Research into stress and illness

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  • Created by: Samathaj
  • Created on: 05-02-14 19:39

Kiecolt Glaser (1984)

  • Procedure
    • Blood samples were taken from medical students one month before and during their exams
    • Immune system function was assessed by measuring NK cell activity
  • Findings
    • NK cell activity was significantly reduced in the sample taken during the exams
  • Criticisms
    • No demand characteristics
    • High internal validity
    • Low external validity- medical students are not representative
    • Extraneous variables- two different times of year
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Marucha (1998)

  • Procedure
    • Inflicted a "punch biopsy" in the mouth of medical students in the summer holidays and three days before their exam
    • Measure the length of time the wound took to heal
  • Findings
    • Wounds given just before the exam took 40% longer to heal than those given during the summer holdiays
  • Conclusions
    • No demand characteristics
    • High internal validity
    • Medical students are not representative
    • Unethical- physical harm
    • Extraneous variables- times of year
2 of 4

Kiecolt Glaser (1995)

  • Procedure
    • Compared the rate of wound healing on two groups:
      • A- "high stress" women, caring for relatives with Alzheimer's disease
      • B-  "stress free" matched control group
  • Findings
    • On average it took 9 days longer for the wounds of htose in group A to heal
  • Criticisms
    • Unethical
      • Higher stress levels with a wound
      • Physical pain
    • Low external validity- only women
    • Low internal validity- control group can't be matched exactly
3 of 4

Evans et al. (1994)

  • Procedure
    • looked at activity of antibody- sIgA- which coats the mucus surfaces of the mouth, lungs and stomach, and helps protect against infection
    • arranged for students to give talks to other students (MILD, ACUTE STRESS)
  • Findings
    • students showed an increase in sIgA
    • levels decreased over the exam periods stretching several weeks
  • Criticisms
    • High internal validity
    • Unethical- putting students in a stressful situation
    • Demand characteristics
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