Volume 5, Article 9
Effect of positive psychological interventions on perception of positive events: An unknown outcome Melanie E. Freedman, and Judith T. Moskowitz
Citation: Freedman, M. E., & Moskowitz, J. T. (2021). ‘Effect of positive psychological interventions on perception of positive events: An unknown outcome.’ European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 5, 9, 1-13. https://www.nationalwellbeingservice.org/volumes/volume-5-2021/volume-5-article-9/
Processing dates: Submitted: 22nd December 2020; Resubmitted: 2nd April 2021; Accepted: 21st April 2021; Published: 10th August 2021
Positive and negative affect play a large role in depression, one of the most common psychiatric disorders in the U.S. Depression often causes blunted positive affect, also called anhedonia, and depressed individuals experience more negative affect than healthy controls. Positive psychological interventions specifically target positive emotions and teach individuals the skills to notice and capitalize on positive events in everyday life. Positive events have been associated with reductions in depressive symptoms and positive psychological constructs, such as gratitude, predicted increases in positive life events in depressed individuals. The “mood brightening effect” is a phenomenon where depressed individuals experience greater reductions in negative affect as a result of positive events compared to healthy controls. The relationships among positive and negative affect and the experience and appraisal of positive events warrants further investigation in the depressed population. Positive event experience and subjective appraisal should be measured as a result of positive psychological interventions to help us further understand the role that positive events play in depression. Targeting and bolstering experiences of positive events may lead to enhanced outcomes in depressed individuals, but positive event experience and appraisal have not been measured to date as an outcome measure of these interventions.
Keywords: positive psychology; positive affect; negative affect; depression; anhedonia
Melanie E. Freedman is with Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Chicago, IL, USA.
Judith T. Moskowitz is with Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Chicago, IL, USA