What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Aug;87(2):228-45. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.228.


Four studies examined the intrapersonal and interpersonal consequences of seeking out others when good things happen (i.e., capitalization). Two studies showed that communicating personal positive events with others was associated with increased daily positive affect and well-being, above and beyond the impact of the positive event itself and other daily events. Moreover, when others were perceived to respond actively and constructively (and not passively or destructively) to capitalization attempts, the benefits were further enhanced. Two studies found that close relationships in which one's partner typically responds to capitalization attempts enthusiastically were associated with higher relationship well-being (e.g., intimacy, daily marital satisfaction). The results are discussed in terms of the theoretical and empirical importance of understanding how people "cope" with positive events, cultivate positive emotions, and enhance social bonds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Surveys and Questionnaires