Institute for Positive Psychology & Education

Geetanjali Basarkod

Program of Study: PhD

Thesis: Six ways to well-being: A self-report measure of the frequency and motivation for six behavioural patterns that promote well-being.

Recent research suggests that the perpetual pursuit of positive mental states and the avoidance of negative ones are harmful in the long run. Interventions such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, therefore, limit direct attempts to change internal states, and instead focus on promoting and activating value-consistent behaviours assumed to indirectly increase well-being. However, most current measures of intervention outcome still focus on internal states.

The aim of this thesis is to bridge this gap and create such a measure that would have high treatment-utility for practitioners. This measure will be based on the New Economics Foundation’s ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ (Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give), which suggests that engagement in five behaviours improves an individual’s well-being. Research has also suggested that a sixth element of ‘Self-Care’ is important for an individual’s well-being. The new measure will assess how people engage in these six behaviours and also assess whether they engage in these behaviours for autonomous or controlled reasons.