2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Does Heartfelt Emotion Increase Heart Rate Variability?
Jabari Allen*, Sarah Luebke, David Schultz, and Kelsey N. Spalding
Dr. Fred Shaffer, Faculty Mentor

Wally and colleagues (in press) found that inducing heartfelt emotion did not increase heart rate variability (HRV). To determine whether heartfelt emotion increases HRV, the present study compared heartfelt emotion to sitting quietly. HRV was measured using time domain, frequency domain, and entropy indices. Participants were randomly assigned to two 5-minute conditions that were separated by 2-minute buffer periods: heartfelt emotion and control. Participants in the heartfelt emotion condition received the Institute of HeartMath's instructions to activate these emotions. In the control condition, they sat quietly. Heartfelt emotion was successfully manipulated. Heartfelt emotion did not significantly increase HRV as measured by time domain, frequency domain, or entropy indices compared to a control condition. Since heartfelt emotion, alone, did not increase HRV, its contribution to HRV biofeedback remains unproven. Future research should replicate these findings with a gender-balanced clinical sample.

Keywords: heartfelt emotion, heart rate variability, positive emotion, respiration, biofeedback


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 403-4
Location: MG 1000
Time: 3:15

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