The objective of this paper is to create a research design and implement it in your life. I have created an experiment of journaling on mental health and attached the method and results section to the draft. The rubric is also attached.
It’s the Thought That Counts
What is happiness? While it seems like an odd question, it is something that people should understand and explore to establish their level of the feeling of contentment. Happiness have a critical role in every person’s life and on how we live with ourselves and others. Although researchers have not established a clear definition of the concept, people can learn a lot from decades of studies on what the concept means and how people can measure their level of happiness. They also explore the factors that affect the level of happiness or feeling of contentment. Considering the importance of happiness in psychological, physical, and emotional wellbeing, people should always evaluate their happiness. The current study follows my personal level of happiness over a four-week period of journaling to establish whether I will improve. The rationale for the study is to establish the role of the mind in affecting the feelings of happiness.
The hypothesis for the study is that through processes, one can improve the level of happiness over a period of time as revealed in the journaling task. The rationale for the hypothesis is to determine the connection between thought process (IV) and the personal feelings of happiness (DV). The intervention is necessary to establish whether through self-reflection (measured through journaling) one can increase their perception of happiness (measured using the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. The paper is organized in sections, introduction, review of literature, methods, results, and a discussion.
Happiness is an importance concept as it plays a key role in a person’s wellbeing. Happiness is important to support healthy living since lack of it can cause negative outcomes, such as depression. Happiness is the promise of inner harmony and impact on a person’s effectiveness (White, 2017). Self-reflection can help a person to determine and even improve the personal feelings of happiness by evaluating and addressing negative perceptions over time. Kim & Hong (2016) revealed that self-understanding and self-esteem are the most important factors in any attempt to increase the level of happiness. Therefore, the study indicated that personal interventions to address unhappiness should include self-reflection to establish the way one can be happier since the mind controls various outcomes. Shi et al. (2018) add that subjective well-being (SWB) plays a key role in happiness since it relates to cognitive and emotional evaluation of one’s life. The study revealed the role of the mind in the feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
While self-evaluation and self-reflection of a person’s wellbeing is a determinant of happiness. Further research suggest the importance of the social environment, including social relationships in affecting the level of happiness. Quoidbach et al. (2019) reveal the role if social behavior and social relationships in determining a person’s happiness. A person’s conditions can affect their level of happiness. The feeling of happiness emerges when the individual feels contented or satisfied with where they are and their social circumstances. For example, Brandner et al. (2020) identified the role of reward processing for direct family members in happiness. The connection between the individual and their parents is a basic condition for emotional regulation and social development. Negative relationships can have a long-term negative effect on the emotional wellbeing of a person. Therefore, when exploring happiness aas a variable, it might help to determine the nature of the person’s social environment, such as family. Regardless of the role of social environment in happiness, self-reflection is critical. Thus, it is necessary to explore the statement, ‘It’s the Thought that Counts’, in a research project involving me as the sole participant.
I am the only participant in this experiment. I am a 25 year old female born and raised in Canada, but originally from Punjabi in Pakistan.
The first four weeks of the experiment I will not journal. Before starting to journal, I will complete the Oxford happiness questionnaire which was developed by psychologist Michael Argyle and Peter Hills at the University of Oxford to establish my current level of happiness (See Appendix A.) This questionnaire measures the overall level of happiness at a particular time.
Every morning, before beginning my day, I will sit in the same location to journal for a minimum of 20 minutes to maximum of 30 minutes over a 5-week period.
This same questionnaire will be completed after two weeks and then again at the end of this study in order to measure my progress over time.
The only materials used for this experiment are a notebook, a blue pen, and the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire.
The first four weeks of this experiment consisted of no journaling at all. The following four weeks, I journaled regularly every day. I completed the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire before starting the experiment, two weeks later and finally after the completion of four weeks of journaling. To examine the effects of journaling on happiness over time, the results from the Questionnaire are compiled in Table 1. and 2.
|Table 1. The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire|
|The Questionnaire||Before||2 weeks
|After four weeks|
|1. I don’t feel particularly pleased with the way I am. (R)||2||2||3|
|2. I am intensely interested in other people.||4||2||2|
|3. I feel that life is very rewarding.||4||4||4|
|4. I have very warm feelings towards almost everyone.||3||4||5|
|5. I rarely wake up feeling rested. (R)||4||4||5|
|6. I am not particularly optimistic about the future. (R)||3||5||5|
|7. I find most things amusing.||3||4||4|
|8. I am always committed and involved.||2||3||3|
|9. Life is good.||2||4||4|
|10. I do not think that the world is a good place. (R)||4||5||5|
|11. I laugh a lot.||1||2||4|
|12. I am well satisfied about everything in my life.||2||3||4|
|13. I don’t think I look attractive. (R)||1||2||3|
|14. There is a gap between what I would like to do and what I have done. (R)||1||3||3|
|15. I am very happy.||2||3||3|
|16. I find beauty in some things.||3||4||5|
|17. I always have a cheerful effect on others.||3||3||3|
|18. I can fit in (find time for) everything I want to.||2||3||3|
|19. I feel that I am not especially in control of my life. (R)||3||4||4|
|20. I feel able to take anything on.||3||3||4|
|21. I feel fully mentally alert.||1||3||3|
|22. I often experience joy and elation.||1||2||3|
|23. I don’t find it easy to make decisions. (R)||3||4||4|
|24. I don’t have a particular sense of meaning and purpose in my life. (R)||3||4||5|
|25. I feel I have a great deal of energy.||1||4||4|
|26. I usually have a good influence on events.||3||4||4|
|27. I don’t have fun with other people. (R)||2||4||4|
|28. I don’t feel particularly healthy. (R)||1||3||3|
|29. I don’t have particularly happy memories of the past. (R)||2||2||3|
|Happiness Score = Total / Number of Questions||2.38||3.34||3.76|
Table one indicates the results from the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. It consists of 29 questions that were answered before beginning to journaling, two weeks later and after the completion of four weeks of journaling. The following scale was used to answer these questions; 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = moderately disagree, 3 = slightly disagree, 4 = slightly agree, 5 = moderately agree, 6 = strongly agree (Medvedev et al., 2017). The total was calculated by doing the sum, which was then divided by the number of questions to reveal the happiness score.
|Happiness Score||Interpretation of Score|
|Before beginning of journaling||2.38||Somewhat unhappy|
|After two weeks of journaling||3.34||Not particularly happy or unhappy|
|After completion of four weeks of journaling||3.76||Not particularly happy or unhappy|
Table 2. Indicates the results of the happiness score and the interpretation of the score.
The above table consists of the results of the happiness score and it’s interpretation. The scale used to calculate the interpretation of the happiness score is determined by the questionnaire and is as follows:
1-2 : Not happy
2-3 : Somewhat unhappy
3-4 : Not particularly happy or unhappy
4 : Somewhat happy or moderately happy
4-5 : Rather happy; pretty happy
5-6 : Very happy
6 : Too happy
From the results above we see an increase in the happiness score over the duration of time when journaling.
The results of the journalism process indicated that my level of happiness increased due to self-reflection and changing my thought processes. The study supported the statement, ‘It’s the Thought that Counts.’ The journaling process helps me to conduct the self-reflection process and develop positive thoughts that improved my feelings of happiness. The study also supported the hypothesis that the mind plays a key role in affecting the feelings of happiness through processes, such as self-reflection and self-understanding. The results are useful for others to increase happiness and other outcomes, such as mental and physical wellbeing. People should conduct regular self-reflection through acts, such as journaling to understand their level of happiness and possibly create new thought processes to improve their happiness.
Brandner, P., Güroğlu, B., & Crone, E. A. (2020). I am happy for us: Neural Processing of Vicarious Joy when Winning for Parents versus Strangers. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 1-14.
Kim, J., & Hong, S. (2016). Influence of Self-reflection, Self-esteem, and Empathy on Happiness Index in Nursing Students. Journal of East-West Nursing Research, 22(2), 113-120.
Medvedev, O. N., Siegert, R. J., Mohamed, A. D., Shepherd, D., Landhuis, E., & Krägeloh, C. U. (2017). The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: Transformation from an Ordinal to an Interval Measure using Rasch Analysis. Journal of Happiness Studies, 18(5), 1425-1443.
Quoidbach, J., Taquet, M., Desseilles, M., de Montjoye, Y. A., & Gross, J. J. (2019). Happiness and Social Behavior. Psychological Science, 30(8), 1111-1122.
Shi, L., Sun, J., Wu, X., Wei, D., Chen, Q., Yang, W., … & Qiu, J. (2018). Brain Networks of Happiness: Dynamic Functional Connectivity among the Default, Cognitive and Salience Networks Relates to Subjective Well-being. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 13(8), 851-862.
White, S. C. (2017). Relational Wellbeing: Re-centring the Politics of Happiness, Policy and the self. Policy & Politics, 45(2), 121-136.
Oxford Happiness Questionnaire was developed by psychologists Michael Argyle and Peter Hills at Oxford University. It gives a good snapshot of one’s level of happiness.