Recalling courage: An initial test of a brief writing intervention to activate a ‘courageous mindset’ and courageous behavior

Amanda Kramer*, Richard E Zinbarg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Though theoretical models propose that courage can be ‘activated,’ little experimental work exists to support this idea. The current study examines a writing intervention that asks individuals to reflect on experiences in which they faced their fears (thus demonstrating courage) to determine if such reflection would promote more approach-oriented cognition (Study 1) and behavioral intentions (Study 2). As expected, when asked to decide if they could/would engage in various approach behaviors related to their fear, participants in the courage condition chose ‘yes’ more often and were comparatively faster to choose ‘yes’ and slower to choose ‘no.’ Furthermore, participants in the courage condition demonstrated greater intentions of approach behavior toward feared situations in the laboratory. These results, though small in effect, suggest that the writing intervention can activate a ‘courageous mindset’ and can promote more courageous behavioral intentions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-537
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019

Keywords

  • Courage
  • approach behavior
  • fear
  • positive psychology
  • response latency
  • writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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