Slides in this set
Aim: To measure the psychological and physiological stress response in two categories of employees.
Method: A quasi- experiment (The IV is naturally occurring nothing is manipulated, in this case the workers
were already employed and in their jobs) where workers were defined as being at high risk of stress, or in a
control group. The data was collected through physiological measures of chemicals in the urine and self-report
Participants: 24 Swedish sawmill workers. The high risk group consisted of 14 workers which worked at a set
pace, governed by the production line. The control group were 10 workers who were cleaners/ maintenance
Procedure: Each participant was asked to give a urine sample four times a day, so that their adrenaline levels
could be measured. Body temperature was also measured (Physiological measures.) Participants were also
asked to rate a list of emotions and feelings such as: sleepiness, wellbeing, calmness, irritation and efficiency.
· The high risk group had adrenaline levels twice the baseline in the first urine sample which increased
throughout the day.
· The control group had a peak level of 1.5 times the baseline and decreased throughout the day.
· The high risk group rated themselves as having a lower well-being.
Conclusion: The repetitive, highly mechanized work which was demanding in attention and detail contributed
to higher stress levels in the high-risk group.…read more
Intro: Daily hassles refer to minor stressors that occur on a regular basis that can accumulate to cause
anxiety and stress.
Aim: To compare the Hassles and Uplifts Scale and the Berkman Life Events scale as predictors of
psychological symptoms of stress.
Method: A repeated design, each participant completed the Hassles Scale, and then the Life events
scale. They then assessed their psychological symptoms of stress using the Hopkins symptom
checklist (HSCL) and the Bradburn morale scale.
· 100 people who had previously completed the survey
· They were mainly white from California
Procedure: All tests were sent out via post 1 month before the study began. The participants were
asked to complete
Hassles rating scale every month for 9 months. The hassles scale consisted of 117 Hassles and 135
The Hopkins symptom and Bradburn Morale scale every month for 9 months.
The life events scale after 10 months.
· Hassles were consistent from month to month.
· Men's life events correlated positively with hassles, but negatively with uplifts.
· For women, the more life events they reported, the more hassles and uplifts they reported.
Frequency of hassles correlated positively with psychological symptoms on the HSCL.
Conclusion: Hassles and Uplifts scale is a more powerful predictor of psychological symptoms than life
events as they happen to us more often and can therefore build up and create a bigger stressor.…read more
Geer and Maisel
Intro: Tangible stressors are one cause of stress but we can also consider situations that might
contribute to our stress.
Aim: To see if perceived control or actual control can reduce stress reactions to an aversive stimuli.
Method: Lab experiment in which participants were shown photographs of dead car crash victims and
their stress levels were measured by galvanic skin response(GSR). Anxiety causes sweating and
therefore increases the moisture on the skin and its conductance. Participants: 60 undergraduates
enrolled in a psychology course from New York University.
Procedure: Each participant was seated in a sound-shielded room and wired up to the GSR machine.
Group 1 were given actual control over how long they saw each photo for. (Control group)
Group 2 were yoked to group 1, warned how long the photo was shown for and that a 10 second noise
would precede them. (Predictability group)
Group 3 were yoked to group 1, but were told that from time to time they would see photographs and
hear tones. This group had no control and no predictability. (No control group)
The GSR analysis was taken on the onset of each tone, during the second half of each tone and in
response to the photograph.
Findings: The Predictability group 2 showed most stressed with the tone, as they knew what was
coming, but had no control over the photograph. The control group 1 showed to be the least stressed.
Conclusion: Having control over aversive stimuli reduces its stressful impact.…read more
Intro: Meichenbaum's SIT adopts a cognitive approach. His assumption is that stress is
caused by faulty processing of information.
3 Components of SIT:
1) The patient must become aware of negative thoughts as they lead to negative self-
2) Teach patients to use coping strategies to restructure thoughts.
3) Use role play to practice what they've been taught in a real-life stressful situation.
The evidence to support this comes from Meichenbaum's study on college students.
Aim: Compare SIT with systematic desensitisation and a control group on a waiting list.
· Field Experiment
· P's assessed before and after treatment using self-reports and grade averages - blind
· 21 students suffering from anxiety
Design: Matched pair design - gender controlled and anxiety level matched to the three
1) To assess anxiety levels: P's given a test anxiety questionnaire and told they would be
doing IQ tests and assessed using an Anxiety Adjective Checklist. Given baseline score and
allocated to their group.
2) In SIT group, p's given:
· 'Insight' approach to help identify their thoughts
· Positive statements to say
· Relaxation techniques
3) In SD group, p's given:
· Progressive relaxation training
4) Control group were told they would receive therapy in the future.
Findings: Performance on the tests and reported improvement in anxiety levels improved
most in the SIT group but significant improvement in therapy groups compared with control
Conclusion: SIT is a more effective way of reducing anxiety in students who are anxiety
prone in test situations.…read more