The role of values & practical identities in mental wellbeing
Author(s)Yan, Alan,S.M.Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Role of values and practical identities in mental wellbeing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program.
System Design and Management Program.
Tamar Schapiro and Rosalind W. Picard.
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More than 300 million people in the world suffer from depression. While traditional psychotherapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) continue to be effective for treating depression, a newer therapy known as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) has surfaced in recent decades that employs mindfulness and values-based techniques, inter alia, not explicitly targeted in CBT. Significantly influenced by ACT, this thesis offers a direct, externalized means by which individuals can interact with their value systems. Specifically, I present Psyche - a novel computer-based psychological intervention that is designed to help individuals not only better understand what they value but also better align their actions with their values. This thesis posits that such intentionality vis-à-vis our values will improve mental wellbeing. A two-week randomized controlled trial conducted on 29 participants compared Psyche (mind mapping one's value system) to an active control task (journaling). Both groups performed similarly for every therapeutic outcome measure. Given the fact that journaling is widely held to be therapeutically efficacious on its own and that the trial was a short two-week trial, the findings were encouraging. In addition to examining Psyche through the lens of therapeutic efficacy, I assess its ability to engage users.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 2019Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-137).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program; System Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering and Management Program., System Design and Management Program.