existing work, but also extend knowledge in the field by testing newly developed interventions for the first time. Findings are discussed with respect to the current literature.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPsych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:29 Jan 2016 12:40
Last Modified:16 Oct 2016 06:10
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1743-9760
Additional Information:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in "The Journal of Positive Psychology" on 28.1.2016, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439760.2015.1137624
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2015.1137624

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