Proyer Ruch Gander

Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Psychologisches Institut » Persönlichkeitspsychologie und Diagnostik » Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch » Proyer Ruch Gander

Completed research project

Title / Titel Positive Interventions: Empirical studies on enhancing satisfaction with life
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Research on positive psychology gains more and more interest in the scientific community. A special focus lies on interventions from this line of research as they are supposed to enhance well-being and alleviate depression among participants. A recent meta-analysis (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009) underlines the effectiveness of such interventions. Some authors favor an approach that is based on character strengths (e.g., based on Peterson & Seligman’s classification, 2004). Some of these strengths (e.g., gratitude) were shown to be effective in boosting well-being. Additionally, identifying ones signature strengths and devoting more time to use them in ones everyday life was shown to be effective in increasing life-satisfaction and reducing depression (Seligman et al., 2005). The main aim of this project is testing several interventions from positive psychology (e.g., gratitude visit, three good things, signature strengths, humor, zest, etc.) and to compare their effectiveness in increasing well-being and alleviating depression. Additionally, we want to further examine relations to character strengths (e.g., do grateful people benefit more from gratitude interventions?) and other personality variables (e.g., do extraverts benefit more?). In a further study, we want to collect data with two yet understudied groups: adolescents and elderly people. There, we also want to add peer-ratings for a better understanding of the effects of the interventions. It is expected that the proposed studies have an impact on the applied but also on the scientific field. They provide further knowledge about mechanisms in positive psychological functioning but also might hold a key for improving well-being for the participants. It is planned to establish a research site as a follow-up of the project that regularly provides the possibility of regularly doing intervention studies.
Publications / Publikationen Buschor, C., Proyer, R. T., & Ruch, W. (2013). Self- and peer-rated character strengths: How do they relate to satisfaction with life and orientations to happiness? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 116-127. doi:10.1080/17439760.2012.758305

Gander, F., Proyer, R. T., Ruch, W., & Wyss, T. (2012). The good character at work: An initial study on the contribution of character strengths in identifying healthy and unhealthy work-related behavior and experience patterns. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 85, 895-904. doi:10.1007/s00420-012-0736-x

Gander, F., Proyer, R. T., Ruch, W., & Wyss, T. (2013). Strength-based positive interventions: Further evidence on their potential for enhancing well-being and alleviating depression. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 1241-1259. doi:10.1007/s10902-012-9380-0

Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2015). Strengths-based positive psychology interventions: A randomized placebo-controlled online trial on long-term effects for a signature strengths- vs. a lesser strengths-intervention. Frontiers in Psychology.

Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (in press). An initial study on the effectiveness of a positive psychology intervention program based on the Authentic Happiness Theory and extensions: Addressing the role of personality, ability, and positive and negative affect. The Journal of Positive Psychology.

Proyer, R. T. (2014). Playfulness over the life-course and its relation to happiness: Results from an online survey. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 47, 508-512. doi:10.1007/s00391-013-0539-z

Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2013). What good are character strengths beyond subjective well-being? The contribution of the good character on self-reported health-oriented behavior, physical fitness, and the subjective health status. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 222-232. doi:10.1080/17439760.2013.77776

Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2014). The European Football Championship as a positive festivity: Changes in strengths of character before, during, and after the EURO 2008 in Switzerland. In H. Águeda Marujo & L. M. Neto (Eds.), Positive nations and communities (Vol. 6; Cross-cultural advancements in positive psychology; pp. 119-134). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.

Proyer, R. T., Gander, W., Wyss, T., & Ruch, W. (2011). The relation of character strengths to past, present, and future life satisfaction among German-speaking females. Applied Psychology: Health and Well Being, 3, 370-384. doi:10.1111/j.1758-0854.2011.01060.x

Proyer, R. T., Sidler, N., Weber, M., & Ruch, W. (2012). A multi-method approach to studying the relationship between character strengths and vocational interests in adolescents. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 12, 141-157. doi:10.1007/s10775-012-9223-x

Proyer, R. T., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2014). Character and dealing with laughter: The relation of self- and peer-reported strengths of character with gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 148, 113-132. doi:10.1080/00223980.2012.752336

Proyer, R. T. (2014). To love and play: Testing the association of adult playfulness with the relationship personality and relationship satisfaction. Current Psychology, 33, 501-514. doi:10.1007/s12144-014-9225-6

Proyer, R. T. (2015). There is always something to hope for: From football to strengths-based interventions. In L. Bormans (Ed.), World Book of Hope. Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo Publishers.

Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2015). Positive psychology interventions in people aged 50-79 years: Long-term effects of placebo-controlled online-interventions on well-being and depression. Aging and Mental Health, 18, 997-1005. doi:10.1080/13607863.2014.899978

Proyer, R. T., Wellenzohn, S., Gander, F., & Ruch, W. (2015). Toward a better understanding of what makes positive psychology interventions work: Predicting happiness and depression from the person × intervention-fit in a follow-up after 3.5 years. Applied Psychology: Health and Well Being, 7, 108-128. doi:10.1111/aphw.12039

Ruch, W. (2012). Towards a New Structural Model of the Sense of Humor: Preliminary Findings (AAAI Technical Report FS-12-02). Retrieved from Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Ruch, W. & McGhee, P. (2014). Humor intervention programs. In A. C. Parks & S. M. Schueller (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychological Interventions (pp. 193-197). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ruch, W., Rodden, F. A., & Proyer, R. T. (2011). Humor and other positive interventions in medical and therapeutic settings. In B. Kirkcaldy (Ed.), The Art and Science of Health Care: Psychology and Human Factors for Practitioners (pp. 277-294). Göttingen: Hogrefe Publishers.

Wellenzohn, S. (in press). One door closes, another one opens. In L. Bormans (Ed.), World Book of Hope. Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo Publishers.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe character strengths, intervention, positive psychology, positive interventions, well-being
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr. René Proyer (Project Leader)
Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch (Project Leader)
Dr. des. Fabian Gander (Project Leader)
Dr. des. Sara Wellenzohn
Other links to external web pages,
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jan 2011 to Dec 2016