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Personality Fit and Positive Interventions: Extraverted and Introverted Individuals Benefit from Different Happiness Increasing Strategies

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2012.312A172    6,133 Downloads   10,680 Views   Citations


The current investigation examined if introverts and extraverts benefit differentially from specific positive psychology interventions. Across two studies participants completed various interventions: three good things, gratitude visit, savoring, signature strength, and active-constructive responding. In study 1, each participant (N = 150) completed 1 of the 5 interventions over a one-week period. All 5 interventions led to increases in happiness, t(144) = 3.80, p < .001, and reductions in depressive symptoms t(144) = 5.20, p <.001. Neither exercise was more beneficial overall. The results of an ANCOVA (with baseline levels as a covariate) found that the interaction term for extraversion and condition was at a trend level F(4, 139) = 2.36, p = .056 and planned contrast analyses supported a pattern of person-activity fit. Extraverts benefited more from the gratitude visit and savoring exercises, whereas introverts benefited more from the active-constructive responding, signature strength, and three good things exercises. In study 2, participants (N = 85) were assigned to one of three groups: the gratitude visit performed either in-person, over the phone, or via mail. Participants completed each exercise over a one-week period. No differential efficacy was found for the 3 interventions, F(1, 74) = .056, p = .95. Results from Study 1 were replicated as the gratitude visit in person was more beneficial for extraverts than introverts, although these results were not significant, t(25) = 1.01, p = .32. Pooling the participants who completed the gratitude visit in person across the two studies into a single statistical test showed that the gratitude visit was more beneficial for extraverts than introverts t(55) = 2.03, p = .04, d = .55. These studies provide support for the notion that introverts and extroverts may benefit from pursuing different strategies to promote happiness.

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Schueller, S. (2012). Personality Fit and Positive Interventions: Extraverted and Introverted Individuals Benefit from Different Happiness Increasing Strategies. Psychology, 3, 1166-1173. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.312A172.


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