Expressing Negative Emotions Improves A Person Physical Health

Expressing Negative Emotions Improves A Person Physical Health
Hypothesis: Expressing negative emotions improves a person?s physical health over the next 6 months.
There was a random selection of fifty female and fifty male introductory psychology students to participate in the study. There were people of all races, ages, and economic statuses included in the population. Each student knows the study will include every person to do a writing sample. After a small discussion each person signed a consent form to participate in the study.

To obtain an experimental group and a control group the student?s last names were put into alphabetical order. There was an A/B rotation straight down the list that gave the students their group. All fifty A?s were in the experimental group. A?s wrote a story about the saddest event that ever took place in their life. All fifty B?s were in the control group. B?s wrote a story about the happiest event they had ever experienced. This gave us the independent variable. That was whether or not a person expresses negative emotion. All papers that were written were anonymously done. This was to insure the privacy of all participants.

Physical health of each participant was measure every two weeks. A questionnaire was given to each person. It contained questions about the common colds they experienced. Along with any flu symptoms, headaches, physical discomfort they experienced from an illness. Physical health was the dependent variable that was used. Both groups in the study were given the same questionnaire as the other. There were no changes in any questions for the next six months. All questionnaires that were collected were completed without names on them.

The participants went into two different rooms for the writing. There was a female research assistant in each room. The lighting and temperature was the same in each room. All participants were given the same type of paper tablet with the same type of pen. Each assistant gave the writing topic in the room once the groups arrived.

The study was a double blinded study. The experimental group, the control group, nor the research assistant was aware of what was being written about in the room. Although we could not make sure that the groups did not discuss the writings with each other, they were told the hypothesis was different than what the hypothesis actually was. Only because we did not want someone to with hold the truth because of the way they personally felt about the hypothesis.

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