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Anger Induction and Ambient Interventions: Effects on Cardiovascular Activity and Frontal EEG Asymmetry

Spiridon, E (2017) Anger Induction and Ambient Interventions: Effects on Cardiovascular Activity and Frontal EEG Asymmetry. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Background and aims: The experience of anger could affect cardiovascular (CV) and electro-encephalographic (EEG) parameters but such parameters could vary within the motivational context. Although models of motivational contexts were proposed by CV literature as challenge/threat (Blascovich & Tomaka, 1996) and by frontal EEG asymmetry literature as approach/avoidance (Harmon-Jones, 2004a) little is known whether a negative emotion such as anger could be indexed by CV and EEG responses within motivational contexts. Anger in a threat context may be particularly detrimental for health due to low control compared to anger in a challenge context, where control is high. Hence, the aim of the research was twofold: 1. to investigate how a motivational context (challenge vs. threat) influences the cardiovascular system and frontal EEG asymmetry during anger induction protocols and 2. to analyse the efficacy of ambient interventions (music, light) to reduce the impact of anger on cardiovascular responses. Affective computing through the use of ambient intelligence technology could be used to promote positive emotion or to ameliorate negative moods. Method: There were two anger induction protocols within the thesis. Firstly, anger was manipulated using an experimenter effect (i.e., rude vs. polite experimenter). Participants were exposed to a computer-based problem-solving task under conditions of control and no control which represented the motivational contexts of challenge/threat. Secondly, anger was induced by exposing participants to a time constrained driving schedule on a simulated route with financial penalties for any delays to arrive to the destination. Motivation was manipulated by exposing participants to traffic delays at an early (challenge) and later point (threat) on a simulated driving route. STAXI-2 (Spielberg, 1999) was used to measure anger states and motivation was measured by Confidence and Perceived Control Scale from Dundee Stress State Questionnaire (Matthews & Desmond, 1998). Psychophysiological variables included: blood pressure (BP), cardiovascular impedance (ICG), frontal EEG asymmetry, and facial electromyography (fEMG). Results: The cardiovascular and EEG results of the present thesis pointed to a circumplex model of anger with quadruplet facets along cardiovascular responses to challenge/threat contexts in conjunction with approach/avoidance tendencies where a threat motivation with avoidance was indexed by increased blood pressure and cardiac output and by greater right frontal activation. The difference in the approach-threat responses was the activation of the left hemisphere. The challenge-avoidance state was defined by increased total peripheral resistance (TPR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and greater right frontal hemisphere activation. No frontal asymmetric activity was identified in the challenge-approach, but increased TPR, SBP, HR and MAP were observed. The ambient intervention results suggested that cardiovascular responses (e.g., SBP) could be reduced by low activation music or blue ambient light. Discussion and conclusions: Anger in the context of challenge can be distinguished from anger in the context of threat via a specific pattern of CV (systolic BP) and EEG measures (frontal peripheral brain site). Ambient interventions (low activation music or blue light) could be factors in modulating physiological reactions while driving; discrepancies between self-report measures and physiological responses, low sensitivity of impendence data to manipulations and low impact of various colour ambient lights on cardiovascular responses were addressed within a theoretical and methodological.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anger, motivation, ECG, EEG, cardiovascular, frontal asymmetry, ambient interventions
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2017 15:15
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 11:50
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00006829
Supervisors: Fairclough, S and Tattersall, A
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6829
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