Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Positive illusions and its association with cardiovascular functions

Why, Yong Peng; Huang, Raymond Zhiwei


Yong Peng Why

Raymond Zhiwei Huang


The relationship between positive illusions (or self-enhancement) and cardiovascular functions was investigated using Asian samples in two studies. In phase 1 of Study 1, a generalized self-enhancement index was created for 241 participants using a paired word association memory task, a facial emotion recognition task, and a reading test. 122 participants subsequently volunteered for a second phase in this study where their ambulatory cardiovascular functions were measured throughout a single waking day. In Study 2, a priming procedure experimentally induced self-enhancement (n=35) and self-effacement (n=37) and the participants' cardiovascular arousal and perceived control for a mental arithmetic task were measured. Self-enhancement predicted lower cardiovascular functions for both studies. In Study 1, self-enhancement assessed at phase 2 was a significant predictor while self-enhancement measured at phase 1 was not. In Study 2, the relationship between self-enhancement and vascular reactivity was partially mediated by perceived control. The findings indicate that the relationship between self-enhancement and cardiovascular stress response, which has implications for cardiovascular health, (i) is relevant for Asian populations, (ii) is not just correlational but potentially causal, and (iii) is partly mediated by an increase in perceived control for vascular reactivity.


Why, Y. P., & Huang, R. Z. (2011). Positive illusions and its association with cardiovascular functions. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 81(3), 305-311.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 22, 2011
Online Publication Date Aug 16, 2011
Publication Date Sep 1, 2011
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal International Journal Of Psychophysiology
Print ISSN 0167-8760
Electronic ISSN 1872-7697
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 81
Issue 3
Pages 305-311
Keywords Physiology (medical); General Neuroscience; Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Public URL
Publisher URL