Risk for Mania and Positive Emotional Responding: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Department of Psychology, 2205 Tolman Hall #1650, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-1650, USA.
Emotion (Impact Factor: 3.88). 03/2008; 8(1):23-33. DOI: 10.1037/1528-3542.8.1.23
Source: PubMed


Although positive emotion research has begun to flourish, the extremes of positive emotion remain understudied. The present research used a multimethod approach to examine positive emotional disturbance by comparing participants at high and low risk for episodes of mania, which involves elevations in positive emotionality. Ninety participants were recruited into a high or low mania risk group according to responses on the Hypomanic Personality Scale. Participants' subjective, expressive, and physiological emotional responses were gathered while they watched two positive, two negative, and one neutral film clip. Results suggested that participants at high risk for mania reported elevated positive emotion and irritability and also exhibited elevated cardiac vagal tone across positive, negative, and neutral films. Discussion focuses on the implications these findings have for the diagnosis and prevention of bipolar disorder, as well as for the general study of positive emotion.

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    • "Despite the potential relevance of HRV-HF to BD, little research has examined HRV functioning in BD. In one study, higher mean HRV-HF was associated with risk for BD as indexed by high scores on a scale measure of hypomanic tendencies (Gruber et al., 2008; though also see Henry et al., 2010). On the other hand, individuals at risk for BD, and diagnosed with BD, exhibit greater HRV-HF in the context of emotional film viewing (Gruber et al., 2008, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c). "
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    • "Although at first sight, the decrease in HR prompted by sadness stimuli may seem surprising, there is evidence that sadness is an emotion that implies acceptance of the situation and is thus commonly related to decreased cardial activation (e.g. Theall-Honey and Schmidt, 2006; Kreibig et al., 2007a; Gruber et al., 2008). It has also been commonly portrayed as a low arousal emotion (Kreibig et al., 2011). "
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