Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Date of Defense

4-8-2021

Graduate Advisor

Sandra Langeslag

Committee

Lauren Olin

Carissa Philippi

Suzanne Welcome

Abstract

While the concept of self-love is well-known in today’s society, it remains unknown how self-love can be increased. Increasing self-love may help individuals decrease stress and promote well-being. The current study tested how self-love and pleasantness can be increased and whether anxiety levels and personality traits such as neuroticism and conscientiousness are associated with self-love increase. In this study, participants (N = 108; 86 women, 20 men, 1 gender queer, 1 other (not specified)) completed questionnaires related to self-compassion, self-efficacy, anxiety, and personality. Then, participants completed an online self-love regulation task in which they read prompts that encouraged them to increase self-compassion (e.g., it's okay to make mistakes), increase self-efficacy (e.g., you can do anything you are determined to do), and positively reappraise themselves (e.g., think about a recent accomplishment). Self-reported self-love and pleasantness were assessed. Results indicated that participants felt increased self-love and pleasantness after reading the statements in all three conditions compared to baseline self-love and pleasantness. Also, the higher the anxiety levels, the more self-love increased. Finally, the higher the neuroticism levels, the less participants self-love increased. Conscientiousness was not associated with self-love increase. Overall, increasing self-love may allow individuals to come to terms with past and present situations and prepare for future situations.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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