Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Gender differences are often overlooked or minimized in research regarding well-being. Men and women respond differently to stress, such that men experience higher risk of cardiovascular events. Yet despite their greater potential to benefit, men seem to exhibit less interest and participation than women in activities shown by research to enhance well-being. Heart rate variability provides a sensitive and reliable index of well-being and adaptability both at rest and across various stressors. Research suggests that heart rate variability is influenced not only by physiological processes, but also cognitive and emotional processes, which differ between men and women. Neurological factors underlying these differences may suggest future directions for improving well-being in men.


vagal tone, heart rate variability, gender differences, stress



Date Posted: 04 November 2013