Correlational findings

Study Manthey et al. (2016): study DE 2015

Internet users, 18-63 aged, general public, Germany, 2015
Survey name
Unnamed study
N = 435
Non Response
Questionnaire: Conputer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI)


Authors's Label
Cognitive interventions
Our Classification
Subjects were randomized automatically into one of the three conditions, i.e. best possible selves, gratitude or control condition. Subjects in all three conditions were provided with the same information, i.e. that the goal of the study on hand was to increase happiness and that scientifically established exercises would be used. The groups were not aware of their group status, i.e. if they were in the experimental or in the control group. An email invited them to the first online questionnaire.
                   T1        T2       T3
1a             222        135    104
1b             225        150    102
0                219        150    116
Participants were randomly assigned to
8 weekly exercises, introduced via video instructions:  ‘‘During the next weeks please imagine what your future life will ideally look like.The email you have received contains one specific life domain for this week. Now write down precisely what your life in this domain would be like in 5 years from now.’ Participants received a weekly email including the domain which they would be dealing with in the coming week. The domains were partnership and romantic life, hobbies and personal interests, family, friendship and social relationship, clubs, networks, groups and community involvement, physical and mental health, job and career, free topic.                 
8 weekly exercises, introduced by video instructions: During the next weeks put your focus on the things in your life you are grateful for. Now think of the last week precisely. What happened in your life you are grateful for? Please compile a list and write down five of these things. Please extend your gratitude list by five additional topics each week.
8 weekly exercises: During the next weeks put your focus on the important tasks in your life. Now think of the upcoming week precisely. Which tasks lie ahead of you? Please compile a list and write down five of these things.Please extend your list for five further things each week.

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks A-AB-cw-mq-v-5-h DM = + p < .01                 T1   T2   T3    T2-T1  T3-T1
-BPS            3.6  6.0  5.8   +2.4    +2.2
-Gratitude      4.7  6.6  6.7   +1.9    +2.0
Control         5.7  5.5  5.2   -0.2    -0.5

Best possible self vs controls  +2.6    +2.7
Gratitude vs controls           +2.1    +2.5
A-AB-cw-mq-v-5-h D%sr = + p < .01                                 T2-T1  T3-T1
-BPS                            +5.0%   +4.6%
-Gratitude                      +4.0%   +4.2%
Control                         -0.4%   -1.0%

Best possible self vs controls  +5.4%   +5.6%
Gratitude vs controls           +4.4%   +5.2%

Happiness assessed at
T1: Before intervention
T2: Right after 8 week intervention
T3: Four weeks later

Affect Balance computed by WDH team,
subtracting NA from PA scores. Since both PA
and NA changed significantly in the
experimental groups in comparison with the
control group, the effect on Affect Balance
is also significant.

Stronger effect on PA in participants who
deemed the excersice more suitable to them