Accuracy of respiratory symptom perception was investigated in different contexts in participants ( N = 56) scoring high or low for negative affectivity (NA). Within subject-correlations were calculated between minute ventilation (frequency per minute x tidal volume) and the subjective symptom 'faster and/or deeper breathing' across 10 subsequent breathing trials of 2 min with varying air mixtures, containing fresh or foul smelling odours and/or 5.5% CO 2 . Half the participants were given a positive information frame for the sensations ('some air mixtures may induce a pleasantly arousing feeling, like when being in love'), whereas the other half was given a negative frame ('some air mixtures may induce feelings of being anxious and distressed'). Interoceptive accuracy was overall fairly high ( r = 0.56-0.74), but it dropped considerably ( r = 0.27), when bodily sensations were induced in high NA persons in a negative information frame (interaction, p < 0.005). Interoceptive accuracy appears low when persons with high NA are in situations characterised by negative affective cues.
Afdeling Arbeids- en organisatiepsychologie. Onderzoeksgroep voor Stress, gezondheid en welzijn. Laboratorium voor Experimentele psychologie. Centrum voor Leerpsychologie en experimentele psychopathologie.