Stress and The Immune System
Kiecolt-Glaser et al. (1984) - Acute Stress
- Conducted a natural experiment to test whether the stress of short-term stressors had an effect on the immune system functioning in medical students.
- Blood samples were taken one month prior to the exam period and during the exam period itself.
- Immune system functioning was assessed by measuring NK cell activity in the blood samples.
- NK cell activity was significantly reduced in the second sample as opposed to the sample taken a month before.
- This suggests that short-term, predictable stressors reduce immune system functioning, increasing vulnerability to illness.
Marucha et al. (1998) - Acute Stress
- Inflicted a 'punch biopsy' in the mouths of students either during the summer holidays or three days before an exam.
- The wounds given before the exam took 40% longer to heal than the wounds given before the exam took 40% longer to…