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Journal Article

Evidence for the upward spiral stands steady: A response to Nickerson


Kok,  Bethany E.
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Fredrickson, B. L., & Kok, B. E. (2018). Evidence for the upward spiral stands steady: A response to Nickerson. Psychological Science, 29(3), 467-470. doi:10.1177/0956797617707319.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-F05A-C
In 2013, we reported in Psychological Science on a longitudinal field experiment in which we and our coauthors randomly assigned participants to receive or not to receive positive-emotions training over 6 weeks, in order to test theory-driven hypotheses regarding the pathways by which positive emotions might build physical health (Kok et al., 2013). Our results revealed that, amidst the unpredictability of field settings, positive-emotions training produced statistically significant improvements in a marker of physical health, and that these improvements were mediated by psychological processes. On the basis of her reanalyses of our data, Nickerson (2018) claims that we overstated our findings. As we detail here, we find the empirical basis for Nickerson’s claim to be questionable.