Correlational findings

Study Lyubomirsky et al. (2006): study US 2006

Student participants in a life review exercise and controls, California, USA, 2006
Survey name:
Unnamed study
N = 96
Non Response:
Multiple methods
1. Respondents completed a packet of outcome measures administered during their ntroductory psychology class. From this initial adminidstration, 36 students were randomly selected to serve as a comparison group, and the remaining 60 were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental groups (writing, talking, or thinking). 2. These 3 experiemntal groups were asked to sign up for 3 conscutive days of participation foloowed by an e-mail contact to take place 4 weeks after their 3rd day of initial participation. The experiemental participants were tested individually. First, they were asked to read an information form that briefly described the tasks involved in the study. Then they received a packet of outcome measures.The outcome measures were administered to respondents 2 times during the course of the study: at Time 1 (1st week of their psychology class for the comparisonb group, and on the 1st day of pasticipation for the 3 experimental groups, and at Time 2 (4 weeks after Time 1)via an e-mail message for all groups.


Authors's label
Talking, writing, thinking about negative events
Our Classification
Respondents were asked to list their 3  most traumatic experiences in life on a 1-10 scale, ranging from 1= not upsetting to 10= extremely upsetting. Then they were asked to higlight the most upsetting experience. Next they were asked to complete a set of ratings regarding this worst experience:
a "How recent was this experience?" (ratings from 'within the last 9 months' to 'more than 9 years ago')
b "How significant is this experience in your life?" (ratings from 1= not at all significant to 10=very signififcant)
c "How much time have you spent writing/talking aloud to others/thinking privately  about this experience?" (1=none to 10= a lot)
d "Is this experience resolvable (meaning: do you think the experience can easily be resolved by you, or is it beyond your control)?" Ratings from 1= not easily resolvable to 10= easily resolvable) .

Respondents then experienced 1 of 3 manipulations.:
a The writing group were asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings regarding their traumatic life experience.
b The talking group were asked to talk about their worst life experience into an audiotape recorder.
c The thinking group were asked to think privately about their experience.

Each of the 3 experimental groups were exposed to the experimental conditions 15 minutes each day during 3 days of participation.
After each session the respondents administered the final questionnaire (T1).
4 weeks after their participation (T2), all participants (3 experimental groups + 1 control group) filled out an e-mail questionnaire with the same questions as in T1.

Control: no intervention, but reported happiness on e-mail at T1 and T2

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks A-BW-m-mq-v-5-a DMa = -/0 ns happiness (T2 adjusted for T1)
            Experimental  Controls  Difference
Writing     1,48          1,55      -0,07
Talking     1,29          1,66      -0,37
Thinking    1,50          1,50       0,00

Mean Affect Balance computed by WDH-team from separate values for Positive and Negative Affect reported in the article.

T1: pre exercise
T2: follow-up after 4 weeks
A-BW-m-mq-v-5-a D%sr = -/0 ns Writing                             -0,9 %
Talking                             -4,6 %
Thinking                             0,0 %