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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2005

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


The Role of Body Sensations in Understanding One's Own Emotions 3828


Balueva O.V.
Post-Graduate Student of the Department Of General Laws of Mental Development, Institute of Psychology Named after L. S. Vygotsky, Moscow, Russia

Kravchenko Yu.E.
PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia

Kartashov S.I.
Acting Deputy Manager of Laboratory of Experimental and Applied Psychophysiology, National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Moscow, Russia

There are at least three different viewpoints among all theories of emotions that attempt to explain the role of body sensations in understanding one's own emotions. In order to compare the explanatory resources of these viewpoints we conducted a research in which the subjects (n=59) were shown a series of neutral and emo¬tionally significant slides (taken from the IAPS database). During the slideshow we registered the subjects' pulse and galvanic skin response. The subjects were asked to assess the intensity of their emotional reactions and body sensations in response to the emotionally significant slides, and also filled in a questionnaire on emo¬tional intelligence that enabled us to measure their ability to understand their own emotions as well as those of other people. The outcomes of our research show that sensations accompanying emotional experiences are not the result of interoception as they do not correspond with objective indicators of the changes in physio¬logical arousal, whereas they do correspond in many ways with the subjects' emotional appraisal of the stimuli and self-assessment of sensations. These outcomes also revealed that subjective evaluations of body sensations correlate with emotional valence, while heart rate (the objective indicator of arousal) correlates with modali¬ty of the emotion.

Keywords: understanding emotions, interoception, feedback theories, emotional intelligence

Column: Empirical Research


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