Health - Stress - Measuring Stress

physiological measures

self-report

combined approach

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Geer and Maisel (1972)

Pps' stress levels were measured by GSR and HR electrodes. A Beckman Model RB Polygraph was used to collect psychophysiological data. The data are converted from a voltmeter to a printout. Each recording was performed in a sound and electrically shielded room to ensure no audio or visual input from the projector would interfere with the data collection. The heart monitors were attatched in standard positions, and the GSR electrodes were placed between the palm and forearm of the pps' non-preferred arm (i.e. the left arm for a right-handed person)

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Geer and Maisel (1972)

COGNITIVE/ INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

Evaluation Points:

  • reductionism vs. holism
  • individual vs. situational

Method issues:

  • cannot tell if machines/results are accurate and therefore reliable
  • extraneous variables of participants not taken into account

helps us find explanations for why people are different. allows us to understand human behaviour and find the causes and measures for stress

ignores emotion and free will, ignores extraneous variables of participants. susceptible to ethical issues

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Holmes and Rahe (1967)

Aim: to create a method that estimates the extent to which life events are stressors

Method: Questionnaire designed to ascertain how much each life event felt to be a stressor

Sample: 394 subjects (179m, 215f) range of educational abilities, ethnic groups and religions

Procedure: rated series of 43 life events. Marriage - arbitrary rating of 50. each event judged as requiring more or less readjustment. based on perceptions of other people's or own experiences

Key Results: Final SRRS completed based on mean scores allocated by pps. correlations between groups were tested and found to be high in all but one group. M+F agree- less correlation between white and black pps

Conclusions: events mostly ordinary. socially desirable events=success and conformism. degree of similarity between different groups is impressive and shows agreement in general of what constitutes a life event and how much they cause stress

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Holmes and Rahe (1967)

COGNITIVE/ INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

Evaluation Points:

  • reductionism vs. holism
  • individual vs. situational

Method issues:

  • socially desirable answers
  • may not find all necessary answers looking for

helps us find explanations for why people are different. allows us to understand human behaviour and find the causes and measures for stress

ignores emotion and free will, ignores extraneous variables of participants. susceptible to ethical issues

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Johansson (1978)

Each participant asked to give a urine sample four times during the day, so that their adrenaline levels could be measured. This is a physiological measure. Their body temperature was recorded at the same time. These measures were combined with a self-report where each participant had to say how much caffeine and nicotine they had consumed since the last urine sample. They also had a list of emotions and feelings such as sleepiness, well-being, calm, irritation and efficiency. These were on a continuum from minimum to maximum and on a millimetre scale. The score as how many mm's from the minimum base point the pps had marked themselves to be feeling. This combined method of physiological measures and self-reports gave some good qualitative and quantitative data that enabled Johansson to compare the two groups, and have some understanding of the impact of higher stress levels on pps.

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Johansson (1978)

COGNITIVE/ INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

Evaluation Points:

  • reductionism vs. holism
  • individual vs. situational

Method issues:

  • socially desirable answers
  • extraneous variables of pps not taken into account

helps us find explanations for why people are different. allows us to understand human behaviour and find the causes and measures for stress

ignores emotion and free will, ignores extraneous variables of participants. susceptible to ethical issues

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