Date published:

The psychophysiology of positive emotions

Do you know that feeling when the sight of your beloved literally takes your breath away? Or maybe before unwrapping a gift you are so excited that your palms are sweating? Or do you feel your heart racing as you watch athletes succeed?

In a paper published in Emotion Review, researchers, along with partners from Stanford University and Amsterdam University, conducted a meta-analytic review of 120 articles measuring psychophysiological activity during 11 evoked positive emotions. The results indicated that all positive emotions elicit a similar physiological pattern, namely no or weak increases in autonomic nervous system activity. The novelty of this review lies in the description of all available scientific research on physiological activity during the experience of positive emotions. However, the researchers suggest caution in drawing strong conclusions because, to date, many positive emotions have not been studied in sufficient detail from a physiological perspective.

We encourage you to read the publication, it's worth it!

Behnke M., Kreibig S.D, Kaczmarek, L.D., Assink, M., Gross, J.J., (2022). Autonomic Nervous System Activity During Positive Emotions: A Meta-Analytic Review: A Meta-Analytical Review. Emotion Review.