The Effectiveness of Positive Thinking Skills Training for Improving Students’ Self-Control and Self-Awareness

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
This research was conducted with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of teaching positive thinking skills to enhance self-control and self-awareness of sixth grade elementary school students. The research method was semi-experimental with a pre-test and post-test design and a control group. Among the studied students, 57 individuals who had low positive thinking were identified by implementing a positive thinking questionnaire. After meeting the required conditions and matching, 30 people were selected as the study sample and were randomly divided into two control and experimental groups of 15 people. The positive thinking program was implemented on the experimental group in 8 sessions. After the training course was finished and the post-test were held, research data were collected using self-restraint scale and self-awareness scale. Data analyzed using covariance analysis. The results of the covariance analysis showed that positive thinking training program was effective and increased students' self-control and self-awareness, and this effect was still stable in the follow-up phase after four months. The results of the research clarify that positive thinking training can be used as a suitable interventional method to improve self-control and self-awareness of students.IntroductionHuman nature and personality have important capabilities and features which include self-control, self-awareness, and positive thinking. Self-control as an important part of human performance is one of the basic and fundamental elements in the formation of human behavior (Ka'abe et al., 2017). Research findings have shown that people who have more self-control are more successful in all areas than people who act impulsively and without self-control (Nouri, 2008 as cited in Kazemi et al., 2011). Another component that converges with human behavior is self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to pay attention to oneself (Carden et al., 2021). People who have self-awareness identify their feelings and become aware of them and control these feelings. They become aware of their weaknesses and strengths, and by relying on their strengths, they reduce their weaknesses (Joe, 2010).There are little research indications on the effect of teaching positive thinking skills on self-control and self-awareness has not been investigated. This research has been with the aim of showing the effectiveness of teaching positive thinking skills on students' self-awareness and self-control. To achieve this goal, two questions were formulated and tested as follows.Does teaching positive thinking skills have an effect on students' self-control? 2. Does teaching positive thinking skills have an effect on students' self-awareness? MethodThis research was conducted with a semi-experimental method with a pre-test and post-test design with a control group and a four-month follow-up. The statistical community of this study was made up of all the students of the sixth grade of Salas Babajani in the academic year (2018-2019). In order to identify the students who had low positive thinking, 222 people were first selected using the cluster sampling method. By implementing the positive thinking questionnaire of Ingram and Visnicki (1998), 57 people who had low positive thinking have been recognized, and then among the participants who had the conditions to enter the research, 30 people were selected by a simple random method and were assigned to two groups of experimental (15 people) and control (15 people). Self-awareness questionnaire and self-control questionnaire were used to collect data.Based on Seligman's positive thinking training protocol (2000), the positive thinking skill training program was presented to the experimental group for 8 ninty-minute sessions (two sessions per week) in the Adobe Connect application. To conduct the research, first in order to implement the pre-test, the self-awareness and self-control questionnaire were given to the control and experimental groups, and the data related to the pre-test were collected. Then the participants in the experimental group were trained in skills in 8 sessions of 1.5 hours in workshops through the booklet of positive thinking skills. At the end of the workshops, the mentioned questionnaires (post-test) were again presented to both groups to complete again. Finally, to evaluate the effect of the experimental intervention in the follow-up phase after 4 months, the questionnaires were implemented again and the data of this phase were collected. To analyze the data, covariance analysis tests were used.   ResultsTable 1The Average Scores of the two Groups in the Pre-test , Post-test, Follow-up and the Normality of the DataKurtosisSkewnessFollow-upPost-testpre-exam  Standard deviationAverageStandard deviationAverageStandard deviationAveragegroupVariables 765/0-066/0  908/740/83480/147/83Controlself-awareness 152/789/91216/673/90239/740/81exam  463/0794/0-  951/920/8267/1153/83Controlself-control  123/677/90443/760/9269/1613/81exam             According to the table, the average of the subjects of the control and experimental groups, in the self-awareness and self-control test in the pre-test stage did not differ significantly from each other. But the difference in the average of the subjects of the control and experimental groups was significant in the post-test so that the average of the subjects of the experimental group in the post-test was significantly higher than the average of the post-test of the control group. This shows that the experimental intervention was able to affect the studied behavior. In the follow-up phase, this difference between the experimental and control groups was also obvious and expresses the continuation of the effect of teaching positive thinking on the behavior of the participants.Levine's test was used to check the assumption of homogeneity of variances. The variables of restraint (F=2.710, p>0.064), self-awareness (F=1.928, p>0.136) were not significant; Therefore, the assumption of both variables' homogeneity of variances was confirmed.In the inferential results, the statistic F value which shows the effect of the independent variable, in the self-control variable (F=19.577, p<0.001) and the self-awareness variable (F =18.590, p<0.001) was significant. This showed that there was a significant difference between the control and experimental groups which means compared to the control group the self-control and self-awareness of the experimental group has increased after receiving positive thinking training.In the follow-up phase, the statistic F value was significant in the self-control variable (F=19.577, p<0.001) and self-awareness variable (F=18.590, p<0.001). This proved that the effect of training positive thoughts on the behavior of the participants continued after 4 months. Furthermore, the eta value verified that 44 percent of changes in self-control and 48 percent of changes in self-awareness were due to the effect of the experimental intervention in the follow-up phase. ConclusionThis research study, which was conducted with the aim of teaching positive thinking skills on students' self-control and self-awareness, showed that positive thinking education increased students' self-control and self-awareness. This result confims the results of the researches (Tawheed Fam (2019) the effectiveness of teaching positive thinking skills on self-control and social adaptation and Diener Bist et al (2018). It is consistent about the role of positive imagery training on increasing self-awareness. Teaching positive thinking enables a person to have a proper perception of behaviors, attitudes and feelings and by maintaining calmness and composure reduces anger and impulsiveness. Developing a positive view of self and life in students leads to a better association with the social environment of the school and through it students can establish a more positive and logical interaction with their classmates due to high ability of self-control. Feedback from these interactions develops students' self-awareness because, according to the defenders of Kara Demas's (Karademas, 2006) positivity approach, having positive thinking skills help individuals look at their interpersonal and social relationship with more insight and accuracy, and away from irrational emotions and impulses have more reasonable answers appropriate to the environment and social conditions.In regards to the limitations of the current research, we can refer to the research community that is geographically limited to the students of Salas Babajani, using self-report evaluation method (questionnaire) and the researcher's lack of direct access to the subjects, which could affect the results of the research. Therefore, it is suggested to carry out this research with students in other regions of the country as well. Additionally, to avoid bias answering the questionnaire, qualitative methods such as interview, checklist and observation should be used if possible. Finally, direct and face-to-face access is suggested for further research.  Ethical ConsiderationCompliance with Ethical Guidelines: All ethical issues such as confidentiality of participants' identity were attended to and informed consent were obtained from the participants.Authors’ Contributions: This article is extracted from the master's thesis of the second author. Extraction, preparation, editing and submission of the article was done by the first author of the supervisor. The third and fourth authors are thesis advisers.Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest for this research study.Funding: The authors received no financial support for the study.Acknowledgment: The authors thank all the participants of this study
Positive Psychology Research, Volume:9 Issue: 2, 2023
65 to 82  
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