Greater sadness reactivity in late life

Benjamin H. Seider, Michelle Shiota, Patrick Whalen, Robert W. Levenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although previous research suggests that overall emotional reactivity does not change with normal aging, it is possible that different emotions follow different developmental courses. We examined emotional reactivity to films selected to elicit sadness, disgust, and a neutral state in young, middle-aged and older adults (total N = 222). Physiology and expressive behavior were measured continuously and reports of subjective emotional experience were obtained following each film. Results indicated that older adults reported greater sadness in response to all films and greater physiological responses to the sadness film than did the younger age groups. There were no age differences found in self-reported disgust or in behavioral expressions of sadness or disgust in response to any film. The age differences that were found were maintained even after controlling for pre-film self-reported sadness and for personal experiences of loss. These findings support the notion that sadness reactivity is heightened with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernsq069
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Fingerprint

Emotions
Age Groups
Research

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Emotion
  • Physiology
  • Sadness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Greater sadness reactivity in late life. / Seider, Benjamin H.; Shiota, Michelle; Whalen, Patrick; Levenson, Robert W.

In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Vol. 6, No. 2, nsq069, 04.2011, p. 186-194.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Seider, Benjamin H. ; Shiota, Michelle ; Whalen, Patrick ; Levenson, Robert W. / Greater sadness reactivity in late life. In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 2. pp. 186-194.
@article{ed464f8459ef428c8102a0e440eba5d0,
title = "Greater sadness reactivity in late life",
abstract = "Although previous research suggests that overall emotional reactivity does not change with normal aging, it is possible that different emotions follow different developmental courses. We examined emotional reactivity to films selected to elicit sadness, disgust, and a neutral state in young, middle-aged and older adults (total N = 222). Physiology and expressive behavior were measured continuously and reports of subjective emotional experience were obtained following each film. Results indicated that older adults reported greater sadness in response to all films and greater physiological responses to the sadness film than did the younger age groups. There were no age differences found in self-reported disgust or in behavioral expressions of sadness or disgust in response to any film. The age differences that were found were maintained even after controlling for pre-film self-reported sadness and for personal experiences of loss. These findings support the notion that sadness reactivity is heightened with age.",
keywords = "Aging, Emotion, Physiology, Sadness",
author = "Seider, {Benjamin H.} and Michelle Shiota and Patrick Whalen and Levenson, {Robert W.}",
year = "2011",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1093/scan/nsq069",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
pages = "186--194",
journal = "Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience",
issn = "1749-5024",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Greater sadness reactivity in late life

AU - Seider, Benjamin H.

AU - Shiota, Michelle

AU - Whalen, Patrick

AU - Levenson, Robert W.

PY - 2011/4

Y1 - 2011/4

N2 - Although previous research suggests that overall emotional reactivity does not change with normal aging, it is possible that different emotions follow different developmental courses. We examined emotional reactivity to films selected to elicit sadness, disgust, and a neutral state in young, middle-aged and older adults (total N = 222). Physiology and expressive behavior were measured continuously and reports of subjective emotional experience were obtained following each film. Results indicated that older adults reported greater sadness in response to all films and greater physiological responses to the sadness film than did the younger age groups. There were no age differences found in self-reported disgust or in behavioral expressions of sadness or disgust in response to any film. The age differences that were found were maintained even after controlling for pre-film self-reported sadness and for personal experiences of loss. These findings support the notion that sadness reactivity is heightened with age.

AB - Although previous research suggests that overall emotional reactivity does not change with normal aging, it is possible that different emotions follow different developmental courses. We examined emotional reactivity to films selected to elicit sadness, disgust, and a neutral state in young, middle-aged and older adults (total N = 222). Physiology and expressive behavior were measured continuously and reports of subjective emotional experience were obtained following each film. Results indicated that older adults reported greater sadness in response to all films and greater physiological responses to the sadness film than did the younger age groups. There were no age differences found in self-reported disgust or in behavioral expressions of sadness or disgust in response to any film. The age differences that were found were maintained even after controlling for pre-film self-reported sadness and for personal experiences of loss. These findings support the notion that sadness reactivity is heightened with age.

KW - Aging

KW - Emotion

KW - Physiology

KW - Sadness

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79954583941&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79954583941&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/scan/nsq069

DO - 10.1093/scan/nsq069

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 186

EP - 194

JO - Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

JF - Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

SN - 1749-5024

IS - 2

M1 - nsq069

ER -