Social Psychophysiology and Health Lab

About the lab

Social Psychophysiology & Health Lab is equipped for measurements of physiological and behavioral signals important for understanding of social, emotional, and motivational determinants of somatic health and healthy relationships. In addition to the experimental laboratory research, our team conducts field research and internet studies in order to further examine the phenomena in laboratory conditions.

Featured projects (1)

A social psychophysiology study on capitalization within the Moral Foundations Theory framework

Featured research (10)

The undoing hypothesis proposes that positive emotions serve to undo sympathetic arousal related to negative emotions and stress. However, a recent qualitative review challenged the undoing effect by presenting conflicting results. To address this issue quantitatively, we conducted a meta-analytic review of 16 studies ( N = 1,220; 72 effect sizes) measuring sympathetic recovery during elicited positive emotions and neutral conditions. Findings indicated that in most cases, positive emotions did not speed sympathetic recovery compared to neutral conditions. However, when a composite index of cardiovascular reactivity was used, undoing effects were evident. Our findings suggest the need for further work on the functions of positive emotions.
Capitalization is an interpersonal process in which individuals (capitalizers) communicate their accomplishments to others (responders). When these attempts to capitalize are met with enthusiastic responses, individuals reap greater personal and social benefits from the accomplishment. This research integrated the interpersonal model of capitalization with moral foundations theory to examine whether accomplishments achieved through immoral (vs. moral) means disrupt the interpersonal processes of capitalization. We hypothesized that an accomplishment achieved through immoral (vs. moral) means would suppress the positive affective response often reaped from capitalizing on good news. We conducted two, mixed-methods experiments in which individuals interacted with a stranger (Study 1) or with their romantic partner (Study 2). We found that responders exhibited greater self-reported negative emotions, avoidance motivation, and arousal when reacting to capitalizers' immoral (vs. moral) accomplishments. In turn, greater negative affect predicted less enthusiastic verbal responses to capitalization attempts. In Study 2 we found that immoral accomplishments increased avoidance motivation, which contrary to our expectations, increased expressions of happiness. These studies reveal that the moral means by which accomplishments are achieved can disrupt the interpersonal process of capitalization. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
Autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity is a fundamental component of emotional responding. It is not clear, however, whether positive emotional states are associated with differential ANS reactivity. To address this issue, we conducted a meta-analytic review of 120 articles (686 effect sizes, total N = 6,546), measuring ANS activity during 11 elicited positive emotions, namely amusement, attachment love, awe, contentment, craving, excitement, gratitude, joy, nurturant love, pride, and sexual desire. We identified a widely dispersed collection of studies. Univariate results indicated that positive emotions produce no or weak and highly variable increases in ANS reactivity. However, the limitations of work to date – which we discuss – mean that our conclusions should be treated as empirically grounded hypotheses that future research should validate.
Studies indicated that individuals who tend to smile while taking their photographs tend to experience more positive emotions in their life and, in turn, achieve superior outcomes in several life domains. However, little is known whether positive emotionality revealed in players' profile photographs is related to sports performance. This study examined whether the smiling intensity in volleyball players' profiles (full, partial, and no smile) predicted individual (e.g., points scored, service, and reception errors) and team performance (winning a match). Building upon previous studies on positive emotions, we expected that players presenting full (Duchenne) smiles would achieve better results. We analyzed 196 volleyball players' profiles from the Polish highest-level professional league competition (PlusLiga). Raters coded smile intensity. Using three-level path models, we found that teams with more frequent Duchenne smiles performed as well as those who presented Duchenne smiles less often. We conclude that positive emotionality (as reflected in profile photo smiling) might be independent of male volleyball accomplishments.
Individuals tend to satisfy their assimilation needs by purchasing products that bear a specific group identity. Such products might be preferred when an individual is threatened because anxiety increases affiliative needs. In contrast, individuals might be more attracted to unique-design products when they feel less anxious. We examined the impact of anxiety on assimilation and differentiation needs amongst consumers primed with independent and interdependent self-construal. We expected that anxiety would produce stronger assimilation needs and show a weaker preference for unique products. In Study 1 ( N = 110), we found that individuals in the anxiety-inducing condition decreased their evaluation of unique products and exhibited stronger assimilation needs. Independents who felt anxiety reacted with a reduced preference for group-linked products. Study 2 (N = 102) found that introducing an anxiety-decreasing agent (vanilla scent) after a social identity threat reduced differentiation needs and preference for unique products. Physiological data showed that the social identity threat increased sympathetic arousal, but the vanilla scent did not have a soothing effect on physiological reactivity. Overall, this work showed that both anxiety and vanilla scent reduced consumer need for differentiation. Furthermore, for independents, anxiety reduced assimilation needs. We found novel determinants of assimilation/differentiation needs with implications for advertising and retailing products with a unique design.

Lab head

Lukasz Dominik Kaczmarek
  • Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science
About Lukasz Dominik Kaczmarek
  • I founded and direct the Positive Gaming & Streaming Psychophysiology Lab. My research focuses on positive emotions and positive relationships and their application in various contexts, from everyday experience, and psychophysiology to video gaming and esports. My contribution includes also positive psychological interventions and interpersonal capitalization.

Members (3)

Przemyslaw Guzik
  • Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Maciej Behnke
  • Adam Mickiewicz University
Patrycja Chwiłkowska
  • Adam Mickiewicz University