Naturalistic monitoring of the affect-heart rate relationship: a day reconstruction study

Michael Daly, Liam Delaney, Peter P Doran, Colm Harmon, Malcolm MacLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Prospective studies have linked negative affect with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. This study aims to identify if cardiovascular activity in day-to-day settings is related to affect levels as assessed using the Day Reconstruction Method (Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2004).

DESIGN: 186 people underwent baseline physiological testing and were monitored naturalistically for an entire day. Multilevel models were the principal analyses used.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We utilized an online day reconstruction survey to produce a continuous account of affect, social interactions, and activity patterns during waking hours. Ambulatory heart rate (HR) was assessed during the same period. Personality, health behavior, consumption, self-reported activity, and baseline physiological characteristics were assessed to isolate the relationships between affect and HR.

RESULTS: Negative affect predicted an elevated ambulatory HR and tiredness predicted a lower HR. Associations between negative affectivity and increased cardiovascular reactivity were maintained after taking account of baseline physiological factors, health behavior, and personality.

CONCLUSION: Negative affect in everyday life is a reliable predictor of HR. Combining day reconstruction with psychophysiological and environmental monitoring is a minimally invasive method with promising interdisciplinary relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-195
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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    Daly, M., Delaney, L., Doran, P. P., Harmon, C., & MacLachlan, M. (2010). Naturalistic monitoring of the affect-heart rate relationship: a day reconstruction study. Health Psychology, 29(2), 186-195. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017626