- Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia During Episodes of Relived Sadness: The Role of Emotional Intelligence and Affect Intensity.
- Joshua A. Rash (author), Kenneth Prkachin (Thesis advisor), University of Northern British Columbia (Degree granting institution)
- The study investigated respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) during relived episodes of sadness as a function of emotional intelligence (EI) and affect intensity. RSA was hypothesized: 1) to be reduced during experienced sadness evidencing vagal withdrawal, 2) to show an inverse association with EI, particularly the managing emotions dimension, affect intensity, and depressive symptomatology. Fifty-six participants were recruited to fill out questionnaires and undergo three phases of psychophysiological recording (baseline, experiential sadness, recovery). Consistent with hypotheses, RSA amplitude was reduced during experiential sadness and magnitude of RSA reduction was inversely associated with both EI and affect intensity. However, magnitude of RSA response was not associated with the emotion management dimension of EI but rather the perceiving emotions dimension and was not associated with depressive symptomatology. Overall, the findings suggest that RSA (cardiac vagal tone) is more indicative of flexible responding to environmental demands rather than explicitly indexing emotion regulation. --P.ii.