Interoceptive sensitivity and self-reports of emotional experience

Lisa Feldman Barrett, Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Karen S. Quigley, Keith R. Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

296 Scopus citations


People differ in the extent to which they emphasize feelings of activation or deactivation in their verbal reports of experienced emotion, termed arousal focus (AF). Two multimethod studies indicate that AF is linked to heightened interoceptive sensitivity (as measured by performance on a heartbeat detection task). People who were more sensitive to their heartbeats emphasized feelings of activation and deactivation when reporting their experiences of emotion over time more than did those who were less sensitive. This relationship was not accounted for by several other variables, including simple language effects. Implications for the role of interoception in experienced emotion and the validity of self-reported emotion are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-697
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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