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Biological Psychology


Linda Tennison


Psychologists are interested in self-compassion and its effects on our biopsychological well-being. A common method found throughout much research in assessing this is through heart rate variability. In the present study, we attempt to see whether or not self-compassion has an impact on one’s heart rate variability as a higher HRV indicates one is better able to adapt to stress. Self-compassion was measured through a self-compassion survey and we hypothesized that heart rate variability would then be prone to change across three 5-minute test intervals. We unfortunately found no significant change in HRV predicted by our hypothesis. Given the results of previous research in this area and our lack of a larger number of participants however, there is still reason to be looking into the effects of self-compassion on heart rate variability.