Stress related illness

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DESCRIBE research into stress- related illness

COHEN ET AL (1991)

investigatied the impact that general life stressors had on vunrability to the common cold virus

394 participants

completed questionnaires on the number of stressful life events that they had experianced in the previous year

Also rated how stressed they felt

And if they were experiencing any negative emotions

Their three scores were then added together to get the stress index score

Cohen then gave them all a nasal drop which contained the common cold virus

82% of participants became infected and after 7 days actual number of people with virus was recored

found that failing to fight virus was positively collrealted with the stress index score= the more chance they had of developing the common cold virus

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DESCRIBE research into stress- related illness

RUSSEK (1962)

studied the rate of heart disease amongst medical proffesionals

two groups

one group= high stress group= GP'd and anaesthetists

one group= low stress group= pathologists and dermatologists

found that 11.9% of GP's developed heart disease

only 3.2% of dermatologists developed heart disease

shows that stress is linked to developing heart disease

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EVALUATE research into stress- related illness

WEAKNESS= research has suggested that stress affects arteries in some people more than others

ROZANSKI ET AL found that THE SYMPATHETIC BRANCH OF THE ANS- SHORT TERM in some people is more REACTIVE which leads to GREATER INCREASE IN BLOOD PRESSURE AND MORE DAMAGE TO ARTERIES

Suggests that SOME PEOPLE will be MORE SENSITIVE TO STRESS and it WILL HAVE BIGGER EFFECTS ON THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM

therefore it is unfair when saying that ALL people get damage to their arteries and CHD due to stress= every individual is different

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EVALUATE research into stress- related illness

WEAKNESS= issues with the sample in Russek's study

Russek ONLY STUDIED THE ILLNESS IN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. Very perticular group of people- we cannot say that all people from different professions will respond to stress in the same way as these people did

therefore this research lacks population validity= difficult to applu these results to other groups of people

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EVALUATE research into stress-related illness

THERE ARE METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES WITH COHEN'S RESEARCH

completeing questionnaires is an issue because it is self- report and can be subject to participant effects= participants can act in social desirable ways.

Ps can forget as they are completing the questionnaires retrospectively

both of these can affect the internal validity of a study as if either of these things occur, they can affect the results

Means that we do not know if social desirability bias or forgetting are affecting the correlation

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EVALUATE research into stress- related illness

WEAKNESS= research is correlational

because in both studies one of the co- variables occured naturally.

We are unable to manipulate stress in participants and so will never be able to test stress and illness in a controlled lab setting- controlling EV's

means that we cannot identify the cause and effect- we don't know if stress actually causes illness

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EVALUATE research into stress-related illness

BOTH STUDIES ARE ETHICAL

Both studies took advantage of a naturally occuring IV. Stress was not manipulated in ethier study; they just both used stressors that naturally exist

therefore both studies anre ethical as no one was made to feel any unnecessary stress

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