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three good things

Three Good ThingsThe first of my social software for wellness applications is available on Facebook (info page).

Three Good Things supports a positive psychology exercise in which participants record three good things, and why these things happened. When completed daily – even on the bad days – over time, participants report increased happiness and decreased symptoms of depression. The good things don’t have to be major events – a good meal, a phone call with a friend or a family member, or a relaxing walk are all good examples.

I’m interested in identifying best practices for deploying these interventions on new or existing social websites, where adding social features may make the intervention more or less effective for participants, or may just make some participants more likely to complete the exercise on a regular basis. Anyway, feel free to give the app a try – you’ll be helping my research and you may end up a bit happier.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Leeanne Mc Sharry | March 13, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink


    i am just completing a write up of a three good things task and was wondering what sort of results you got from your facebook group on the mood changes?

  2. sean | March 17, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Hi Leanne – we have not quite had enough participants for meaningful results over the long term. For the data we do have, we see modest (and significantly significant) improvements the CES-D and AHI scales after one week and after one month of use. The trends are also encouraging at 3 months.

    There are some issues with this, though: first, we don’t have a comparison to a set of participants who are using a purely private version. Second, it’s reasonable to think that people will look for this application when they are fairly unhappy, and thus we would see some improvement over time anyway *and* people who do not become happier (for whatever reasons) are probably more likely to quit and move on to try other activities, since 3GT isn’t working for them.

    I’m hoping to get some time to make improvements to 3GT and to then do a long-term comparison with a paper version and with a personal (i.e., not social) but still electronic version, using random assignment.

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