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  How positive emotions build physical health: Perceived positive social connections account for the upward spiral between positive emotions and vagal tone

Kok, B. E., Coffey, K. A., Cohn, M. A., Catalino, L. I., Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Algoe, S., et al. (2013). How positive emotions build physical health: Perceived positive social connections account for the upward spiral between positive emotions and vagal tone. Psychological Science, 24(7), 1123-1132. doi:10.1177/0956797612470827.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-76A6-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CC43-C
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Kok, Bethany E.1, Author              
Coffey, Kimberly A.1, Author
Cohn, Michael A. 2, Author
Catalino, Lahnna I.1, Author
Vacharkulksemsuk, Tanya1, Author
Algoe, Sara1, Author
Brantley, Mary3, Author
Fredrickson, Barbara L. 1, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, ou_persistent22              
2Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA, ou_persistent22              
3Duke Integrative Medicine, Center for Living Campus, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Emotions; Social interaction; Health; Happiness; Well-being
 Abstract: The mechanisms underlying the association between positive emotions and physical health remain a mystery. We hypothesize that an upward-spiral dynamic continually reinforces the tie between positive emotions and physical health and that this spiral is mediated by people’s perceptions of their positive social connections. We tested this overarching hypothesis in a longitudinal field experiment in which participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group that self-generated positive emotions via loving-kindness meditation or to a waiting-list control group. Participants in the intervention group increased in positive emotions relative to those in the control group, an effect moderated by baseline vagal tone, a proxy index of physical health. Increased positive emotions, in turn, produced increases in vagal tone, an effect mediated by increased perceptions of social connections. This experimental evidence identifies one mechanism—perceptions of social connections—through which positive emotions build physical health, indexed as vagal tone. Results suggest that positive emotions, positive social connections, and physical health influence one another in a self-sustaining upward-spiral dynamic.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2012-10-112013-05-062013-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1177/0956797612470827
PMID: 23649562
Other: Epub 2013
 Degree: -

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Title: Psychological Science
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 24 (7) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1123 - 1132 Identifier: ISSN: 0956-7976
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/974392592005