Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed for all three hypotheses. Paired-samples t-tests were utilized to compare the mean difference before and after the interventions. Independent samples t-tests were utilized to compare the increases found in the groups based on intervention type and gender. An ANOVA was utilized to compare differences based on the level of religious commitment. The tables referenced in the following sections all appear in Appendix C.
The means, standard deviations, minimums, and maximums for each experimental condition are summarized in Table 1. In addition to providing data for each condition, data for the overall ...view middle of the document...
These differences were not present, F(2) = .433, p = .666.
The current study investigated the gains to happiness as measured by self-esteem as a result of the positive interventions of performing kind acts and noting gratitude in a journal. Three hypotheses were investigated. First, it was predicted that performing kind acts would lead to greater gains in happiness, in accordance with the findings of Lyubomirsky, Dickerhoof, Boehm, and Sheldon (2011). While it was found that happiness increased significantly from the first assessment to the second assessment in both conditions, there was no significant difference found due to the type of intervention completed. Secondly, the results reported by Froh, Yurkewicz, and Kashdan (2009) showed adolescent males showed greater gains in happiness as compared to females. This research proposed the same results. Again, happiness increased in both genders following the interventions; however; no significant difference accountable to gender were revealed. Lastly, religious influences on gains in happiness achieved from positive interventions have been reported in the previous research of Watts, Dutton, and Gulliford (2006) and Krause (2009). The current research expected similar findings, with more religious individuals expected to show greater gains in happiness. Similar results were not obtained, with no significant difference found. All three hypotheses were not supported.
These results may have been obtained due to the limitations of this study, primarily related to the sample utilized. This study was conducted for a class assignment. Part of the assignment included participation in the experiment, so simultaneously the researchers were also the participants. This implies that the participants had complete knowledge of the research questions being investigated, and answers reported on the surveys could have been misreported in an attempt to influence the results. The participants also had complete knowledge about the positive interventions utilized, knowledge which Layous, Nelson, and Lyubomirsky (2013) have previously shown to improve happiness gains. Secondly, there was no way to be certain that any of the interventions were performed as prescribed, as the activities were to be conducted during the week outside of the class, and no procedure was in place to guarantee that interventions were strictly followed. Additionally, there was no way to completely control for all of the outside influences on the subjects. As the study took place over the course of a week, the experiences of each participant may have affected the results obtained. Therefore, the gains in happiness reported may be caused by variables other than those accounted for in this research. Further, the sample consisted entirely of undergraduate students, and not a diverse sample representative of the population. This may have influenced the results obtained, and may prohibit the application of the...