Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

The Wellbeing Consequences Of Acting More Extraverted (#615)

Rowan Jacques-Hamilton 1 2 , Jessie Sun 3 , Luke D Smillie 2
  1. The Centre for Positive Psychology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
  2. Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
  3. Department of Psychology, The University of California, Davis, Davis
Previous evidence suggested that extraverted behavior increases positive affect (PA), and could be targeted in wellbeing interventions. However, this evidence is either causally ambiguous or has questionable ecological validity, and the potential costs of sustained extraverted behavior have not been thoroughly examined. To address these limitations, we conducted a randomized controlled trial examining the wellbeing benefits and costs of an extraverted behavior intervention conducted in everyday life. Participants (n = 147) were randomly assigned to an “act-extraverted” intervention or a “sham” (active control) intervention for 1 week in everyday life. Additional data for a contact control condition were obtained from a previous study (n = 76). Wellbeing outcomes included PA and negative affect (NA), feelings of authenticity, and tiredness—assessed both in the moment and retrospectively. There was a positive overall effect of the acting extraverted intervention on PA and authenticity. However, wellbeing outcomes also depended on dispositional extraversion: more introverted participants had weaker PA increases, experienced increased NA and tiredness, and decreased feelings of authenticity. Implications of these findings will be discussed.