Heartbreak Puts Brakes on Heart10/04/10
MONDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Waiting for another person's
opinion of you will slow your heart, and its rate will dip even
further if you get rejected, a new Dutch study has found.
"Unexpected social rejection could literally feel 'heartbreaking,' as reflected by a transient slowing of heart rate," the study authors wrote in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science.
In the study, volunteers were asked to submit photos of
themselves and told that students at another university would look
at the images and decide whether they liked the person in the
photos. This was a ruse: no one was actually looking at them. But
the volunteers didn't know that, and returned later to look at a
series of photos of the college students who were ostensibly
judging them and guess what their opinions of the volunteers had
Using an electrocardiogram, researchers then measured the heart
rates of the volunteers as they discovered what the other students
supposedly thought of them. (They actually received verdicts
generated by a computer.)
The researchers found that the heart rates of the volunteers
fell as they waited to learn about a supposed judgment. If they
were rejected, their heart rates slowed even more, and they slowed
the most in those who expected the other person would like
Bregtje Gunther Moor and colleagues at the University of
Amsterdam and Leiden University in the Netherlands released their
study online recently in advance of publication in an upcoming
print issue of the journal
For more on the heart's pulse rate, visit the
U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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