Motivation and emotion/Book/2017/Emotional chills
What are they and why do we experience them?
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What are emotional chills?
Emotional chills refers to a set of bodily sensations, commonly experienced as shivers or goosebumps. Emotional Chills are often distinct, and involves stimulation of the body's psychological and physiological systems. They are often perceived as positive experiences, however they can also be negative ordeals.
Kurt Goldstein, a German Neurologist and Psychiatrist, was the first researcher to study the phenomenon of chills. Goldstein created a survey aiming to uncover the the most common source which elicits the chills, and found that musical passages topped the list. Movie scenes, and breathtaking nature were also found to induce emotional chills.
Causes of Emotional Chills
There are a number of alternatives which induce Emotional Chills. A study published in 2010 presented evidence that Emotional Chills can be elicited through aural, tactile, visual, and gustatory stimulation.
- Aural Stimulation
- Tactile Stimulation
- Visual stimulation
- Gustatory Stimulation
- Mental self-stimulation
Psychophysiological Processes of Emotional Chills
Empirical studies have indicated that emotional chills are coupled with an increase in electrodermal activity (EDA) due to activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The SNS is
- Brain imaging techniques have suggested stimulations of reward-related areas of the brain
- Release of dopamine
Research has suggested that individual differences such as our behavioural activation system (BAS) and our General reward Sensitivity (GRS) have implications on the severity, and frequency of emotional chills
- Further research into emotional chills would allow us to identify and manipulate peak emotional states.
- This can have many potential implications in treating depression and other mood disorders
- Sensory nervous system (Wikipedia)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia#Auditory-tactile_synesthesia (Wikipedia)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_sensory_meridian_response (Wikipedia)
Iwanaga, M., Mori, K. (2015). General reward sensitivity predicts intensity of music-evoked chills. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 32, 484-492. doi: 10.1525/mp.2015.32.5.484
Panksepp, J,. (1995). The emotional sources of "Chills" induced by Music. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 13, 171-207. doi: 10.2307/40285693
- Emotion experience and well-being (Noba University)