OCR psychology - Measuring Stress

  • Created by: Ella
  • Created on: 06-01-14 18:01

Measuring Stress

Examples of Studies which can be used to evaluate methods for measuring stress:

  • Johansson (Stress at work)
  • Kanner (Daily Hassles)
  • Geer & Maisel (Lack of control)
  • Holmes & Rahe (The Social Readjustment Rating Scale)

Strengths of Methods Used to Measure Stress:

Self report --> Reliable - easily replicated so can look for consistancies in results. Can generate qual. and quant. data - increases validity, can correlate between stress & psychological symptoms (Kanner)

Physiological --> Reliable/standardised procedure. Results can't be faked, are falsifiable/objective (no investigator bias) so valid. Generates quant. data.

Combined methods --> Using physiological methods with self report methods means that the physiological methods can confirm the validity of the self report answers/data collected (Concurrent validity!) - overcomes the problem of social desirability bias & demand characteristics.

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Measuring Stress

Weaknesses of Methods Used to Measure Stress:

Sef Report --> Rating scales (e.g. as used by Kanner) can be interpreted differently (subjective) so lowers validity. Questionnaires & interviews (& even rating scales) allows social desirability bias (low internal vaildity). Can be considered ethnocentric (e.g. SRRS) - culturally biased.

Physiological --> The method can cause stress itself (e.g. blood tests) so lowers validity. Doesn't consider participant variables (e.g. personality type) on stress levels/causes so must consider baseline measurements! Also there may be ethical issues e.g. blood tests on children.

Combined Methods --> Time consuming & possibily more expensive. Reliant on correlations.

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