Johansson and Aronsson - Work
Johansson and Aronsson studied stress levels among employees of a Swedish company that had introduced a computer system in the 1970's. They found that those who worked with computers were more likely to feel stressed at work than those who didnt. However the group that experienced the most stress was a group that used computers occasionaly, but whose jobs involved more responsibility than the regular computer users. This main cause of the rise in stress levels was the constant possibility of system breakdown.
In contrast those who did not work with computers found work very stressful towards the end of the working day. One interesting conclusion is regular comuter users found it harder to wind down after work in the evening and they continued to show higher than normal levels of adrenaline in the evening than non computer users. The authors argued this was down to the lack of human interaction. The authors measured this by checking the urine of paricipants for hormones called catecholomines.
Geer and Maissel - Lack of Control
A theory is that stress can be caused by unpredictability. Geer and Maissel conducted a lab experiment with 60 psychology students, at the state university of new york. The participants were shown unpleasant stimuli. These were photo's of victims who had suffered violent deaths.
Electronic timers were used either to warn participants that a new stimulus will be presented (predictability group) or photos random sequence and no timer (no control group) One group both experienced the timer ticking, and were allowed to click a button to remove the photograph at will (control group).The only measurement taken by Geer and Maissel was a physiological measure - a galvanic skin response (GSR) which is an indicator of emotional arousal linked to stress.
It was found the predictability group responded at a higher level than the other 2 groups. So participants who could predict unpleasant stimuli and heard the timer were more strongly affected. (predictability group)
During the actual showing of the photograph, both prediction and no control groups, showed a significantly higher level of emotional arousal than control group, because they could press the button and change it
Chamberlain and Zika - Hassles
Method: Self Report
Design: Longitudinal Study
Sample: Self Select Sample
- Elderly People
- Mothers with at least 1 child under 5
- Random members of local community
Procedure: Carried out self report study, using Kanner's hassles scale.
Results: Two groups reported not having enough time as on of their 3 top hassles (mothers and students), while students and random members of the community had worrying thoughts about the future.
Findings: The authors found that hassles related to mental health at moderate levels, while life events had low associations with mental health.