Podium Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Examining The Differential Effects Of A Positive Psychological Intervention (MARIGOLD) On Hedonic And Eudaimonic Wellbeing (#91)

Elizabeth L Addington 1 , Elaine O Cheung 1 , Judith T Moskowitz 1
  1. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, United States

Interest in development of positive psychological interventions (PPIs) for enhancing wellbeing has grown over the past two decades. At the same time, researchers in positive psychology have begun advocating for more precision in defining wellbeing, distinguishing hedonic wellbeing (HWB; e.g., life satisfaction, positive emotion) vs. eudaimonic wellbeing (EWB; e.g., meaning and purpose). However, most PPI trials have not differentiated HWB and EWB when examining intervention effects. We present findings from a randomized trial of MARIGOLD (N=602), a five-week, online PPI for individuals with elevated depressive symptomatology compared to a daily emotion-reporting control, on both HWB (positive emotion) and EWB (meaning and purpose). In between-group longitudinal analyses, EWB was responsive to MARIGOLD (condition*time interaction, p=.027), whereas HWB was not (p=.71). Specifically, MARIGOLD participants showed increases in EWB from baseline to post, 1-month, and 3-month follow-ups (p’s<.001), whereas control participants showed stable levels of EWB from baseline to post (p=.93), 1-month (p=.44), and 3-months (p=.06). In contrast, both MARIGOLD and control participants showed comparable increases in HWB over time. These results suggest EWB may be more responsive to PPIs than HWB and that emotion reporting alone may increase HWB. Findings highlight the importance of distinguishing hedonic and eudaimonic components of wellbeing.