Three good things or three good financial things? Applying a positive psychology intervention to the personal finance domain


Crowell School of Business

Publication Date



This study investigates the effectiveness of the Three Good Things positive psychology intervention within the personal finance domain. A randomized control-group pretest posttest experimental survey was designed to test variations of the Three Good Things exercise on happiness, financial satisfaction, and financial self-efficacy. Interventions included the traditional Three Good Things exercise, a Three Good Financial Things exercise, and a Three Financial Things exercise. The results from a sample of 993 Amazon MTurk workers, with data collected between December 2018 – January 2019, suggest that the Three Good Things exercise was the most effective in increasing happiness and showed similar increases in financial satisfaction as the domain specific exercises. Effects from the Three Good Things intervention were the only effects to endure over time. None of the interventions demonstrated an effect on financial self-efficacy. Overall, the results support further investigation into applying PPIs within the personal finance domain.


Finance, Personal; Positive psychology

Publication Title

The Journal of Positive Psychology

DOI of Published Version