Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
This study is aiming to increase positive feelings in people’s everyday lives.

Who can participate?
Healthy male and female students between the age of 18 and 21 from a UK University can take part in this study.

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to either the control group (who do not receive the smartphone app)or the intervention group, who receive a smartphone intervention that will give short positive psychological activities for them to complete three times a day for two days. They will complete questionnaires on the level of positive emotions they are experiencing. Psychological measures and behaviour will be assessed for all the participants. Feedback from participants in the intervention group will be requested at the end of the study.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The benefits of taking part are that participants who get the smartphone app will learn new strategies for increasing the level of positive emotions in their everyday lives. No side effects are anticipated in either the control or the intervention group.

Where is the study run from?
School of Psychology, University of Leicester, Lancaster Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.

When is study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study will start in March 2014 and will run for about a week.

Who is funding the study?
The study is funded by Unilever (UK).

Who is the main contact?
Professor Robert Hurling

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Robert Hurling


Contact details

Unilever R & D
Colworth Science park
MK44 1LQ
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Evaluating the impact of positive psychology activities delivered through a smartphone application



Study hypothesis

Provision of short positive psychology activities to individuals will increase levels of positive emotions relative to a control group.

Ethics approval

Leicester University Ethics Committee, 01/10/2013, ref. jm148-8bbd

Study design

Randomised stratified parallel single-centred single-blind controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Positive Psychology


This is an exploratory study where student participants recruited from a University psychology department are randomised into an intervention or a control group.
The study is run over 4 days. The first 2 days are used to gather baseline measures for both groups to include self-report scales: e.g. PANAS and mood measure questions on how joyful, positive, optimistic, and grateful they report feeling. At the end of the 2-day baseline period there are a series of self-report scales to complete:
1. Ten Item Personality Inventory (10 items)
2. Aaker Brand Personality measure (35 items)
3. Brand equity measure (10 items)
4. Positive Emotional Intensity Scale (items to be confirmed, referring to last 2 days)
5. PANAS (full version - 20 items, referring to last 2 days)
6. Satisfaction with Life Scale (5 items)
7. Short Measure of Adult Playfulness (5 items)
8. A self-report measure of gifting behaviour for ice cream and other gifts (referring to last 2 days)

At the start of the third day the intervention group receive a smartphone app and are requested to use it at least three times per day for the next 2 days. It asks a few questions and then suggests a couple of positive psychology tips. One of the tips is completed and then rated by the user.
The control group do not receive the app.
Both groups are asked how they are feeling, three times per day via a survey monkey link sent to their smartphone.
At the end of the study both groups complete the same series of self-report scales as before.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Level of positive emotion
Questionnaire results over 4 days and specific timepoints and frequency of application use over 2 days.

Secondary outcome measures

Frequency and style of application usage.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Male/female over 18
2. Owns a smartphone and agrees to download a research application
3. Available for study duration
4. Able to access study centre and use their smartphone unaided
5. Not taking medication or currently undergoing counselling

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

200 participants (100 intervention, 100 control group)

Participant exclusion criteria

Taking medication or currently undergoing counselling

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Unilever R & D
MK44 1LQ
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Unilever Research & Development (UK)

Sponsor details

Colworth Science Park
MK44 1LQ
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Unilever (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype



United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes