Is Frequent Sighing an Indicator of Dispositional Negative Emotionality? A Multi-Sample, Multi-Measure Naturalistic-Observation Study [post]

Alexander Francois Danvers, Anne Milek, Allison Mary Tackman, Deanna M Kaplan, Megan Robbins, Angelina Polsinelli, Suzanne Moseley, Charles Raison, David Sbarra, Matthias R. Mehl
2021 unpublished
Sighing is a common nonverbal everyday behavior thought to signal the experiencing of negative emotions. Prior research from a small-scale study suggests that observed daily expressions of sighing is associated with subclinical depression (Robbins et al., 2011). This paper replicates and extends these findings, hypothesizing that individual differences in negative emotionality are associated with frequency of spontaneous sighing. Study 1 (N = 320) documents a strong lay assumption that frequent
more » ... sighing signals dispositional negative emotionality. Study 2 estimates the actual association between daily sighing, assessed naturalistically using the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR), and negative emotionality in a large, diverse, pooled sample (N = 469). Bayesian tests across six measures (neuroticism, depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue, loneliness) strongly support the null model. Together, results suggest the common intuition that people who sigh frequently experience more negative emotionality is inaccurate. Assessing whether an individual sighs more (or less) than others cannot be used to infer that they experience more negative emotions.
doi:10.31234/ fatcat:rxkpogvxwbg5xph52bdajjt5v4