Podium Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

How Photography-Based Interventions Impact Well-Being: Results From Two Randomized Control Trials (#85)

Laura G McKee 1 , Sara Algoe 2 , Catherine W O'Neal 3 , Alyssa L Faro 4 , Jessica L O'Leary 5 , Neila Grimsley 3 , Dena Henry 1
  1. Georgia State University, Atlanta, GEORGIA, United States
  2. Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  3. Human Development and Family Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States
  4. Department of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Cambridge, MA, United States
  5. Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, MA, United States

Research shows that daily experiences of awe, curiosity, gratitude, joy, and love can put the average person on a trajectory of growth, success, and social connection. Nonetheless, data show that most people are not functioning at optimal capacity, suggesting a need for accessible interventions that provide tools to enhance positive affect. The Picture This! Intervention, jointly informed by Positive Psychology principles and Cognitive Bias Modification, was designed to improve well-being in youth by boosting attention to and experience of positive emotions. In two randomized control trials, one with emerging adults in a university setting (N=256, Mage=19.85, 75.8% female), and a second with 9th grade high school students (N=298, Mage=14.40, 49% female), we tested Picture This!, a technology-based intervention in which participants in the active conditions were directed to use their Smartdevices at least twice a day for 21 days to take photographs of experiences that elicited positive emotion and then to review and relive those moments that same evening via an online savoring exercise. Discussion will include barriers confronted, lessons learned, and intervention impact, which included decreases in depressive symptoms, increases in savoring and positive emotion, and fewer days absent from school for the intervention groups.