Update #7–Edits and Emotional Buffering

Hello Everyone! As the craziness of the first week of school begins to wind down I figured it was time for another research update. Since my last post, I’ve taken a long break to enjoy the rest of summer and spend some time with family and friends! This week I started on my second round of edits and I found that the break had been really helpful for my writing. This week I’ve had a clear head and I have been able to see areas that I had not before for improvement. One aspect of my project that I focused on this week was the subjective experience of fear. I want to find out more about how people who have deficits in physiological fear responses (eg. abnormal sweat, pulse responses) to stressful situations perceive and label their emotions. Unfortunately, I have found very little literature directly pertaining to this aspect of fear learning, but I was able to find literature from related areas that could be used as a framework. In children and adolescents prone to depression and internalizing disorders there is a phenomenon that has been observed in multiple studies called emotional buffering. In the context of the adolescent, an adolescent who emotionally buffers themselves cognitively (and even physically) removes themselves from the emotion of the situation. Emotional buffering could be an adaptation that could be very useful in stressful early life situations. I’m hopeful that with a more extensive search I will be able to find more data that has direct links to my research, but this was an exciting find nevertheless.

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