Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

Committee Chair

Wilson, Richard W.

Author's Keywords

Positive affect; Behavior change theory; Positive psychology


Wit and humor--Therapeutic use; Behavior therapy; Wit and humor--Psychological aspects


Objective: To evaluate the influence of positive affect inductions on daily and weekly Positive and Negative Affect Scales (PANAS) in a community setting. Methods: Humor messages were distributed to participants four times per day during a treatment week with general health messages distributed in the crossover week. Subjects completed a series of self-report psychosocial and behavioral survey instruments on a weekly basis and daily PANAS responses. Messages were delivered through either email or SMS/text messages. Results: The daily and weekly PANAS scores were higher during treatment periods compared to the neutral periods. The observed trends were suggestive of successful positive affect induction although the statistical analysis did not indicate statistically significant group differences. Conclusions: The induction of positive affect manipulations in a community setting appears to have potential. Future research with larger cohorts and refined methods to limit missing data may lead to further insights on positive affect influences. There are indications that positive affect may be increased through humor messages in an applied setting.