Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2020

Advisor

Rodger Narloch, Psychology

Abstract

The present study investigates the influence of a positive or negative mindset on affect, happiness, and heart rate variability (HRV) among undergraduate students at a small, liberal arts college in Minnesota. Forty participants were randomly assigned into the positive or negative mindset conditions by completing two short writing exercises. Participants reported their affect and happiness before and after the mindset manipulation. Additionally, participants’ HRV was recorded before, during, and after the mindset manipulation. The results of the present study showed that adopting a positive mindset increases positive affect whereas adopting a negative mindset increases negative affect and decreases happiness. The results found no relationship between mindset and HRV. Lastly, the current study examined the interaction of emotional regulation and mindset on affect, happiness, and HRV, but found no interaction between these variables. Overall, the findings of the present study indicate that adopting a positive mindset in the present moment increases positive affect, while adopting a negative mindset in the present moment significantly detracts from happiness and increases negative affect.

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Psychology Commons

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