Receipt of both positive and negative social feedback is associated with psychophysiological responses, and such responses vary based on levels of internalizing symptoms and associated cognitive constructs. However, research examining the relationship between physiological response to social feedback and internalizing symptoms is mixed, and there is a need to develop salient tasks to assess responses to social feedback. This paper reports on two studies that examined physiological response to social feedback in undergraduate students using the Chatroom Interact Task (CIT). We also explored associations between physiological response to social feedback and internalizing symptoms and associated constructs. Participants were 48 (35 female; Study 1) and 65 (55 female; Study 2) undergraduate students. Participants completed self-report questionnaires of internalizing symptoms and associated cognitive constructs. They also completed the CIT to assess response to acceptance and rejection, while physiological data, including electrocardiogram and respiration to derive respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), were acquired. Results across both studies were largely consistent. There were significant differences in RSA during the questionnaire phase and the neutral and acceptance/rejection phases of the CIT. There were no differences between RSA during acceptance and rejection phases. Internalizing symptoms and associated constructs were not related to differences in RSA. The current study indicates questionable validity for the use of the CIT to elicit heightened physiological responses to social feedback in undergraduates and suggests important considerations for the future study of responses to social feedback and the design of associated tasks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2023 Samantha L. Birk, Rebekah J. Mennies, Karina Guerra-Guzman, Darien Aunapu, Thomas M. Olino