No Cover Image

Journal article 86 views

Modifying physical selves with reversal theory framed expressive writing

Joanne Hudson Orcid Logo, Rosie Gowing, Melissa Day, Emily J. Oliver, Laura B. Thomas, Fabien D. Legrand

Journal of Motivation, Emotion and Personality

Swansea University Authors: Joanne Hudson Orcid Logo, Rosie Gowing

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the use of reversal theory framed expressive writing to modify middle-aged adults’ and older adults’ physical self-perceptions. 15 participants aged 57-89 years (mean = 72.5±11.3 years) completed either 6 sessions of standard expressive writing (n = 7), or, 6 ses...

Full description

Published in: Journal of Motivation, Emotion and Personality
Published:
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa65832
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Abstract: The aim of this study was to explore the use of reversal theory framed expressive writing to modify middle-aged adults’ and older adults’ physical self-perceptions. 15 participants aged 57-89 years (mean = 72.5±11.3 years) completed either 6 sessions of standard expressive writing (n = 7), or, 6 sessions of reversal theory framed expressive writing (n = 8), both focused on their physical self and health. Prior to and following this, all participants identified their hoped-for and feared future selves and after the writing sessions, were interviewed about the experience and its effects. Composite vignettes used to illustrate these experiences highlighted that both groups found the experience challenging and to varying degrees beneficial for raising awareness of their physical self. However, the use of different metamotivational states in the reversal theory framed expressive writing group encouraged participants to look at themselves in unfamiliar ways, generating new perspectives on aspects of their physical selves. Feared and hoped for selves did not change over the course of the writing but were characterised by an unexpected metamotivational richness. Participants’ experiences of the reversal theory framed expressive writing suggested that this is a feasible intervention for use with this population sub-group with the potential to help modify physical self-perceptions and behaviors could be investigated further. This method also has potential for exploring lay theories of metamotivational states to unearth the mental ethologies of everyday metamotivational experiences (cf. Apter, 2013) and their implications for the individual’s view of themselves and their behaviors.
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering