Physiological evidence of contentment as a withdrawal-motivated affect

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dc.contributor Tullett, Alexa M.
dc.contributor Harms, Peter D.
dc.contributor.advisor Gable, Philip A. Neal, Lauren Browning 2017-03-02T19:54:55Z 2017-03-02T19:54:55Z 2016
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0002465
dc.identifier.other Neal_alatus_0004M_12910
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Emotions motivate humans to either approach or avoid stimuli in their environment. While most emotion theorists associate all positive emotions with approach-motivation, there may be some positive emotions associated with withdrawal-motivation. Post-goal states of contentment may prompt an individual to withdraw from the environment to protect and savor goal objects. The current study examined whether post-goal contentment led to withdrawal-motivation using behavioral and psychophysiological measures. Participants wrote an essay evoking contentment, enthusiasm, or neutral affect. Then, participants completed behavioral tasks measuring aspects of withdrawal motivation while EEG and EMG were recorded. Asymmetric frontal activity assessed using electroencephalography (EEG) differed between the contentment and neutral conditions. Specifically, contentment evoked less relative left frontal activation, a neurophysiological marker of approach motivation. Participants in the contentment condition demonstrated less approach motivation than a neutral condition. Participants in the contentment condition demonstrated a trend towards more activity of the zygomaticus major than participants in the neutral condition, suggesting that the content state was experienced as positively valenced. Behavioral measures of risk taking and protective behavior did not reveal differences between conditions. Physiological evidence suggests that contentment is experienced as a positive but possibly withdrawal-motivated state, while behavioral evidence is inconclusive.
dc.format.extent 37 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Psychology
dc.title Physiological evidence of contentment as a withdrawal-motivated affect
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Dept. of Psychology Psychology The University of Alabama master's M.A.

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