Term of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 1

Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 2

Nicholas Holtzman


Openness is generally characterized by a stark curiosity for novel experiences and the ability to flexibly shift one’s attention and thinking processes to appreciate differing perspectives. Research suggests openness is a personal resource in terms of helping individuals effectively regulate emotions, cope with stress, and socialize with diverse populations. However, it is unknown what interventions specifically lead to an increase in openness. Positive affect appears to be associated with openness, yet the mechanisms by which positive affect promotes openness remain unclear. It is possible savoring, the ability to maintain and extend positive affect, may play an important role in clarifying the relationship between positive affect and openness. Thus, the primary purpose of the current study was to experimentally determine whether a savoring intervention could boost positive affect scores to increase openness. One hundred and five undergraduate students participated in the study, and valid data were collected from 93 participants. Participants were randomly assigned to a memory task (positive affect vs. neutral affect) and an intervention task (savoring vs. control). A 2 (memory task) x 2 (intervention) Factorial ANOVA was analyzed. Results reveal a non-significant effect for memory task and intervention task on openness scores. Results also highlight a non-significant interaction effect for openness scores. These findings are inconsistent with my hypotheses. Moreover, these results call in to question the ability of different positive psychological theories to increase openness scores.

Research Data and Supplementary Material