Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 189–195 | Cite as

The Effects of Upright and Slumped Postures on the Recall of Positive and Negative Thoughts

Abstract

This study assessed whether it was easier to generate positive and negative thoughts in either an upright or slumped position. Twenty-four participants, who reported no clinical depression or anxiety, completed the Tellegen absorption questionnaire and a self-assessment of imagery ability. Surface electromyography (sEMG) of zygomaticus major, heart rate, and respiratory rate were assessed across four 1-min counterbalanced conditions of either upright or slumped posture and either positive or negative thought generation. Posttrial checks of compliance were completed. At the end of the study, participants rated which thought was easiest to generate in the two postures. Significantly more participants (22), or 92%, indicated it was easiest to generate positive thoughts in the upright position. ANOVA of sEMG activity significantly distinguished positive and negative thoughts in both positions. Significant correlation coefficients were observed between scores on the Tellegen scale of absorption and the ability to generate thoughts quickly and between self-perceptions of imagery ability with the maintenance of thoughts across time. This study supports the finding that positive thoughts are more easily recalled in the upright posture.

posture sEMG cognition heart rate absorption thoughts 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Boiten, F. (1996). Autonomic response patterns during voluntary facial action. Psychophysiology, 33 ,123–131.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bradley, M. M. (2000). Emotion and motivation. In J.T. Cacioppo, L. G. Tassinary, & G. Berntson (Eds.), Handbook of psychophysiology (2nd ed., pp. 602–642). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, G. G., Larsen, J. T., Poehlmann, K. M., & Ito, T. A. (2000). The psychophysiology of emotion. In R. Lewis, & J.M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), The handbook of emotion (2nd ed., pp. 173–191). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  4. Gehricke, J., & Shapiro, D. (2000). Facial and autonomic activity in depression: Social context differences during imagery. International Journal Psychophysiology, 41 ,3–64.Google Scholar
  5. Glisky, M., Tataryn, D., Tobias, B., Kihlstrom, J., & McConkey, K. (1991). Absorption, openness to experience and hynotizability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60,263–272.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Jaencke, L. (1994). An EMG investigation of the coactivation of facial muscles during the presentation of affectladen stimuli. Journal of Psychophysiology, 8 ,1–10.Google Scholar
  7. Lane, R. D., Reiman, E. M., Ahern, G., & Schwartz, G. E. (1997). Neuroanatomical correlates of happiness, sadness and disgust. American Journal of Psychiatry, 54 ,926–933.Google Scholar
  8. Larsen, J. T., Norris, C. J., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2003). Effects of positive and negative affect on electromyographic activity over zygomaticus major and corrugator supercilii. Psychophysiology, 40 ,776–785.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Lederer-Eckardt, G. (1947). Gymnastics and personality. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 7 ,48–52.Google Scholar
  10. Levenson, R. W., & Ekman, P. (2002). Difficulty does not account for emotion-specific heart rate changes in the directed facial action task. Psychophysiology, 39,397–405.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Riskind, J. H. (1983). Non-verbal expressions and the accessibility of life experience memories: A congruence hypothesis. Social Cognition, 2 ,62–86.Google Scholar
  12. Riskind, J. H. (1984). They stoop to conquer: Guiding and self-regulatory functions of physical posture after success and failure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47 ,479–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Roche, S. K., & McConkey, K. M. (1990). Absorption: Nature, assessment and correlates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59 ,91–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Schouwstra, S., Sanneke, J., & Hoogstraten, J. (1995). Head position and spinal position as determinants of perceived emotional state. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 81 ,673–674.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Sirota, A. D., & Schwartz, G. E. (1982). Facial muscle patterning and lateralization during elation and depression imagery. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91 ,25–34.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Tellegen, A., & Atkinson, G. (1974). Openness to absorbing and self-experiences “absorption”: A trait related to hypnotic susceptibility. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 83 ,268–277.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology and Health ScienceYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health/Institute for Holistic HealthSan Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco

Personalised recommendations