Vital and Alive - an Exploration of Subjective Vitality and Its Physiological Correlates

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2022-08-14
Language: English
Faculty: 7 Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Psychologie
Advisor: Hautzinger, Martin (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2020-08-14
DDC Classifikation: 150 - Psychology
610 - Medicine and health
796 - Athletic and outdoor sports and games
Keywords: Vitalität , Herzfrequenzvariabilität , Selbstbestimmung , Gehirn , Physiologie , Hirnfunktion , Komplexität , Fragebogen , Skala , Bedürfnis
Other Keywords: Subjektive Vitalität
Theorie komplexer Systeme
Qi Gong
Resting state
Functional Connectivity
Self-determination theory
Complex systems
Subjective Vitality
basic psychological needs
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The concept of vitality has attracted philosophers, scientists and medical practitioners for more than 2500 years. Today, an entire "vitality-industry", from diary supplements to self-help books, flourishes on people's quest for the "vital life". Research has shown that the subjective experience of energy and vitality is a powerful predictor of bene ficial outcomes in individuals, organizations and society. However, studies that look at the link between physiological processes and the subjective experience of energy and vitality are completely lacking. The present dissertation aims to address this gap with an exploration of the link between the self-report measure of Subjective Vitality and two prominent present-day physiological correlates: Resting state functional connectivity (RSFC), derived from human brain activity, and heart rate variability (HRV). The correlates are examined in their relation to trait, state and daily levels of Subjective Vitality. Chapter 1 lays the foundation for all subsequent chapters by providing a German language validated self-report measure of vitality, the Subjective Vitality Scale in German. Chapter 2 explores patterns of RSFC and their relation to differences in trait Subjective Vitality. Changes in parameters of HRV and state Subjective Vitality during Qi Gong are explored in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 examines a specifi c HRV parameter as an indicator of vagal tone and its association with daily Subjective Vitality in patients during residential psychotherapy. Overall, the fi ndings suggest specifi c physiological correlates for Subjective Vitality as a trait, state and on a daily basis. Subjective Vitality as a state shows associations with moderate peripheral-physiological activation and attainment of a state of cardiovascular coherence during Qi Gong. Daily levels of Subjective Vitality are associated with increased resting state vagal tone, psychological need ful lfilment and habitual physical activity on the same day. Subjects high in trait Subjective Vitality display a distinctive pattern of RSFC in posterior and temporal parts of the cortex; areas, that are associated with body-related self-representation. All fi ndings are discussed and integrated into a psychophysiological model of vitality. The present dissertation suggests Subjective Vitality as a marker of organismic well-being; covering a positive divergence in health, close to people's lay notion of vitality, and sensitive to somatic and psychological processes.

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