Progress report, and (yet) another research questionnaire.

After collecting such helpful feedback from our experiment with “customised audio mood nudges” last weekend, I figured it might be good to give you a quick update on where we’re at, and what’s happening next. Hint: there’s another questionnaire to complete.

There were a ton of great comments but, broadly speaking, the idea of actually hearing the nudges rather than reading them went down well. My voice seemed to come across as calming and reassuring. And there was definitely a sense that people liked the idea of nudges that picked up on particular aspects of their emotional well-being – i.e. happy, sad, angry, or anxious.

One particular challenge I face with an idea like this, however, is determining what scores mean that someone is A-OK, and which suggest there’s trouble at t’mill.

In other words, one person may regard a particular score as being good, while someone else could see that exact same score as representing an off day.

Thanks to the several readers who made this point to me.

It’s pretty clear that the only sensible way to tackle this is for the feedback system to learn more about an individual taking the test, so it can compare their daily scores with a picture of what’s good or bad for that person.

I’d love to start thinking about this by asking you to complete another of our questionnaires, please. As ever, it’s anonymous.

This time, I’d like you to please rate yourself twice for the same 12 emotions, once imagining yourself on a good day, then again visualising yourself on a bad day. Full details are in the questionnaire itself.

Once I’ve gathered everyone’s answers, I’ll certainly pass on the findings to you. I’m pretty sure they’ll be illuminating. We generally discover fascinating stuff with these kinds of experiments.

Thanks once again for your tireless help, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

14 thoughts on “Progress report, and (yet) another research questionnaire.

  1. Well, that was interesting. I wish I could have saved the answers for myself. For instance I realise I feel peaceful on a bad day because I become haven’t the energy to be otherwise despite the fact that I am also on that day very nervous. If I could remember how to take a screen shot that’s what I should have done. Looking forward to seeing what Jon makes of this lot!

  2. Made me think that a level of sadness pervades always for me but I seem to manage to maintain some semblance of being capable on slightly ‘off’ days. Will probably continue ruminating on the test.

    Look forward to hearing how the overall results shape up.

  3. I found even on a bad day soe of the answers weren’t too bad. And even on a good day, I couldn’t answer very to some of the positives. Interested to see the results.

  4. Interesting Jon…like others above, it’s strange to see that you can be having a very low day, but feel moderately calm. I sometimes try not to overdo things on the bad days, so that I rest and maybe keep calmer on the surface…scrabbling like a duck under the surface though!

  5. That was really thought provoking. I know that when I’m having a bad day it can make me feel generally sad and gloomy but breaking it down and rating different feelings according to your mood really made me reflect on how even when it feels like a rubbish day some of my feelings aren’t affected as much.

  6. It is interesting to see that there a few differences on good and bad days altough
    I don’t seem to register them. The last 2 months I experienced mostly bad times
    with little competence about all my daily work and relationships because the ocd
    devil is in the way everywhere. It makes me very sad and more than angry.

  7. Made me see that there are some things that are fairly constant for me, like Calm and Anxious – whether I’m up or down. Very interesting exercise.

  8. Hi Jon

    I love the fact that you are involving us all in this … definitely action research in terms of philosophy. In terms of completing the questionnaire I’m having a great day today so I could accurately record the first questionnaire but the second one was more difficult .. I think it’s quite difficult to imagine a mood you aren’t in and then try and work out what the component scores would be. I’m not sure how else you could do this research … other than individually save our scores on different days. And presumably that would be very tricky. Anyway I did my best and it’s great to be involved.

  9. This was probably quite a good reflection of my up moods and off days, as today was a very good productive, enjoyable and yet relaxed sort of day, whereas the past few days have been very much off days. This has been partly due to health issues (mainly physical which of course affect mental health) which have finally eased off today. So I didn’t have to imagine either type of day.

  10. I’ve realised from doing this that on bad days (arising from family health issues bubbling up and filling me with helpless concern) I try to stay positive but on good days I don’t let myself get too buoyant. Would feeling joyful tempt fate? Make the next bombshell more intense? Perhaps the opportunity to have a breather is all I need to recharge the batteries.

  11. I’ve also (belatedly!) realised it’s good to be aware of how I’m doing and “Nudging Your Way to Happiness” will be enlightening as well as being really helpful.
    I feel a purchase is looming.

  12. I’m bi polar and a psychologist once said to me our aim is to get you to meet yourself in the middle, still awaiting that day.
    My mother had mental health problems, going back to the early 50’s, we lived in Somerset, she used to go up to London everyweek to see a Hypnotherapist, and he said to her he thought we were all on different wavelengths and one day (not in her lifetime) we would know so much more about the brain and wavelengths? I’ve always wondered whether there will be an answer along those lines?? He was never able to Hypnotise her, bit of an expensive outing.
    Sorry I’ve gone off the track of your questionaire, I do find answers have so much to do with what mood one is in, so it’s a good idea to do the two different questions of moods. I always found that CBT forms one had to fill in every week, asked the same questions, score of 1-10 I found it frustrating because one of the questions was have you felt suicidel in the last week, NO but this question is making feel like it!!! I suppose they were covering themselves?
    I’ve just been to a cookery class and made Millionaires, they are in the fridge can’t wait to see if they are ready to eat yet!!
    Bye for now, think you’re incredible Jon.

  13. The two ways of looking at the same feelings made me realise how on days when I feel ‘oppressed’ it’s the fear of outside review that is most threatening. Oddly on good days what other people might be thinking of me isn’t a big deal – I hasten to add I’d never be deliberately or knowingly thoughtless!

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