Experiment in Psychological Concepts
Happiness: state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Gratitude: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Gratitude versus happiness; both are positive emotions to feel, but are they connected? Is gratitude related to happiness? Are the more thankful people the happiest? An experiment was conducted to answer those questions. Introductory psychology classes at Kellogg Community College were asked to record 3 things they are happy for each day. At the beginning of the semester, a survey was taken to record their present happiness, they were unaware of the experiment. Towards the end of the semester, they were given the same survey to test their happiness. On average, results showed that the majority of the class was happier towards the end than the beginning. Could this be since they were recording what they were grateful for and were happier since they acknowledged the good in their lives? The two types of variables to be tested are the dependent variable and the independent variable. There is also extraneous variables, however they are difficult to measure but are vital to results. The independent variable does not change during the experiment. The dependent variable is the one which is being tested and is affected by the independent variable. In this experiment, happiness is the dependent variable and gratitude is the independent variable. Happiness is being measured by gratitude. Extraneous variables are variables in which we cannot account for. Extraneous variables are conditions which are impossible to foresee, however impact research and results. For this experiment, one example could be the researcher’s bias. Researcher’s bias is common with surveys. It is the idea that the participants give the answers they believe are right as opposed to what is true. This disrupts research because they are not answers which can be confirmed true. Another extraneous variable could be a person’s mood. For this experiment, a participant could have had a good day and recorded happier results then have had a bad day on the day of the second survey and recorded more sad results. It is impossible to predict a person’s feelings and this experiment was testing the change of emotion due to a stimuli. Operationalization of variables is simply how the variables are being tested. There are multiple ways to go about testing your variables. For this experiment, we tested our variables using surveys and journals. We were given a survey to test happiness in the beginning and end of the semester. To test gratitude, we wrote down three things we were thankful for a day. This made us aware of the things in life we should be happy for and could affect our overall happiness. An experimental group is the group which received the independent variable to observe the affects. The control group does not receive the independent variable and is used to compare the effects of the independent variable. This particular experiment did not include a control group since everyone took the surveys and journals. The negative of not using experimental and control groups is the fact you cannot figure out the cause of the results. Non-group experiments are used to find a relationship, not cause. By adding a control group, we could have found if there is a direct cause to happiness by gratitude. The study of whether or not there is direct cause found between two variables group can be described as correlational study. Correlational study is a nonexperimental study designed to measure the degree of relationship, if any, between two or more events, measures or variables. There are three different correlations which may exist: positive correlation, negative correlation and no correlation. Positive correlation is when both variables increase with each other. In this case, since happiness increased as gratitude