The process of other-focus: a synthetic social psychophysiological model Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Kok, Bethany E.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Abstract
  • Human beings do not exist in isolation from one another. People thrive on social interactions and relationships, and suffer when these things are lacking. In relationships, people both give and receive valuable resources: time, money, attention, assistance. Such resources are vital for psychological health and well-being, but are largely unavailable to individuals unable to look outside of the self. The ability to look beyond the self, therefore, is a vital element of well-being. A psychophysiological model of other-focus is proposed to describe the initiating factors, components and consequences of moments in which one looks beyond the self. The vagus nerve, in concert with oxytocin, is hypothesized to initiate the other-focused state by directing attention to others and generating positive emotions in the moment, leading to other-focused behaviors. Over time, frequent experiences of other-focus result in enhanced relationship quality, psychological well-being and physical health.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Fredrickson, Barbara
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • Open access
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