Monday, May 24 at 2:00 p.m.
Room B35, Solomon Labs
Title: Creating a Recommendation Framework for Positive Psychology Exercises: The Netflix Model of Positive Psychology
Treatment research typically examines what works for the average individual. In positive psychology, several empirically-validated exercises have been shown to increase well-being on average. No attempt has been made to establish which of these exercises will be most beneficial for a given individual. In both research and practice, psychologists recognize that the next phase of research is not one of average-level validation, but one that considers person-level variation in response. This dissertation addresses this question by creating and validating a system to recommend specific positive psychology exercises based on past preference.
In Study 1, 792 participants received and rated their preference for up to 6 positive psychology exercises. A factor analysis of preference scores revealed three groupings: active-constructive responding and savoring; blessings and life summary; and gratitude visit and strengths. In Study 2, I used these groupings to create a recommendation framework. 127 participants randomly received and rated their preference for an exercise. Participants in the matched group received a second exercise based on the exercise groupings from Study 1 whereas a comparison group received a randomly determined second exercise. Individuals receiving a matched exercise reported significantly higher preference for the second exercise and tended to report larger boosts in well-being following the second exercise than those who received an exercise randomly.