Preliminary Experimental Evaluation of a Behavioral-Cognitive Method of Increasing Life Excitement

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Allison Poole
John Malouff


Excitement, intervention, positive affect, and randomized controlled trial


This randomized controlled trial with 113 adults evaluated the effects of a behavioral-cognitive method developed to increase life excitement. The intervention included encouraging participants to (1) do something new, (2) go somewhere new, (3) act spontaneously, (4) take on a new challenge, (5) learn something new, (6) interact with exciting individuals, (7) engage in romantically or sexually exciting behaviors, (8) read, watch, or listen to something suspenseful or stimulating, (9) take a (reasonable) risk, (10) engage in stimulating exercise or sport, (11) accomplish something new, (12) pursue their own interests, (13) talk with others about exciting experiences, (14) think about past exciting activities, or (15) plan future exciting activities.  Participants reported level of excitement-aimed behavior, positive affect, and life satisfaction at pre-intervention and post-intervention. Experimental-group members also reported their outcome levels three months after the end of the intervention. At pre-intervention, excitement-aimed behavior was significantly associated with positive affect and life satisfaction. The intervention had significant between-groups effects on excitement-aimed behavior and positive affect. The experimental group maintained significant pre-post improvements on these variables through a three-month follow-up. The results provide initial support for a new method of increasing positive affect.


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