Subjective and somatic aspects of everyday emotions - Emotional processes are complex events, with a mental component, referring to the qualia of subjective experience, and a somatic component, referring to the level of psychophysiological activation. The research on everyday emotions, that has the relevant advantage to investigate the emotional adaptation process to individual’s environment in an ecological perspective, avoiding the laboratory artefacts, focused exclusively on the subjective aspects, providing a partial view of emotion. The aim of the present study was to explore how basic emotions are experienced in the everyday life, investigating, in an integrated approach, both the subjective and somatic changes that accompany emotion. The subjective components were measured through a diary, while the psychophysiological components were measured through a Holter that continuously monitored the cardiac activity during 24 hours. Then, two indexes were studied: the heart rate and the heart rate variability that provides information on the sympatheticparasympathetic balance. Results showed that the subjective experience of everyday basic emotions significantly differed in their intensity and frequency. From the somatic point of view, some significant differences emerged among basic emotions, suggesting that also in the everyday life and ecological context, specific emotions represent distinct and discrete physiological events. The present study obtained results that encourage advancing in this field of research through a new integrated approach, providing useful indications to face off the methodological caveats.
Omar Fassio, Dario Galati, Tommaso Costa, Igor Sotgiu, Elena Rognoni, Massimo Fazzari, Gaetano Senatore, in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 3/2008, pp. 7-28, DOI:10.3280/RIP2008-003001