ArticleLiterature Review

A Neurobehavioral Model of Affiliative Bonding: Implications for Conceptualizing a Human Trait of Affiliation

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Abstract

Because little is known about the human trait of affiliation, we provide a novel neurobehavioral model of affiliative bonding. Discussion is organized around processes of reward and memory formation that occur during approach and consummatory phases of affiliation. Appetitive and consummatory reward processes are mediated independently by the activity of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA)-nucleus accumbens shell (NAS) pathway and the central corticolimbic projections of the u-opiate system of the medial basal arcuate nucleus, respectively, although these two projection systems functionally interact across time. We next explicate the manner in which DA and glutamate interact in both the VTA and NAS to form incentive-encoded contextual memory ensembles that are predictive of reward derived from affiliative objects. Affiliative stimuli, in particular, are incorporated within contextual ensembles predictive of affiliative reward via: (a) the binding of affiliative stimuli in the rostral circuit of the medial extended amygdala and subsequent transmission to the NAS shell; (b) affiliative stimulus-induced opiate potentiation of DA processes in the VTA and NAS; and (c) permissive or facilitatory effects of gonadal steroids, oxytocin (in interaction with DA), and vasopressin on (i) sensory, perceptual, and attentional processing of affiliative stimuli and (ii) formation of social memories. Among these various processes, we propose that the capacity to experience affiliative reward via opiate functioning has a disproportionate weight in determining individual differences in affiliation. We delineate sources of these individual differences, and provide the first human data that support an association between opiate functioning and variation in trait affiliation.

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... The theory behind compassion is from evolutionary psychology and involves an affect regulation system and the three systems that are proposed to operate within it (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005): the threat prevention system, the drive system and the contentment system. The threat prevention system is designed to notice threats to the self and trigger emotions (e.g. ...
... It is a source of anticipation and pleasure, however not necessarily happiness due to the dependence on reward and achievement (Gilbert, 2009). Status seeking, competitiveness and rejection avoidance have all been associated with this drive system (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). ...
... The contentment system or social safeness system is associated with soothing, calm and positive affect and wellbeing, not simply the absence of threat. It is associated with attachment, the evolution of which led to signals of caring and kindness to be soothing and activate these positive effects (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Gilbert, 2009). The contentment system is said to be a regulator of the other systems and as such is a key element in compassion-based therapies and the ability to self-soothe. ...
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Background The associations between compassion, self-compassion, and body image are well established. However, there is not yet a compassion-informed measure of body compassion that can be applied to any aspect of one’s body. Method Items for The Body Compassion Questionnaire (BCQ) were derived from an earlier expressive writing study on self-compassion in body image. In study 1, the BCQ was completed by 728 men and women; with factor analysis, Rasch analysis, content and concurrent validation and reliability assessed. Study 2 compared BCQ scores with investigator-based ratings of spontaneous expressions of body compassion through writing in female undergraduates as well as an existing measure of body compassion. Study 3 examined the associations between BCQ scores, and the emotions expressed in a structured body image writing task. It also examined the relative predictive ability of the BCQ versus self-compassion in predicting eating pathology. Results A bi-factor structure was identified, with an overall BCQ score and three subscales: body kindness, common humanity, and motivated action. The BCQ and its subscales had good validity and reliability and Rasch analysis showed the item fit was invariant across a range of demographic characteristics. Spontaneous expressions of body compassion showed positive associations with body kindness. Overall BCQ scores and body kindness were also inversely related to negative emotions expressed in relation to body image. The BCQ was a better predictor of eating disorder symptoms than was self-compassion. Conclusions The BCQ is the first measure of body compassion that is aligned with theoretical aspects of self-compassion, and which includes aspects of both the first and second psychologies of compassion. It also highlights its potential use as a process measure of body compassion in models of eating disorder symptomology, mood and wellbeing as well as an outcome measure for compassion-based interventions in eating disorders and body image.
... Affiliative bonding relies on a capacity for affiliative reward -valuing and enjoying interpersonal closeness with others (Waller and Wagner, 2019)-and the establishment of conditioned preferences for specific individuals (Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). Humans start affiliative bonds with their caregivers and later widen them to friends, romantic partners, and a wider community (Viding and McCrory, 2019). ...
... Humans start affiliative bonds with their caregivers and later widen them to friends, romantic partners, and a wider community (Viding and McCrory, 2019). An increasing number of neuroscience studies has explored the underlying neurobiology of affiliative bonding, and neuropsychological models of human affiliation have been developed (Bora et al., 2009;Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Long et al., 2020;Numan and Young, 2016;Strathearn et al., 2019). However, it remains unclear whether the same brain regions underlying affiliative bonding behaviors are also engaged by interpersonal trust -specially identification-based trust. ...
... Evidence suggests that interacting with different kinds of affiliative figures activates a common reward pathway system (Bora et al., 2009). The neurobiology models of affiliative bonding highlight the core role of oxytocin and dopamine systems both in nonhuman (Numan and Young, 2016) and human (Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005) research. Based on the existing neurobiological evidence, Strathearn (2011; proposed a neurobiological model of human attachment -a deep and enduring affectional bond between two people in which each seeks closeness and feels more secure when in the presence of the attachment figure (e.g., pair-bonding), or one seeks proximity to others for protection and/or affiliation (e.g., parental-infant bonding). ...
Article
Trust is vital for establishing social relationships and is a crucial precursor for affiliative bonds. Investigations explored the neuropsychological bases of trust separately (e.g., measured by the trust game) and affiliative bonding (e.g., measured by parental care, pair-bonding, or friendship). However, direct empirical support for the shared neural mechanisms between trust and affiliative bonding is missing. Here, we conducted a coordinate-based meta-analysis on functional magnetic resonance imaging studies on interpersonal trust and affiliative bonding using the activation likelihood estimation method. Our results demonstrated that decisions to trust strangers in repeated interactions (i.e., identification-based trust) engaged the ventral striatum (vSTR, part of the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway), likely signaling the reward anticipation. Further, both feedbacks in repeated interactions and affiliative bonding engaged the dorsal striatum (dSTR, part of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway), likely encoding learning dynamics. Our findings suggest that identification-based trust can be understood in the light of affiliative bonding, involving the mesocorticolimbic “reward” pathway (vSTR) and nigrostriatal “habit formation” pathway (dSTR) in building and sustaining social relationships.
... For species whose newborns require parental care to survive, behaviors that promote ongoing parental attention and support (i.e., attachment and caregiving behaviors such as proximity and physical contact) are inherently reinforcing for both parents and offspring (Bowlby, 1969). Although not all researchers agree, many argue that an attachment/caregiving neural system provides the underlying developmental framework for other affiliative behaviors later in life (see Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). Indeed, Bartels and Zeki showed that, although they are not isomorphic, maternal and romantic love overlap in the brain, activating many of the same regions in striatum, insula, and cingulate cortex, and deactivating many of the same regions in prefrontal cortex (Bartels & Zeki, 2000. ...
... And, even when delivered by humans, gentle touch is an effective reinforcer for training dogs, cats, chimpanzees, and rhesus monkeys (reviewed in Taira & Rolls, 1996). Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky (2005) describe this underlying process of affiliative reward as "a core capacity to experience reward elicited by specific affiliative stimuli, especially those that involve both sexual touch and nonsexual soft, caressive tactile stimulation" (p. 374, italics added). ...
... This type of reward is consummatory rather than appetitive, and activates the "liking," rather than the "wanting," centers of the brain (Robinson & Berridge, 1993). Much research suggests that it is likely to be mediated significantly by endogenous opioid mechanisms (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). ...
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Resilience is the process by which individuals adapt successfully to acute or chronic challenge and adversity (see Preface, this volume). Initially studied in developmental contexts, it is now a focus in adult psychology, where it vies with risk-based models to explain behavior and health-related outcomes. Resilience researchers ask “Why are most people able to overcome trauma or misfortune, even to thrive in their wake, whereas others are critically damaged by these experiences?” Some answers to this question suggest a powerful resiliencepromoting role for interpersonal relationships and social connection (Cacioppo, Reis, & Zautra, 2011). As noted by Berkman and colleagues, relationships influence well-being by providing opportunities for social integration and engagement, giving and receiving social support, influencing and being influenced by others, experiencing positive and negative social interactions, and feeling companionship or loneliness (Berkman, Glass, Brissette, & Seeman, 2000). Relationships also provide opportunities for interpersonal touch, particularly physical affection.
... Social bonds strongly support emotional balance and promote wellbeing, mental and physical health throughout the life span of mammals and birds (74)(75)(76). ...
... Activation of the LUST system in the brain activates seductive behaviors and the sexual act. Male and female sex drives are mediated by several distinct brain neuropeptide circuits, the activities of which are regulated by their respective gonadal steroids (74) suggests that dopamine plays an important role in incentive-reward motivational processes associated with the appetitive phase of affiliation (SEEKING system), that endogenous opioids are involved in the consummatory phase of socialization (i.e., CARE and PLAY system), and that oxytocin and vasopressin enhance the perception and memory of affiliative stimuli (134). b In the current state of research, the CARE circuit has mainly been studied in females, in particular maternal behaviors with the action of peripheral estrogen, progesterone, prolactin and cerebral oxytocin. ...
... As previously defined by Bowlby (198) with the notion of "secure base, " the reunion with conspecifics creates a calming of the PANIC system and participates in the creation of the feeling of a "secure neurochemical base" within the brain, via endogenous opioids and the action of neuromodulators such as oxytocin (71). According to Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky (74), in social species, with the evolution of care and attachment, the oxytocin-opiate system (CARE system) has become a key affect regulation system, whereby there is a co-assembly of different affects such as contentment, feeling of safety and wellbeing, as well as various physiological effects on pain thresholds, the immune system and brain maturation that are partially regulated by these neurohormones (75,77,144,180). Signals and stimuli from CARE system activation, such as stoking, holding, tone of voice, facial expressions, and social support have thus evolved as natural stimuli that inhibit the separation distress system (PANIC system) and have the effect of calming and soothing the receivers (199)(200)(201). ...
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The Integrative Model of Human-Animal Interactions (IMHAI) described herewith provides a conceptual framework for the study of interspecies interactions and aims to model the primary emotional processes involved in human-animal interactions. This model was developed from theoretical inputs from three fundamental disciplines for understanding interspecies interactions: neuroscience, psychology and ethology, with the objective of providing a transdisciplinary approach on which field professionals and researchers can build and collaborate. Seminal works in affective neuroscience offer a common basis between humans and animals and, as such, can be applied to the study of interspecies interactions from a One Health-One Welfare perspective. On the one hand, Jaak Panksepp's research revealed that primary/basic emotions originate in the deep subcortical regions of the brain and are shared by all mammals, including humans. On the other hand, several works in the field of neuroscience show that the basic physiological state is largely determined by the perception of safety. Thus, emotional expression reflects the state of an individual's permanent adaptation to ever-changing environmental demands. Based on this evidence and over 5 years of action research using grounded theory, alternating between research and practice, the IMHAI proposes a systemic approach to the study of primary-process emotional affects during interspecies social interactions, through the processes of emotional transfer, embodied communication and interactive emotional regulation. IMHAI aims to generate new hypotheses and predictions on affective behavior and interspecies communication. Application of such a model should promote risk prevention and the establishment of positive links between humans and animals thereby contributing to their respective wellbeing.
... Their analysis revealed four facets of positive affect: serenity, joviality, attentiveness, and self-assurance, all being significantly positively correlated with reward responsiveness except for the serenity facet which showed no association (Dornbach-Bender et al., 2020). This finding is in line with research associating positive affective states of safety and contentment with a quiescence motivational state following reward acquisition, goal achievement, and fulfillment of consummatory needs (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Gilbert et al., 2008;McCall & Singer, 2012) and less with an approach-motivated appetitive state of reward-seeking targeted at reward acquisition (Corr, 2008;Gray, 1987). In other words, when you feel safe, you do not strive for more rewards. ...
... With respect to positive affective states, Paul and Pourtois (2017) reported increased RewP amplitudes after the induction of happiness, which is associated with greater BAS reward responsiveness (Dornbach-Bender et al., 2020). However, to our knowledge, no study investigated alterations in RewP amplitude after the induction of a positive affective state associated with low BAS activation consistent with the conceptualization of a quiescence motivated state (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Gilbert et al., 2008;McCall & Singer, 2012). ...
... Thus, the post-hypnotic safety trigger selectively affected the RewP component. As the RewP amplitude has been proposed as a psychophysiological marker for reward sensitivity (Proudfit, 2015), we conclude that the suggestion of safety by a post-hypnotic trigger turns participants into a quiescence motivational state (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Gilbert et al., 2008;McCall & Singer, 2012) and ultimately reduces reward sensitivity. ...
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Increased reward sensitivity has been proposed as an important transdiagnos-tic feature for a series of disorders, including addictive behaviors. Earlier studies suggest that a positive affective state characterized by the feeling of safety could reduce an individual's reward sensitivity. A promising technique to establish a feeling of safety on demand is to utilize post-hypnotic suggestions. We hypothesized that the feeling of safety elicited by post-hypnotic suggestions reduces neu-ral signals of reward sensitivity. To test our predictions, we hypnotized 24 highly suggestible participants, suggested them to feel safe and coupled this feeling of safety to a post-hypnotic trigger that reactivates the feeling of safety outside the hypnotic state. Participants then played a risk game both in a safety condition using the post-hypnotic safety trigger and in a control condition using a neutral trigger. Simultaneously, we recorded their EEG. Participants reported significantly higher ratings of safety in the safety condition compared to the control condition. Even several weeks after the main experimental session, the post-hypnotic safety trigger still elicited a significantly stronger feeling of safety compared to the control condition. Moreover, the Reward Positivity (RewP) was significantly reduced in the safety condition. As the RewP amplitude has been proposed as a psychophysiological marker for reward sensitivity, we conclude that the suggestion of safety by post-hypnotic suggestions turns participants into a quiescence motivational state that makes them less reward sensitive. Therefore, we discuss implications of the post- hypnotic safety trigger for the treatment of disorders as-sociated with increased reward sensitivity such as addictive behaviors.
... Research propagates that activation of the sympathetic as well as the parasympathetic nervous system both increase during affiliative bonding. Activation of the sympathetic nervous system tends to occur during the initial phase, which may correspond to the FFP, while parasympathetic nervous system activation does not increase until later phases of the affiliation process (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). Furthermore, a meta-analysis by Shahrestani and colleagues (2015) found that parasympathetic nervous system activation does not change in positive interactions, but only in negative ones. ...
... It thus serves as a measure for sympathetic activation (Boucsein, 2012). Following Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky (2005) and Shahrestani and colleagues (2015), we expected increased EDA and, due to increased sympathetic but not parasympathetic activation, HR increases in response to the FFP (hypothesis 2a). Regarding the sexual intimacy extension, we expected increases in EDA and HFHRV as suggested by the literature on sexual arousal (Motofei & Rowland, 2005) (hypothesis 2b). ...
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The Fast Friends Procedure (FFP) is a widely used experimental paradigm to induce emotional intimacy. Besides exploring the validity of a German translation of the paradigm (n = 46), we developed an extension of the FFP that induces sexual intimacy and assessed heart rate, high-frequency heart rate variability, and electrodermal activity responses to the FFP and its extension. Furthermore, we examined its applicability to individuals with childhood maltreatment (n = 56), who frequently suffer from intimacy-related difficulties. Intimacy, positive affect, liking, and attraction increased during the FFP and partly during the sexual intimacy extension in both study groups. Moreover, both groups showed physiological responses consistent with positive social interactions. The use of the German FFP and its sexual intimacy extension can thus be recommended for research in the general population and in individuals with childhood maltreatment, although more studies are needed to further validate the paradigms.
... In light of the Fredrickson Broaden and Build theory of positive emotions (2001,2013), and on work illustrating diminished social reward seeking in SAD (Richey et al., 2017), as well as research indicating that the selfassurance domain of PA is related to the dopaminergic system and reward seeking in general (DeYoung, 2013;Stanton et al., 2016), we specifically hypothesized that the self-assurance facet-which is defined by elements of confidence and boldness-would show a robust negative relationship to symptoms of social anxiety and dysphoria, as well as measures of social functioning. In comparison, given that serenity (i.e., feelings of calm, relaxation, ease) tends to function more as a facilitative context for consummatory and affiliative needs to be met (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005) and that attentiveness (i.e., alertness; conscientiousness) has demonstrated less specificity, and related to broader internalizing disorders (Stanton et al., 2016), we expected that the attentiveness and serenity facets would be less strongly linked to these measures, even though they also are PA states overlapping with joviality and self-assurance. We also examined associations for PA facets with clinically elevated levels of social anxiety and dysphoric symptoms, and consistent with our analyses using dimensional symptom ratings, we again predicted that self-assurance scores would uniquely predict a decreased likelihood of membership in the "clinically" elevated social anxiety or dysphoric group above and beyond the other PA facets. ...
... Results regarding the serenity facet were supportive of our predictions. Specifically, we predicted that serenity would not show a strong association with social anxiety nor social functioning measures, nor would it be more strongly correlated when investigated with contrast analyses in predicting social anxiety symptoms, due to previous work suggesting that serenity does not act as a motivational agent (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). Results from this study indicate that serenity was weakly associated with only social functioning measures, but not social anxiety symptoms. ...
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This study investigated the extent to which specific facets of positive affectivity (PA) demonstrate differential relationships with social anxiety symptomatology as well as social functioning. Following the conceptual framework of the Broaden and Build theory, as well as prior work demonstrating reward-based linkages to specific PA subdomains, we hypothesized that motivationally-valenced PA facets would show distinct associations with social anxiety and social functioning measures. Two samples (N = 446 and N = 375) completed self-report measures of PA, social anxiety, internalizing symptoms, and social functioning. Correlational, multiple and logistic regression, and contrast analyses of correlated correlation coefficients were used to identify the presence and magnitude of relationships between PA facets and symptom measures. Relationships between social anxiety and specific subdomains of PA appeared to depend on the motivational relevance of each facet. Specifically, self-assurance was associated with social anxiety symptoms above and beyond other PA facets and negative affect. Additionally, contrast analyses indicated that motivationally-valenced (versus non-motivationally-valenced) PA facets were stronger negative predictors of social anxiety symptoms. These results demonstrate a statistically significant divergence between motivationally-valenced subdomains of PA and non-motivationally-valenced subdomains of PA, as they relate to social anxiety symptom severity.
... Disorders of distress such as anxiety and depression have been widely linked to emotional dysregulation [65] and often lead to maladaptive coping behaviours such as substance [66,67] and alcohol abuse [68]. Neurophysiological research suggests that there are three main emotion regulation systems [69], namely the threat, drive, and soothing systems [70]. The threat system functions as an alarm apparatus that elicits feelings of anxiety and anger, resulting in protection-seeking behaviours [70]. ...
... The threat system functions as an alarm apparatus that elicits feelings of anxiety and anger, resulting in protection-seeking behaviours [70]. The drive system is goal oriented and triggers behaviours that bring pleasure [69]. The soothing system focuses on safety, and reduces distress through nurturing and affection [70]. ...
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High rates of mental health problems are a growing concern in Czech higher education; negatively impacting on students' performance and wellbeing. Despite the serious nature of poor mental health; students often do not seek help due to negative attitudes and shame for mental health problems. Recent mental health research reports self-compassion is strongly associated with better mental health and reduced shame. However, relationships between those constructs remain to be evaluated among Czech students. This study aimed to appraise the relationships between mental health problems; negative mental health attitudes; mental health shame; and self-compassion in this population. An opportunity sample of 119 psychology students from a Czech university completed questionnaires regarding these constructs. Correlation, regression and path analyses were conducted. Mental health problems were positively associated with neg-ative mental health attitudes and shame; and negatively associated with self-compassion. Self-compassion negatively predicted mental health problems, while negative attitudes and shame did not. Lastly, self-compassion fully mediated the negative attitudes-mental health problems relationship, and partially mediated the shame-mental health problems relationship. Findings suggest self-compassion is essential for mental health in Czech students; and associated with negative mental health attitudes and mental health shame. Czech universities can benefit from incorporating self-compassion training in their curriculum to protect students' mental health.
... Low social affiliation is theorized to be one phenotypic marker of CU behaviors (Waller & Wagner, 2019). Social affiliation is characterized as the intrinsic motivation for and enjoyment of closeness and social bonding with others, evidenced via social approach, positive vocalizations, social touch, and body gestures that promote interpersonal connection (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). It supports mother-child bonding in infancy (Panksepp, Nelson, & Siviy, 1994) and the development of social communication in early childhood (Hertenstein, Verkamp, Kerestes, & Holmes, 2006). ...
Article
Background: Callous-unemotional (CU) behaviors predict risk for aggression and rule-breaking. Low social affiliation (i.e. reduced motivation for and enjoyment of social closeness) is hypothesized to be a phenotypic marker for CU behaviors in early childhood. However, studies need to establish observational methods to objectively assess social affiliation as well as to establish parenting practices that can buffer pathways from low social affiliation to CU behaviors. Methods: Using data from a longitudinal twin study of 628 children (age 2, 47% females; age 3, 44.9% females), we examined reciprocal associations between observed social affiliation, CU behaviors, and oppositional-defiant behaviors. We tested whether positive parenting moderated associations over time. Results: We established that an observed measure of social affiliation derived from the Bayley's Behavior Rating Scale and Infant Behavior Record showed high inter-rater reliability and expected convergence with parent-reported temperament measures. Lower social affiliation at age 2 uniquely predicted CU behaviors, but not oppositional-defiant behaviors, at age 3. Finally, low social affiliation at age 2 predicted CU behaviors at age 3 specifically among children who experienced low, but not high, levels of parental positivity. Conclusions: An objective rating scale that is already widely used in pediatric settings reliably indexes low social affiliation and risk for CU behaviors. The dynamic interplay between parenting and low child social affiliation represents an important future target for novel individual- and dyadic-targeted treatments to reduce risk for CU behaviors.
... In primates, social grooming is the central behavioural mechanism that creates social bonding 12 . The sweeping hand movements used in grooming are the preferred stimulus to activate the receptors of cutaneous CLTM neurons 1,4,13 , and neurobiological experiments confirm that these movements trigger an endorphin response in the brain in both primates 14-17 and humans 7,18 , playing a central role in driving the reward associated with close physical contact, thereby enhancing social bonding [19][20][21][22] . A recent rodent study reported that daily stroking, specifically targeted to activate CLTMs, also confers resilience against established markers of chronic unpredictable mild stress 10 . ...
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The C-tactile (CLTM) peripheral nervous system is involved in social bonding in primates and humans through its capacity to trigger the brain’s endorphin system. Since the mammalian cochlea has an unusually high density of similar neurons (type-II spiral ganglion neurons, SGNs), we hypothesise that their function may have been exploited for social bonding by co-opting head movements in response to music and other rhythmic movements of the head in social contexts. Music provides one of many cultural behavioural mechanisms for ‘virtual grooming’ in that it is used to trigger the endorphin system with many people simultaneously so as to bond both dyadic relationships and large groups. Changes in pain threshold across an activity are a convenient proxy assay for endorphin uptake in the brain, and we use this, in two experiments, to show that pain thresholds are higher when nodding the head than when sitting still.
... Extraversion is, generally speaking, a trait related to sensitivity to social rewards (e.g., ref. 38). Therefore, in an environment where social contacts are restricted, it is natural to expect that extraverted individuals are particularly negatively affected. ...
Article
Several studies have been devoted to establishing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health across gender, age, and ethnicity. However, much less attention has been paid to the differential effect of COVID-19 according to different personalities. We do this using the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), a large-scale panel survey representative of the UK population. The UKHLS allows us to assess the mental health of the same respondent before and during the COVID-19 period based on their "Big Five" personality traits and cognitive skills. We find that during the COVID-19 period, individuals who have more extravert and open personality traits report a higher mental health deterioration, while those scoring higher in agreeableness are less affected. The effect of openness is particularly strong: One more SD predicts up to 0.23 more symptoms of mental health deterioration in the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) test during the COVID-19 period. In particular, for females, cognitive skills and openness are strong predictors of mental health deterioration, while for non-British White respondents, these predictors are extraversion and openness. Neuroticism strongly predicts worse mental health cross-sectionally, but it does not lead to significantly stronger deterioration during the pandemic. The study's results are robust to the inclusion of potential confounding variables such as changes in physical health, household income, and job status (like unemployed or furloughed).
... Extraversion is, generally speaking, a trait related to sensitivity to social rewards (e.g., ref. 38). Therefore, in an environment where social contacts are restricted, it is natural to expect that extraverted individuals are particularly negatively affected. ...
Article
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Several studies have been devoted to establishing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health across gender, age, and ethnicity. However, much less attention has been paid to the differential effect of COVID-19 according to different personalities. We do this using the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), a large-scale panel survey representative of the UK population. The UKHLS allows us to assess the mental health of the same respondent before and during the COVID-19 period based on their “Big Five” personality traits and cognitive skills. We find that during the COVID-19 period, individuals who have more extravert and open personality traits report a higher mental health deterioration, while those scoring higher in agreeableness are less affected. The effect of openness is particularly strong: One more SD predicts up to 0.23 more symptoms of mental health deterioration in the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) test during the COVID-19 period. In particular, for females, cognitive skills and openness are strong predictors of mental health deterioration, while for non-British White respondents, these predictors are extraversion and openness. Neuroticism strongly predicts worse mental health cross-sectionally, but it does not lead to significantly stronger deterioration during the pandemic. The study’s results are robust to the inclusion of potential confounding variables such as changes in physical health, household income, and job status (like unemployed or furloughed).
... There are several reasons why self-compassion may alleviate PTS symptoms, which are also applicable to voices. First, self-compassion activates feelings of affiliation, which triggers the release of oxytocin in the brain resulting in a feeling of being safe, cared for, and soothed (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Parrish et al., 2018). This has been described as the "soothing system" and has been associated with the regulation of threat emotions (Gilbert, 2009). ...
Article
Traumatic life events are associated with increased risk of hearing voices and posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms have been implicated in this relationship. Studies indicate that increased self-compassion is associated with reduced PTS symptoms and voice-distress. The present study sought to examine whether self-compassion moderated the relationship between PTS symptoms and voice-distress. Self-report and clinician-administered questionnaires were used to measure self-compassion, PTS symptom severity, voice-frequency, and voice-distress in 62 trauma-affected voice-hearers who presented to a community voice-hearing clinic. Correlation analyses revealed that PTS symptom severity was positively correlated with voice-distress, but not voice-frequency, and that self-compassion was negatively correlated with voice-distress and PTS symptom severity. While self-compassion did not moderate the relationship between PTS symptom severity and voice-distress, it was associated with a significant reduction in voice-distress, at all levels of PTS symptom severity. Preliminary findings suggest self-compassion may play an important role in reducing voice-distress and thus warrant further consideration of self-compassion as a target in treatment for help-seeking voice-hearers.
... social groups, "freedom ", "nature ", "humanity "; Feldman, 2017 ; Moll and de Oliveira-Souza, 2009 ;Richerson and Boyd, 2006 ;Swann et al., 2012 ). Stimuli and behaviors related to attachment typically elicit a range of "affiliative emotions ", or emotional experiences that motivate and maintain social bonds, including sexual desire and tenderness/affection ( Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005 ;Feldman, 2017 ;Moll et al., 2012 ;Moll and de Oliveira-Souza, 2009 ;Zahn et al., 2020 ). Affiliative emotions robustly recruit neural circuits implicated in reward and motivation, which are modulated by outcomes across various types of rewards (e.g., food, faces and erotic stimuli; Goerlich et al., 2017 ;Sescousse et al., 2013 ;Simon et al., 2014 ;Spreckelmeyer et al., 2009 ). ...
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Humans are intrinsically motivated to bond with others. The ability to experience affiliative emotions (such as affection/tenderness, sexual attraction, and admiration/awe) may incentivize and promote these affiliative bonds. Here, we interrogate the role of the critical reward circuitry, especially the Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc) and the septo-hypothalamic region, in the anticipation of and response to affiliative rewards using a novel incentive delay task. During Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI), participants (n=23 healthy humans; 14 female) anticipated and watched videos involving affiliative (tenderness, erotic desire, and awe) and nonaffiliative (i.e., food) rewards, as well as neutral scenes. On the one hand, anticipation of both affiliative and nonaffiliative rewards increased activity in the NAcc, anterior insula, and supplementary motor cortex, but activity in the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) increased in response to reward outcomes. On the other hand, affiliative rewards more specifically increased activity in the septo-hypothalamic area. Moreover, NAcc activity during anticipation correlated with positive arousal for all rewards, whereas septo-hypothalamic activity during the outcome correlated with positive arousal and motivation for subsequent re-exposure only for affiliative rewards. Together, these findings implicate a general appetitive response in the NAcc to different types of rewards but suggests a more specific response in the septo-hypothalamic region in response to affiliative rewards outcomes. This work also presents a new task for distinguishing between neural responses to affiliative and non-affiliative rewards.
... Recent findings indicate a foundational role in white matter integrity and brain connectivity. 110,113 The warmth of relationships, facilitated by secure attachment, relates to gray matter volume in the mOFC, and endogenous opiate processes in frontal, striatal, and limbic regions, 114 which shape reward learning. 14 Unconditionality thus provides an invisible underpinning for brain structure and function that supports well-being and relationships across the lifespan. ...
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Universal human rights are defined by international agreements, law, foreign policy, and the concept of inherent human dignity. However, rights defined on this basis can be readily subverted by overt and covert disagreements and can be treated as distant geopolitical events rather than bearing on individuals’ everyday lives. A robust case for universal human rights is urgently needed and must meet several disparate requirements: (1) a framework that resolves tautological definitions reached solely by mutual, revocable agreement; (2) a rationale that transcends differences in beliefs, creed, and culture; and (3) a personalization that empowers both individuals and governments to further human rights protections. We propose that human rights in existing agreements comprise five elemental types: (1) agency, autonomy, and self‐determination; (2) freedom from want; (3) freedom from fear; (4) uniqueness; and (5) unconditionality, including protections for vulnerable populations. We further propose these rights and protections are rooted in fundamental properties of the human brain. We provide a robust, empirical foundation for universal rights based on emerging work in human brain science that we term dignity neuroscience. Dignity neuroscience provides an empirical foundation to support and foster human dignity, universal rights, and their active furtherance by individuals, nations, and international law. We propose that human rights are deeply rooted in human brain science, which provides a novel evidentiary base informing the universality, scope, and content of human rights and their relationship to human dignity
... that allow for the enactment of social roles" (Gilbert, 2000, p. 120). According to Gilbert (2005Gilbert ( , 2009, humans are able to internally activate the same caregiving social mentalities towards the self that stimulate specialized neurophysiological pathways within other-self interactions that create a soothing response (Carter, 1998;Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Porges, 2007). ...
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Objectives: Early shaming experiences have been suggested to be associated with later psychopathological symptoms. Understanding this relationship is complex, due to a number of psychological processes potentially influencing this. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to further explore the nature of the mediating effect of experiential avoidance in the association between early shame experiences and psychological distress, and whether self-compassion moderates this relationship by mitigating the effects of this. Design: A cross-sectional design was conducted using self-report measures of early shaming experiences, experiential avoidance, self-compassion, and psychological distress. Method: An online study of 556 participants, comprised of participants from the general population and university students participated within this online study. Results: The moderated mediation model explained 51% of variance within depressive symptoms. Experiential avoidance was found to mediate the association between early shaming experiences and depressive symptoms. This mediating relationship was shown to be moderated by self-compassion, with higher levels of self-compassion being associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms across all levels of experiential avoidance levels (low, medium, and high). Conclusion: These findings suggest that self-compassion may play a significant buffering role within attenuating the effects of experiential avoidance associated with depressive symptoms. Such findings present important clinical and theoretical implications in further understanding the protective role of self-compassion within early shaming experiences and the relationship between depressive symptoms. Practitioner points: Early shaming experiences have been linked to later psychological distress. Experiential avoidance identified a core underlying psychological process in the relationship between early shaming experiences and psychological distress. Self-compassion offers a range of protective features that may alleviate the effects of experiential avoidance and depressive symptoms. Self-compassion-based interventions that target experiential avoidance may offer greater reductions within depressive symptoms.
... It is linked to emotional regulation and the behavioral inhibition system (DeYoung, 2015;Smits & Boeck, 2006). Neuroscientific findings suggest that the two aspects have distinct neurobiological links to dopamine (compassion; Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;DeYoung, 2013) and serotonin (politeness;DeYoung et al., 2007;Wright et al., 2019), which may partly explain their respective approach-versus-avoidance functions. Finally, the trust facet is a better marker of global Agreeableness than either aspect. ...
Article
Agreeableness impacts people and real-world outcomes. In the most comprehensive quantitative review to date, we summarize results from 142 meta-analyses reporting effects for 275 variables, which represent N > 1.9 million participants from k > 3,900 studies. Arranging variables by their content and type, we use an organizational framework of 16 conceptual categories that presents a detailed account of Agreeableness’ external relations. Overall, the trait has effects in a desirable direction for 93% of variables (grand mean 𝜌M = .16). We also review lower order trait evidence for 42 variables from 20 meta-analyses. Using these empirical findings, in tandem with existing theory, we synthesize eight general themes that describe Agreeableness’ characteristic functioning across variables: self- transcendence, contentment, relational investment, teamworking, work investment, lower results emphasis, social norm orientation, and social integration. We conclude by discussing potential boundary conditions of findings, contributions and limitations of our review, and future research directions.
... They summarize extensive data establishing that elevated levels of the DBS are associated with both (a) increased reward sensitivity and (b) traits related to agentic extraversion (especially assertiveness/dominance). In contrast, Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky (2005) link communal traits to a neurobehavioral system that has important links to the dopaminergic and opioid reward systems, and that promotes affiliative bonding. ...
Article
Many individuals—including Eysenck, Gray, Strelau, and Depue—have helped to explicate the temperamental basis of extraversion. The current study builds on this work by examining how two positively correlated aspects of extraversion—agentic extraversion (i.e., individual differences in reward anticipation and incentive motivation) and communal extraversion (i.e., individual differences in consummatory pleasure)—relate to psychopathology. We examined these relations in two samples. We extended previous work by analyzing three pairs of communal and agentic extraversion scales. These scales generally showed strong convergent and discriminant validity across samples. We assessed psychopathology using selected scales from the Comprehensive Assessment of Traits relevant to Personality Disorder (CAT-PD; Wright & Simms, 2014). Structural analyses of these CAT-PD scales revealed that the same two factors emerged in both samples; they were labeled Detachment (e.g., Anhedonia, Social Withdrawal) and Externalizing (e.g., Grandiosity, Risk Taking). All three indicators of communal extraversion were strongly negatively related to Detachment, whereas all three measures of agentic extraversion were moderately positively associated with Externalizing, thus demonstrating high replicability across measures and samples. Finally, regression results established that the unique component of communal extraversion is healthy and adaptive, whereas the unique component of agentic extraversion is largely maladaptive in nature.
... Certain research works (Gilbert, 2010;LeDoux, 1998;Morrone-Strupinsky & Depue, 2005;Panksepp, 1998) showed that our brains contain three interacting types of emotion regulation systems: the threat and self-protection system (to detect and respond to threats), the drive-excitement system (to promote positive feelings that motivate, encourage and energize) and the soothing and safeness system (to restore balance through soothing, safeness and peace). Self-disgust might be included in the threat and self-protection system to alert us to take action against aspects of the self that are perceived as threats and toxic. ...
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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by emotional instability, unstable relationships, feelings of abandonment and emptiness, impulsivity, and self-harm. An unstable self-image is also a common borderline feature, often marked by self-criticism, self-hate and feeling of disgust towards aspects of the self. Considering the developmental path of BPD, it is essential to act at early ages with adolescents that show growing and persistent borderline features. The present study aimed to test the mediation role of self-compassion in the relationship between self-disgust and borderline features in Portuguese adolescents. Participants were 655 adolescents (381 girls and 274 boys) with an average of 15.58 years old (SD = 1.51), who completed self-report questionnaires at school. Data were analyzed through SPSS and PROCESS Macro to perform descriptive statistics, comparisons , correlations and regressions. Results showed that self-compassion mediated the relationship between self-disgust and borderline features. The mediation model explained 51% of borderline features and gender was used as a covariate, considering that girls exhibited higher self-disgust and borderline features, and lower self-compassion than boys. These findings indicate that cultivating self-compassion skills in adolescents could be a potential positive regulation mechanism for self-disgust's effect on borderline features.
... Hence, the evolution of caring behaviour created new algorithms, rooted in particular psychophysiological systems, that attuned attention, social processing and action systems to the 'role of caring' (Bowlby, 1969;Gilbert, 1989Gilbert, /2016Cassidy and Shaver, 2016;Mayseless, 2016). Among the most salient physiological systems are those related to oxytocin and endorphins (Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Carter, 2017;Carter et al., 2017;Siegel, 2020) changes to the parasympathetic nervous system, and in particular the myelination of the vagus nerve (Porges, 2017(Porges, , 2021a and a range of specific neurocircuits (Vrtička et al., 2017). Attachment theory and research have shown that over and above physical needs, the parent provides for a secure base and safe haven (Bowlby, 1969;Cassidy and Shaver, 2016). ...
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Background Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is an evolutionary informed, biopsychosocial approach to mental health problems and therapy. It suggests that evolved motives (e.g., for caring, cooperating, competing) are major sources for the organisation of psychophysiological processes which underpin mental health problems. Hence, evolved motives can be targets for psychotherapy. People with certain types of depression are psychophysiologically orientated towards social competition and concerned with social status and social rank. These can give rise to down rank-focused forms of social comparison, sense of inferiority, worthlessness, lowered confidence, submissive behaviour, shame proneness and self-criticism. People with bipolar disorders also experience elevated aspects of competitiveness and up rank status evaluation. These shift processing to a sense of superiority, elevated confidence, energised behaviour, positive affect and social dominance. This is the first study to explore the feasibility of a 12 module CFT group, tailored to helping people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder understand the impact of evolved competitive, status-regulating motivation on their mental states and the value of cultivating caring and compassion motives and their psychophysiological regulators.Methods Six participants with a history of bipolar disorder took part in a CFT group consisting of 12 modules (over 25 sessions) as co-collaborators to explore their personal experiences of CFT and potential processes of change. Assessment of change was measured via self-report, heart rate variability (HRV) and focus groups over three time points.ResultsAlthough changes in self-report scales between participants and across time were uneven, four of the six participants consistently showed improvements across the majority of self-report measures. Heart rate variability measures revealed significant improvement over the course of the therapy. Qualitative data from three focus groups revealed participants found CFT gave them helpful insight into: how evolution has given rise to a number of difficult problems for emotion regulation (called tricky brain) which is not one’s fault; an evolutionary understanding of the nature of bipolar disorders; development of a compassionate mind and practices of compassion focused visualisations, styles of thinking and behaviours; addressing issues of self-criticism; and building a sense of a compassionate identity as a means of coping with life difficulties. These impacted their emotional regulation and social relationships.Conclusion Although small, the study provides evidence of feasibility, acceptability and engagement with CFT. Focus group analysis revealed that participants were able to switch from competitive focused to compassion focused processing with consequent improvements in mental states and social behaviour. Participants indicated a journey over time from ‘intellectually’ understanding the process of building a compassionate mind to experiencing a more embodied sense of compassion that had significant impacts on their orientation to (and working with) the psychophysiological processes of bipolar disorder.
... However, it is unclear if economic games, as used in the current context, are necessarily the most appropriate means for testing affiliation. In this sense, most previous studies have commonly used "stranger" stimuli (that are often abstract and not tangible), whereas affiliative behaviours often concern prosocial action towards more familiar others, and thus, individuals that are likely to act as support providers (compared to anonymous strangers; Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Taylor, 2006). This increased tendency towards prosocial behaviours during acute stress, with preferences for close others compared to strangers, has some evidential support in male participants (e.g., Margittai et al., 2015;Schweda et al., 2020). ...
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Prosocial behaviour is fundamental for our social togetherness. Yet, how acute stress, a common everyday occurrence, influences our behaviours towards one another is still unclear. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to quantitatively investigate the effect of experimentally induced acute stress on prosocial behaviours in economic games. We also probed possible moderators to explain differences in findings. We included 23 studies, 77 individual effects, and 2197 participants in the meta-analysis and found no overall differences between stress and control groups in prosocial behaviours (SMD=-0.04), or costly punishment (SMD=-0.11). While we found significant heterogeneity in the reported research findings, there were no moderating effects of participants’ gender/sex, paradigm design-choices, and the type of stressor did not play a role in explaining divergent effects. The results of this meta-analysis suggest that there is currently no clear answer to the question of whether or not stress increases or decreases prosociality. We highlight important open questions and suggest where the field should go next.
... As suggested by Katz (2005), opioid transmission subserves the felt hedonic core of mammalian prosociality and of consummatory pleasure more in general. The MOR system is proposed to interact with oxytocin and dopamine in social bonding and social reward processing (Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Tops et al., 2014). E.g., a 15 min separation from the dam during postnatal days can induce long-term changes in brain opioid and opioid receptor densities in rats (Ploj et al., 2003). ...
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Drawing from field theory, Gestalt therapy conceives psychological suffering and psychotherapy as two intentional field phenomena, where unprocessed and chaotic experiences seek the opportunity to emerge and be assimilated through the contact between the patient and the therapist (i.e., the intentionality of contacting). This therapeutic approach is based on the therapist's aesthetic experience of his/her embodied presence in the flow of the healing process because (1) the perception of beauty can provide the therapist with feedback on the assimilation of unprocessed experiences; (2) the therapist's attentional focus on intrinsic aesthetic diagnostic criteria can facilitate the modification of rigid psychopathological fields by supporting the openness to novel experiences. The aim of the present manuscript is to review recent evidence from psychophysiology, neuroaesthetic research, and neurocomputational models of cognition, such as the free energy principle (FEP), which support the notion of the therapeutic potential of aesthetic sensibility in Gestalt psychotherapy. Drawing from neuroimaging data, psychophysiology and recent neurocognitive accounts of aesthetic perception, we propose a novel interpretation of the sense of beauty as a self-generated reward motivating us to assimilate an ever-greater spectrum of sensory and affective states in our predictive representation of ourselves and the world and supporting the intentionality of contact. Expecting beauty, in the psychotherapeutic encounter, can help therapists tolerate uncertainty avoiding impulsive behaviours and to stay tuned to the process of change.
... Unfortunately, such beliefs are fostered both by the mainstream society and by the lesbian/gay communities, thereby reducing the likelihood that bisexual people will experience a strong connection to their minority community and a positive affiliation with their minority identity, relative to monosexual people (e.g., heterosexual or lesbian/gay people) (McLaren & Castillo, 2021). Given that affiliation and social support seems to play an important role in enhancing safe/content positive affect, it is not surprising that bisexual women in the current sample reported lower levels of these variables (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005;Gilbert et al., 2008). ...
Article
Research has linked feelings of safety and contentment to lower adverse mental health outcomes (e.g., stress, anxiety, depression) in the general population. The current study aimed at exploring the relationship between safe/content positive affect and minority stress (e.g., internalized sexual stigma) in lesbian and bisexual women, considering the effect of potential mediators such as identity self-awareness and identity uncertainty. An online survey was administered to 400 Italian women (220 lesbian and 180 bisexual women), aged 18-40 years (M = 25.98, SD = 6.07). The results showed that lesbian women reported lower internalized sexual stigma and identity uncertainty and higher safe/content positive affect and identity self-awareness, relative to bisexual women. Higher internalized sexual stigma predicted lower safe/content positive affect, regardless of sexual orientation. Furthermore, identity self-awareness and identity uncertainty significantly mediated the relationship between internalized sexual stigma and safe/content feelings, thus confirming the protective role of sexual identity variables on lesbian and bisexual women's positive affectivity. Finally, univariate analyses suggested that lesbian women were more resilient than bisexual women in the face of minority stressors. The results contribute to the understanding of the differences between lesbian and bisexual women in their perception of salient identity categories. In addition, the findings highlight the relevance of protective factors (e.g., identity certainty, lesbian and bisexual positive identity) in ameliorating the adverse effects of minority stress and promoting positive affect and social adjustment in lesbian and bisexual women. Research and clinical implications and directions are discussed.
... Neuroscientific evidence underpins a multicomponent model of affect that can structure and coordinate our emotions, physiological correlates and behaviors. Three different types of affect have been proposed: negative affect relates to a neurohormonal response by sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical axis (Mascaro & Raison, 2017), and two types of positive affect, one oriented to rewards and associated to dopaminergic correlates and another system focused in securing goals and endorphin-based states of contentment, connectedness and peaceful well-being (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). Social safeness is conceptualized as a by-product of this later positive affect system (Gilbert, 2015) and derives in part from attachment theory (Bowlby, 1973;Cassidy & Shaver, 2016). ...
Article
Background Social safeness has been proposed as the individual's perception of the social world as being warmth and soothing. The lack of social safeness has been suggested as a transdiagnostic socio-emotional vulnerability for several mental health difficulties. To date there was no study addressing experiences of social safeness in adolescents. Objective To validate and study the psychometric properties of the Social Safeness and Pleasure Scale to Portuguese adolescents from community and residential care homes. Participants and setting A total of 731 Portuguese adolescents from community and residential youth care homes participated on this study. The community sample was composed of adolescents recruited from regular schools (208 boys; 224 girls). The residential youth care sample was composed of adolescents placed in residential care homes (145 boys; 154 girls). Methods A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted, and measurement invariance investigated. Results A one-factor solution presented a good fit across all samples and proved to be invariant (configural, metric, scalar and strict measurement invariance). Moreover, internal consistency values were excellent for all samples (α > 0.93) and evidence for construct validity in relation to external variables was found. Means comparisons revealed significant differences between all tested groups. Community adolescents reported higher social safeness in comparison to the adolescents placed in residential care. Within both samples, boys scored higher in the SSPS-A when compared to girls. Conclusions These findings provide evidence on the SSPS-A validity and its use across diverse adolescent samples.
... experience. Other theories such as Kristeva's theory of the Abject (Kristeva, 1982) and more psychodynamic understandings of disgust as a primal rejection of the foreign (Juni, 1984) could be used to interpret data, alongside more recent theories, like the three systems of affect regulation (Depue, 2005;Gilbert, 2005). SIT was thought more pertinent though as it has much better conceptualization of group memberships, their narratives and influences on behaviour, compared to other theories. ...
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Although disgust is recognized as a common and prominent emotion in healthcare, little is known about how healthcare professionals understand, experience and conceptualize disgust. The aim of the study was to gain an in‐depth understanding of how nursing and midwifery students experience, understand and cope with disgust in their clinical work. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Six participants (all women: two nursing students, four midwifery students) from a university in the South of England were interviewed. Four superordinate themes with eight subthemes were identified. Overall, findings suggest that participants experience both moral and physical disgust; however, they find it difficult to talk about and use other terms to describe their experience. Findings are discussed through the lens of social identity theory, to understand the relevance of professional identity and how this might further maintain the disgust taboo. The strategies participants have developed in order to cope with disgust are explored and understood within the current healthcare climate. Future research should focus on ways of addressing the experience of disgust by healthcare professionals in order to improve the quality of care provided, especially in the climate of the COVID‐19 crisis.
... As humans, we need to be touched from the moment we are born to fulfill our need to feel content and safe [52,55]. Life holds many challenges threatening this need. ...
... Generally, their results established that the unique component of communal extraversion is highly adaptive, while the unique component of agentic is mainly maladaptive. Differences (opposite associations with psychopathology) between these two positively correlated aspects of extraversion are explained regarding differences in reward sensitivity (agentic: wanting rewards and communal: enjoying rewards, e.g., DeYoung, 2013; Smillie, 2013) and how they map onto different motivational systems (agentic: dominance behavioral dopaminergic neurotransmission system and communal: consummatory pleasure striatal opioid system, e.g., Johnson et al., 2012;Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). ...
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This special issue aims to reflect on the current state of research in the Regulative Theory of Temperament and novel commitment to conceptual and methodological approaches in the study of adult temperament. This editorial outlines the contributions that comprise its content and offers some thoughts on emerging trends in the field. Precisely, we refer to four themes: (1) Sources of the formation, development, and dynamics of temperament ; (2) the functional/adaptive meaning of temperament; (3) methodology-related issues; and (4) a new conceptualization of temperament structure. We conclude with the notion that a structural explanation of temperament and personality still opens new and exciting avenues of research, advancing our understanding of human functioning.
... In the box below, please enter the code given to you by the researcher. [26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35] You are free to withdraw at any stage, just stop answering the questionnaire or leave this page. ...
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HE’s pandemic-driven shift to online platforms has increased social and learning disconnection amongst students. In online group work/teamwork, many are reluctant to switch on their cameras to be more present to others. Compassion in group work/teamwork is defined as noticing, not normalizing, one’s own and/or others’ distress or disadvantaging and taking wise action to prevent or reduce this. This notion of compassion is being assessed in the HE sector using filmed task-focused in-class group work meetings to identify levels of both inclusivity and criticality around the team. This study investigates the use and outcomes of using the compassionate communications strategies (that were developed in and for the offline classroom) in online team meetings. In this mixed-methods study, two groups of four international STEM students, each from a sample of five UK universities, were video-recorded in task-focused group work meetings (TGMs) before and after an online interactive 90-min training session (‘the intervention’) on the Cognitive Skills of Compassionate Communications (CSCC) in teams. A comparison of the (pre and post CSCC intervention) quantitative and qualitative data results indicated, post-intervention, a significant increase in students’ screen gaze attentiveness to each other, and reasons why students’ motivation to switch on their cameras had changed.
... As humans, we need to be touched from the moment we are born to fulfill our need to feel content and safe [52,55]. Life holds many challenges threatening this need. ...
Article
Background Being touched by others improves stress coping. However, when touch from others is unavailable, feels uncomfortable, or is not considered to be safe (as in the COVID-19 pandemic), self-touch gestures, like placing a hand on the heart, may provide an alternative way to experience less strain. Methods and materials In this study, 159 healthy participants (96 women, 62 men, and 1 non-binary person), aged 18–35 years, were exposed to a standardized psychosocial stressor (Trier Social Stress Test) to investigate whether self-soothing touch or receiving a hug from others has a buffering effect on their stress responses. In addition, the study explored whether the effectiveness of these interventions is moderated by participants' assignment to a “personal” or “social” identity condition. Participants provided salivary cortisol samples, wore an ECG to record their heart rate, and completed self-report measures on stress-related subjective-emotional states during the study. Results For cortisol, mixed-effects regression models with Touch and Identity as between-subject factors and Time as the within-subject factor yielded a significant main effect for touch and a significant interaction of Touch x Time indicating that cortisol levels differed between the experimental touch interventions. Post-hoc contrast tests showed that participants in both touch conditions had lower cortisol levels after the stressor than those in the control conditions. Heart rates and self-reported measures of stress neither differed across touch nor identity conditions. The three-way interaction for Touch x Identity x Time was non-significant for either outcome measure. Discussion These results are in line with previous work indicating that physical touch has protective effects on physiological stress responses but not necessarily on self-reported stress and suggest that self-soothing touch and receiving hugs are simple and yet potentially powerful means for buffering individuals' resilience against stress.
Article
Touch forms a central component of social bonding, both in primates and in humans, via the brain’s endorphin system. In primates, this involves social grooming, acting via the CT neuron system. Although humans still use soft touch for bonding relationships, they have had to find ways of triggering the endorphin system without the need for physical touch in order to be able to increase the size of their social groups beyond the size of those characteristic of monkeys and apes. These behaviors include laughter, singing, dancing, the rituals of religion, feasting and emotional storytelling, and act functionally as a form of ‘virtual touch’. I summarise recent behavioral, neurobiological and genetic evidence demonstrating that these behaviors both enhance bonding and act through the endorphin system.
Article
Objective: Early experiences of having received maternal warmth predict responses to opportunities to connect with others later in life. However, understanding of neurochemical mechanisms by which such relationships emerge remain incomplete. Endogenous opioids, involved in social connection in both animals and humans, may contribute to this link. Therefore, the current study examined (1) relationships between early maternal warmth and brain and self-report responses to novel social targets (i.e., outcomes that may promote social connection) and (2) the effect of the opioid antagonist, naltrexone, on such relationships. Methods: Eighty-two adult participants completed a retrospective report of early maternal warmth. On a second visit, participants were randomized to 50mg of oral naltrexone (n = 42) or placebo (n = 40) followed by an MRI scan where functional brain activity in response to images of novel social targets (strangers) was assessed. Approximately 24 hours later, participants reported on their feelings of social connection since leaving the scanner. Results: In the placebo condition, greater early maternal warmth was associated with less dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula, ventral striatum, and amygdala activity in response to images of novel social targets (r's≥-.360, p's≤.031), and greater feelings of social connection (r = .524, p < .001) outside of the lab. The same relationships, however, were not present in the naltrexone condition. Conclusions: Results highlight relationships between early maternal warmth and responses to the social world at large and suggest that opioids might contribute to social connection by supporting the buffering effects of warm early life experiences on social connection later in life.Trial RegistrationClinical Trials NCT02818036.
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Feelings are an essential part of consciousness. Descartes missed this point when he proclaimed "I think; therefore, I am." We are not simply detached thinkers. Our very sense of self is determined by how we feel as we perceive and think. But how does this sense of self develop? Minding Consciousness argues that the self emerges because attention constantly engages embodied feelings and actions. Learning and memory provide growing collections of experiences and feelings that can be re-activated by features of attention. As a result, conscious agents are literally growing storms of attention. When storms of attention interact, they share their experiences with each other. Minding Consciousness claims that we can also build robots who have simliar aspects of conscious feeling-bound attention.
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Objective Previous research shows that Neuroticism predicts exposure and affective reactivity to daily stressors (Bolger and Zuckerman, 1995). Zautra and colleagues (2005) extended this work to daily positive events. Building on these frameworks, we examined the Big Five personality traits as predictors of the occurrence and affective correlates of daily positive events. Method Participants in two national U.S. daily diary studies (NSDE 2: N = 1919 and NSDE Refresher: N = 778; aged 25-84) reported daily positive events, emotions specific to the events, and daily affect for 8 consecutive days. Results In parallel analyses in both samples, Extraversion and in the NSDE Refresher sample only Openness (but not Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, or Agreeableness) predicted more frequent positive event occurrence. All Big Five traits were associated with one or more emotional experiences (e.g., calm, proud) during positive events. Neuroticism predicted greater event-related positive affect in the NSDE 2 sample, whereas Agreeableness was related to more event-related negative affect in the NSDE Refresher sample. Conclusions The Big Five personality traits each provided unique information for predicting positive events in daily life. The discussion centers on potential explanations and implications for advancing the understanding of individual differences that contribute to engagement in positive experiences.
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Based on the Conservation of Resources (Hobfoll, 1989) and Effort-Recovery (Meijman & Mulder, 1998) theories the aim of this study is to examine how psychological detachment from work and off-job activities are related to daily (state) work engagement. Two hundred eighty seven Latvian workers filled out Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2003), State Work Engagement Questionnaire (Breevaart, Bakker, Demerouti, & Hetland, 2012), Psychological detachment from work scale (Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007), and reported time spent on various off-job activities. Psychological detachment and off-job activities were not associated with following day state work engagement. However, engaging in physical activities for more than one hour, and engaging in smaller number of various off-job activities was associated with higher psychological detachment from work in the evening.
Article
This article provides a circumscribed descriptive analysis of the current state of research worldwide related to adult romantic relationship processes and their underlying mechanisms. A scoping review was used to gather data. This yielded 15,418 eligible articles from 1,687 different academic journals. From these, we outline key themes and theories arising in the last seven decades and note the most prolific journals and authors. The study of relational wellbeing has focused on overt behaviors such as communication and commitment, on underlying attitudes and motives such as empathy and contempt, and on substrates and circumstances such as neurobiological functioning and life stressors. The results reveal the strong interdisciplinary research underpinnings of the field of relationship science and show up key influences over its expansion. Results are intended to give an overview of key peer reviewed research that has contributed to the development of current scientific knowledge and theory development in this field.
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A Terapia Focada na Compaixão (TFC) é uma abordagem de tratamento transdiagnóstico que visa desenvolver capacidades de calma e afiliação como uma maneira de regular o sistema de ameaças, o que pode ser muito útil em situação de crise, como o caso da pandemia pelo COVID-19. Trata-se de um relato de experiência que tem como objetivo apresentar uma intervenção em grupo de 3 sessões semanais de TFC realizada em ambiente virtual, com objetivo de oferecer suporte à população na pandemia por COVID-19, avaliando possíveis mudanças nos níveis de depressão, ansiedade, estresse e autocompaixão. Neste estudo, 106 participantes concluíram a intervenção ofertada dentro do programa “LaPICC contra COVID-19”. Foram encontradas diferenças significativas nas medidas quantitativas de depressão, ansiedade e estresse, além da autocompaixão. Os dados qualitativos também indicaram mudanças em termos de compaixão e autocompaixão. Esses achados sugerem que a compaixão pode contribuir para a saúde mental e bem-estar psicológico, bem como para o enfrentamento de crises nos participantes deste grupo.
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Ett av de mest robusta fynden inom personlighets- och välbefinnandeforskning är det starka sambandet mellan personlighetsdraget extraversion och positiva emotioner, lycka samt subjektivt och psykologiskt välbefinnande. Vad som kunde förklara varför extraverta är lyckligare har i årtionden ingående undersökts, om än osystematiskt och från skilda utgångspunkter. Detta har även noterats på fältet, och för att underlätta fortsatt forskning belyser denna litteraturöversikt hur frågeställningen undersökts till dags dato. Utifrån McCraes och Costas (1991) ursprungliga uppdelning i instrumentella och temperamentella modeller samt Hampsons (2012) indelning av medierande och modererande personlighetsprocesser identifieras, systematiseras och presenteras de huvudsakliga förklaringarna som förekommer i litteraturen för sambandet mellan extraversion och lycka. Resultatet består av ett konceptuellt diagram (se Figur 1 s. 20–21) med två övergripande förklaringsmodeller, sex distinkta mekanismer, tio personlighetsprocesser och tretton hypoteser som redovisas med tillhörande forskningslitteratur. Förutom en historisk överblick över tillvägagångssätt i forskningen presenteras även aktuell metodik för personlighetsprocesser. Vidare behandlas även hur resultaten är symptomatiska för den rådande problematiken kring konceptualisering, operationalisering samt metodologi inom personlighets- och lyckoforskning, samt resultatens och socialpsykologins relevans för fortsatt forskning och befrämjande av lycka och välbefinnande. [One of the most robust findings in personality and well-being research is the strong relationship between the personality trait extraversion and positive emotions, happiness, and subjective and psychological well-being. The factors explaining why extraverts are happier has been investigated in depth for decades, albeit unsystematically and from different points of view. This has also been noted in the field, and to facilitate further research, this literature review highlights how the issue has been investigated to date. Based on the original division into instrumental and temperamental models by McCrae and Costa (1991), and the division of mediating and moderating personality processes by Hampson (2012), the main explanations that appear in the literature for the relationship between extraversion and happiness are identified, systematized, and presented. The result consists of a conceptual diagram (see Figure 1, pp. 20–21) with two overall explanatory models, six distinct mechanisms, ten personality processes, and thirteen hypotheses, which are reported with associated research literature. In addition to a historical overview of research approaches, current methodology for personality processes is also presented. Furthermore, the issue of how the results are symptomatic of the prevailing problems around conceptualization, operationalization, and methodology in personality and happiness research is also discussed, as well as the relevance of the results and social psychology for continued research and the promotion of happiness and well-being.]
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