Cohen et al (1993)

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  • Created on: 28-05-12 13:30


to investigate the role of general life stress on vulnerablity to the common cold.

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394 participants

  • completed  questionnaire on number of stressful life events they had experienced in the previous year.
  • Rated their degree of stress
  • rated level of negative emotions
  • three scores combined into a stress index score

participants exposed to common cold

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  • 82% became infected.
  • After 7 days, number who had developed clinical colds was recorded.
  • chance of catching a cold significantly correlated with stress index score
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life stress and negative emotions reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, leaving people less able to resist viral infections.

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  • supported by evans and edginton (1991) who found probabilty of developin a cold significantly correlated with negative events from proceeding days.
  • measured health outcomes showing a relationship between stress and illness, whereas, some studies just measure immune function.
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  • no direct manipulation of the independant variable so cause and effect relationship cant be established.
  • By combining the three measures, we cant tell which element of the stress index is most important in making us more vulnerable to viruses.
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