Socializing and emotional arousal : an analysis using biological signals and self-reported surveys

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Zhang, Amy, M.A.

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Emotions, and emotional responses, are fundamental to human growth and development. Considering how feeling both positively and negatively can lead to increased risk-taking behavior, it is important to consider the effects of friendship on emotional arousal. This study uses a novel technique of continuously measured electrodermal activity (EDA) signals, a sympathetic nervous system measure of emotional arousal, in conjunction with self-reported survey data to examine how social friendships impact emotional arousal. Furthermore, the study examines how socializing impacts positive and negative affect in self-reported social situations. Results show that socializing, in particular with groups of friends, results in more positive affect and is associated with increased emotional arousal, when compared to not socializing. The association is particularly salient when respondents also report feeling positive. This work makes a contribution to the emerging literature on how biosignal collection can be a way to distinctly measure the effects of social experiences on physical health.



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