The effect of capitalization of positive emotions on cardiovascular activity in stress setting

Kaczmarek Łukasz, PhD (

Receiving a constructive, supportive response from romantic partners after sharing good news has been shown to magnify the positivity of events and predict healthy relationship outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine how capitalization (i.e. sharing success information with the romantic partner) influences coping with stress. We recorded emotional processing before, during, and after the task in both partners. We measured physiological responses with Contact Precission Instruments bioamplifiers. Facial behavior was interpreted with FaceReader 5.0 (Noldus IT, Holland). Person A received performance feedback on a computer task and shared their success via text messages with Person B, who then reacted to this success. We found that supportive capitalization responses led to greater felt positive emotions and a trend for fewer negative emotions; effects were similar for givers and receivers of supportive responses. Facial expressions were also happier for people receiving supportive capitalization responses. Results suggest the importance of addressing the giving and receiving of capitalization support within the same social situation. This project involved collaboration with Poznan University of Medical Science (Przemysław Guzik and Tomasz Krauze) as well as George Mason University (Todd B. Kashdan and Samuel S. Monfort). The research team involved the following persons: Dariusz Drążkowski, Michał Kosakowski, Maja Stańko-Kaczmarek, Agata Szäfer, Jolanta Enko, Lech Kaczmarek,  Ewelina Pers, Piotr Haładziński, Szymon Bręński i Paweł Jankowski. Project funded by National Science Center (Poland). Grant nr N N106 0167 40 awarded to Lukasz D. Kaczmarek (Adam Mickiewicz University). The authors are grateful to the head of Action&Cognition Lab for his support in running this project.