Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2021

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Ralf Greenwald

Second Committee Member

Mary Radeke

Third Committee Member

Heath Marrs


This study examines frontal alpha brain wave asymmetry (FAA) in relation to emotion processing. Previous research has shown that differences between left versus right FAA could exhibit a neurological marker for emotional intelligence (EI), mental health, and stress. Behavioral data were collected using Profile of Emotional Competence Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Questionnaire, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7. This was followed by a series of resting EEG recordings. This study hypothesizes that participants who are mentally healthy, have higher EI scores and lower stress will display greater left FAA. The hypothesis is partially supported; participants with depression had greater right-sided FAA. It was also found that participants with left FAA had greater anxiety and participants with right FAA had less anxiety—this finding is the opposite of what was hypothesized. This study also found that people with greater EI had less depression, anxiety, and stress.