Exam Stress (Kiecolt Glaser et al, 1984)

revision cards on stress from exams

HideShow resource information


To investigate the effect of exam stress upon the immune system. 

1 of 6


Blood samples of 75 first year medical students taken. (1 month before first exam and on the day of first exam) 

  • Level of killer T cells measured. 
  • Questionnaires filled in to measure psychological factors, such as social support and life events
2 of 6


Fewer killer T cells found in the second sample than the first, especially when students reported loneliness and high numbers of life events

3 of 6


Even short-term exam stress can become damaging to health, especially when experiencing other stressors

4 of 6


  • A natural experiment - high ecological validity.
  • Cause and effect cannot be established 
  • Measuring killer T cells is objective - investigator effects are not a problem 

5 of 6

Evaluation 2

  • All participants were students, so results may not be generalisable
  • HOWEVER, other studies have shown the same effects with different population groups. 
6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Stress resources »