Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Do different happiness exercises work differently?


Msc assignment


4 students

Existing data 

Type of research: quantitative empirical

10 EC



The University of Twente conducted a large-scale trial on happiness exercises in a sample retrieved from the general Dutch population. Participants were allocated to a 6-week gratitude intervention (each week a different exercise), an acts of kindness intervention or a self-kindness intervention. Participants in the kindness conditions performed 5 kind acts for others or themselves on one day per week, during 6 weeks. Results of the efficacy on mental well-being, flourishing, anxiety and depression showed that all groups significantly benefited from their happiness-exercise compared to a wait-list control group. However, it is not yet known whether each type of intervention worked though similar or different mechanisms. For example, it might be expected that the gratitude intervention worked through more low-arousal positive emotions and state gratitude, while performing other-focused kindness might work through high-arousal positive emotions and positive relations. Therefore, an important next step is to conduct mediation analyses of several process measures (positive emotions, state  gratitude, positive relations) in relation to the intervention and the main outcomes (mental well-being, flourishing, anxiety, depression). Each student can choose its own focus regarding type of intervention(s), main outcome measures and process measures. So for example, your hypothesis-testing model might be:




Who are we looking for?

Students who are interested in conducting quantitative research (mediation-analysis) and conducting novel research using a large-scale trial. We also look for dedicated students who are curious and conscientious.



Dr. Marijke Schotanus-Dijkstra