Cardiovascular Emotional Dampening, Disgust, and Consumption Likelihood

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Hitchcock, Katherine Elizabeth
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Middle Tennessee State University
Higher levels of resting blood pressure have tended to be associated with lower levels of emotional awareness, reactivity, and emotion recognition accuracy among highly diverse samples across the normotensive and hypertensive blood pressure ranges. The behavioral consequences of this intimacy between resting blood pressure and emotional responsivity have yet to be appreciated in the research literature, especially as they relate to the absence of disgust in situations where the experience of disgust might be adaptive. The present study compares a group of 25 healthy high-worry female participants to a group of 26 healthy low-worry female participants in their responses to a visual disgust exposure paradigm featuring contaminated images (e.g. soiled food, toilet vomit, etc.). These groups were compared on several measures (while controlling for relevant covariates) including their average ratings of the disgusting stimuli they were asked to view, their estimated likelihood of eating within the next hour following the completion of the disgust paradigm, and a portion size selection of a food stimulus presented after the likelihood of eating within the next hour was estimated. It was hypothesized that the low-worry group would report less disgust in response to the disgust paradigm, greater likelihood of eating within the next hour following the disgust paradigm, and endorse desiring a larger portion size of the presented food stimulus relative to the high-worry group. Results were largely consistent with the expected hypotheses. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Cardiovascular, Cardiovascular Emotional Dampening, Consumption Likelihood, Dampening, Disgust, Emotional, Physiological psychology, Psychology, Physiology