RESEARCH INTO STRESS AND IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTIONING
Key Study- Kiecolt-Glaser (1984) Acute Stress:
Aim: To investigate if short term stress has an effect on the immune system.
Procedure: Natural experiment. 75 medical students volunteered (49 male and 26 female). Blood samples were taken 1 month before the study and during the exam period and NK cell activity was measured. Participants also filled in a questionnaire to mesure other life stressors.
Findings: NK cell activity significantly dropped in the second sample compared to the first.
Conclusion: This suggests that short term stress reduces immune system functioning and therefore increases vulnerability to illness.
- Strengths - High validity as it is impossible to influence your NK cell activity. High external validity and realism as it was a natural…