The embodied self: body focus increases self-structure integration

[Speaker] Suszek, Hubert:1
1:University of Warsaw (Poland)

Research on embodiment has shown that social and non-social concepts are processed in close interaction with sensory-motor systems. However, little attention has been paid so far to the question of how self-concept is grounded in bodily experiences. The aim of the current project was to verify whether an unspecific and general concentration on the experience of one's body enhances self-concept integrative features. Three experiments have been conducted for this purpose. Results show that focusing on one's body significantly increased felt certainty, self-concept clarity and self-consistency compared to control conditions. This effect was observed when body focus occurred before the measurement of dependent variables and also when body focus was continuous during this measurement (holding tension of particular body parts). This effect was also present regardless of whether the engagement of the body was neutral or painful. Based on these results, the existence of a general embodiment effect is being proposed.
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