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Expression of Emotions of People with PIMD 15 Expression of Emotions of People with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities. A Single-Case Design Including Physiological Data

Torsten Krämer & Peter Zentel

Department of Special Education, Heidelberg University of Education, Germany

Abstract

Due to the challenging task of analysing the expression of emotions of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD), studies in this field are underrepresented so far. Since obtaining self-reports on emotions within this group is limited and their highly individual behaviour signals are often hard to read, monitoring of physiological parameters in combination with behaviour observation can provide a deeper insight into emotional dimensions, i.e. valence and arousal according to the Circumplex Model.Due to the challenging task of analysing the expression of emotions of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD), studies in this field are underrepresented so far. Since obtaining self-reports on emotions within this group is limited and their highly individual behaviour signals are often hard to read, monitoring of physiological parameters in combination with behaviour observation can provide a deeper insight into emotional dimensions, i.e. valence and arousal according to the Circumplex Model.Within a single case research approach, the expressions of three different emotional states of one participant with PIMD was recorded during nine emotion-triggering situations on nine measurement points. The data collection focuses on heart rate (HR) and skin conductance level (SCL).The methodological approach was proved and some indications were shown regarding a higher activity in emotional phases, a low SCL while a relaxed stimulus was presented and a clearly higher SCL while experiencing an angry stimulus and the highest SCL during the presentation of a happy stimulus.Further results will potentially broaden the understanding of emotional expression of people with PIMD. Derived therefrom, most promising implications for pedagogical scenarios were presented based on a quality of life concept.

DOI logohttp://dx.doi.org/10.30436/PAIR20-02

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Tags: PIMD, emotions, single case design, psychological parameters, heart rate, skin conductance level