University of Twente Student Theses


Can reactivity to experience sampling be used to decrease alexithymia

Libbertz, L.B. (2019) Can reactivity to experience sampling be used to decrease alexithymia.

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Abstract:The market for consumer wearable technology is forecasted with a tremendous growth. Among such wearables are products that promise their users better emotional and psychological wellbeing based on physiologic measurements. These consumer wearables are of special interest for psychologic and health research, as well as for treatment. Wearables facilitate the gathering of experience sampling data as participants progress through their daily routine. This way, data is gathered as close to the events researchers are interested in as possible and the effects of recollection biases are limited. Another interesting aspect is that participants are inevitably reactive towards being measured and in research contexts. From prior experience sampling research, it is known that reactivity is present in experience sampling studies, as participants become more aware and reflect more on the topics that they gather data on. Studies in the field of substance abuse already used reactivity effects to make participants aware of their problematic consumption behaviour, achieving positive outcomes of comparable magnitude as other short treatment forms. Therefore, this study aims to contribute to the research in reactivity in experience sampling by testing whether self-assessment and self-measurement effects have the potential to alter emotional self-reflection in participants. Verification of such an effect could help to design future psychology intervention methods that apply experience sampling as treatment. In a one-week emotional reflection experiment using the experience sampled data of 28 wearable users, their scores on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20 were compared to scores of a control group of 14 individuals to test for such an effect. It was also tested whether stronger adherence to the experience sampling method had an effect on post-experiment TAS-20 scores. However, the results of this study provide no support for self-assessment effects affecting emotional reflection as measured by the TAS-20. Results of prior studies are discussed, as claims of a treatment like effect due to reactivity could not be replicated. The paper concludes with the recommendation that reactivity can be seen as a helpful contributor to interventions, yet for treatment, the focus should be placed on accompanying exercises.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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