Self-esteem and autonomic physiology: Self-esteem levels predict cardiac vagal tone

Andy Martens, Jeff L Greenberg, John JB Allen, Joseph Hayes, Jeff Schimel, Michael Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Four studies examined the relationship between self-esteem and cardiac vagal tone (level of influence of the parasympathetic nervous system on the heart), a variable with health implications for heart disease and auto-immune disorders. Building on evidence that self-esteem provides a sense of security and that a sense of security affects cardiac vagal tone, we theorize that self-esteem should impact cardiac vagal tone. Two experiments showed that positive self-esteem relevant feedback increases cardiac vagal tone relative to negative feedback. Two correlational studies showed that higher self-esteem measured daily over the course of 2 weeks predicted higher resting cardiac vagal tone. Theoretical and physical health implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-584
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

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Self Concept
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Immune System Diseases
Health
Heart Diseases

Keywords

  • Heart rate variability
  • Parasympathetic nervous system
  • Self-esteem
  • Vagal tone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Self-esteem and autonomic physiology : Self-esteem levels predict cardiac vagal tone. / Martens, Andy; Greenberg, Jeff L; Allen, John JB; Hayes, Joseph; Schimel, Jeff; Johns, Michael.

In: Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 44, No. 5, 10.2010, p. 573-584.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martens, Andy ; Greenberg, Jeff L ; Allen, John JB ; Hayes, Joseph ; Schimel, Jeff ; Johns, Michael. / Self-esteem and autonomic physiology : Self-esteem levels predict cardiac vagal tone. In: Journal of Research in Personality. 2010 ; Vol. 44, No. 5. pp. 573-584.
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