The social side of emotional regulation: Psychophysiological implications

by Dr. Antonio Maffei, Dept. of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation, University of Padova

When: June 27, 2024, at 3:00 pm

Where: Aula 2C-Psico2 (Building PSICO2, Via Venezia 12, Padova)

Abstract: The dominant approach to the study of emotions and affective processes does not typically take into account that affective reactions are constantly shaped by the presence of others. Additionally, they also shape others’ behavior and emotions. Recently, there has been a growing interest toward devising novel approaches and paradigms to overcome this limitation. A promising area of affective research, where encompassing the social dimension can make an important role, is stress reactivity. In this talk, I will review a series of psychophysiological studies on the processes of social stress buffering and stress contagion, and how these are linked with health and well-being. The goal will be showing how these two processes can be considered as two sides of the same coin, namely emotional co-regulation. Furthermore, I will discuss the significance of interindividual synchronization of physiological markers of stress, such as cortisol and heart rate variability, as a potential objective biomarker of social allostatic load, and how it could be used to quantify emotional co-dysregulation in social groups.