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Happiness in Fadoland: Introducing the Appreciative Questioning
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Happiness in Fadoland: Introducing the Appreciative Questioning



APEIPP Presentation @ 2nd World Congress on Positive Psychology ...

APEIPP Presentation @ 2nd World Congress on Positive Psychology

What kind of lens do the natives of Fadoland use to interpret life? Is it possible to be happy and happier in the Nation of Fado, a melancholic music genre that is one of the Portuguese cultural landmarks?

The aim of this study is to understand Portuguese perceptions about happiness. Through an online survey available on website of the Portuguese Association of Studies and Intervention on Positive Psychology, 521 Portuguese answered eight appreciative questions about the meanings of happiness. This research integrates qualitative information with “quantitative data with meaning”, and introduces the posibility of continuing the conversations after the participants answered the survey. The frame for this methodology was the social construtivism perspective.

The data collected reveals a higher life satisfaction scale score, mean 7, compared to the findings in other studies. In the qualitative analyses the results suggests that the Portuguese value most the positive relations in their lives and they perceive their selves as active-constructors of their happiness, mainly through cultivating an appreciative perspective of reality. It also shows discrepancies in the way they define happiness for themselves and what they think makes people happy.

We expect that these results can lead us to new directions about the impact of appreciative questioning and qualitative measures on the assessment of subjective well-being.



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    Happiness in Fadoland: Introducing the Appreciative Questioning Happiness in Fadoland: Introducing the Appreciative Questioning Presentation Transcript

    • Happinessinfadoland- IntroducingtheAppreciativeQuestioning
      SecondWorldCongresson Positive Psychology
      International Positive PsychologyAssocciation – IPPA, 2011
      Ana Marques, Catarina Rivero, Cátia Matos & Leonor Balancho, Helena Marujo & Luís M. Neto
      Associação Portuguesa de Estudos e Intervenção em Psicologia Positiva (APEIPP)
    • Research Questions
      What kind of lens do the natives of Fadoland wear to interpret life?
      How is it possible to be happy and happier in the Nation of Fado?
    • Researchaims
      To understandthePortuguese’smeaningsonHappiness
      To assessthelevelof subjective well-being
      To identifythedeterminantsof a happylife for ThePortuguese
      To identifythemaingoalsinthepursuitof a happierlife
    • TheoreticalApproach
      Positive Psychology
      Appreciative Inquiry
      Solution Focused
      Brief Therapy
    • Ourstudy…
      Online Survey: www.apeipp.com
      AvailablebetweenAugustandDecember, 2010
      Eightopen-endedquestions, alongwithdemographicinformation, collectingquantitativeandqualitative data
    • Our Sample
      521 participants
    • More about them?
    • TransformativeQuestions
    • Procedure
    • Results
    • what is happiness for Portuguese people?What do they think that makes people happy?
    • What our participants said about their happiest moments?
      “When I graduated. In that instant the world opened the doors so that I could walk in all the directions I wanted”
      “The birth of my children for the magic moment of pure emotion”
      “ Contemplating a beautiful sunset”
      “Playing live in the ‘Rock in Rio’ Stage”
      “It is hard to identify, although one of the happiest moments of my life was my wedding day”
    • Do Portuguese people consider that they contribute to someone else’s happiness?
    • To whom?
    • Are Portuguese people happy?
      … On a scale of one to ten, where one represents really unhappy, and ten is the happiest, where are you at this moment?
    • … What needs to happen to increase half a point?
      “To find someone to share my daily life and to feel loved”
      “To find a job that drives me”
      “Decrease crisis and economic stability ”
      “To be a mother would be one of the things that would most fulfill me. I long for it”
      “I need to be more courageous and determined”
    • If you could have three wishes, so that you would be happier in the future, what would you ask for?
      “To put some sense in my child’s head”
      “To go jogging three times a week in the ‘ParquedaCidade’ in Oporto”
      “World Peace”
      “1. Health
      2. Health
      3. Health”
      “To keep having what I have, to continue to feel privileged and gratefull”
    • Impact Assessment
      Did the fact of answering our questions, six month ago, had any impact to you? If so, how?
      “I became more aware of my moods and started to appreciate more the good moments”
      “Yes. It was important because I contributed to a global social action, I felt heard and a part of a whole”
      “Honestly no. At least I’m not aware of it”
      “Yes. Because I was in a less positive moment in my life, it allowed me to rethink my goals in life”
    • Impact Assessment
      Would you recommend answering this survey to others? Why?
      “Definitely! So that they could retrieve the best of what they would find in their self-knowledge process”
      “Yes. Because it makes people think about the issue of happiness”
      “Yes. Because participating in a research project is always gratifying”
      “Yes. So that they could redefine priorities”
    • Portugal context in 2010
      Natural Catastrophes
      Pope Benedict XVI visit to Portugal
      Increase of the Economic Crisis and the introduction of the austerity measures
      Poverty growth (24% increase compared with 2009, AMI)
      Unemployment growth, with historical maximums
      General strike and protest around the country, with thousands of people
      Same sex marriage was approved
      Presidencial Elections
      Football Worl Cup participation
    • Data suggest that…
      For The Portuguese Happiness is above all about experiencing positive emotions, having a positive relation with the self and with others.
      The Portuguese feel happy (mean 7), and are actively looking for a happier live
      Portuguese people consider that they contribute to someone else’s happiness, mainly family and friends.
      The happiest moments are spent in relation with significant others
      In questions with a future oriented perspective, the participants emphasized individual issues (more than relational).
      Asking Appreciative Questions may have a positive impact in people’s lives, contributing to define goals and to promote change.
    • To be considered…
      Limitations of an Online Survey
      In 2010 only 51% of the Portuguese population had internet access (In PorData)
      The survey was advertised through our site, our Facebook Page, Google adwords and our mailing list, which can bias the sample because it reaches specially people who are some how engaged with human and social sciences
      Appreciative Questions
      SWB scales are influenced by the questions immediately preceding their administration (Smith, 1979, cit by Diener, 2009)
    • Future Directions
      To do a longitudinal study with the present sample
      To understand the impact of the questions order in the self-reported well-being evaluations in our survey
      To evaluate the transformative impact of appreciative questioning in more specific groups
      To replicate this study in other countries
    • We’ll continue studying the way Portuguese People try (if so) to pursuit happiness and/or engage in the co-construction process of happier communities
      ...still enjoying the beauty of the Fado, learning to cope with the experience of “saudade”, but looking forward to build a collective and positive future.
    • ThankYou!
      Ana Marques, Catarina Rivero, Cátia Matos, Leonor Balancho, Helena Marujo & Luís M Neto
      E-mail: estudodafelicidade@gmail.com