Are there age differences in emotional responding?

Grainger, Sarah (2012). Are there age differences in emotional responding? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Grainger, Sarah
Thesis Title Are there age differences in emotional responding?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Julie Henry
Total pages 70
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Affective empathy and personal distress are two distinct types of emotional responses that can be experienced in response to the cognitive or affective state of another. Of particular interest is how these emotional responses are affected as we age. The limitations of previous research in this area such as an over-reliance on self-report measures and the use of stimuli that inadequately represent true social interactions has prompted further investigation with the present study. Thirty-three older adults and 28 younger adults watched 4 videos of an older and younger woman describing an emotional and non-emotional experience. While watching the videos, physiological measures were used to index emotional responding. Facial muscles responses were recorded using electromygography and gaze patterns were examined using a remote eye tracker. Results revealed no age differences in self reported empathy for the protagonists in the videos, however differences emerged in facial muscle responses. Younger adults displayed greater activity above the brow region in the emotional relative to neutral video when viewing both protagonists (older and younger), however older adults only showed this pattern of responding when viewing the younger protagonist. Results will be interpreted in light of two prominent models of ageing, Socioemotional Selectivity Theory and the Ageing Brain Model.
Keyword Age differences
Emotional responding

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Created: Mon, 25 Feb 2013, 15:34:49 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology