Stress experiments

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  • Created by: EClou
  • Created on: 21-04-15 06:39
who did the experiment on the effect of general life stress on vulnerability to the common cold?
Cohen et al
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who were the Ps, what were they given and what was this based upon?
394 Ps given a "stress index" score based on 1. response to questionnaire on no. of stressful life events in past year, 2. self report ratings of degree of stress, 3. self report ratings of level of -ve emotions
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in the experiment what happened to the ps?
they were exposed to the common cold virus, 82% became infected and 7 days later some of these infections developed into clinical colds.
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what were the findings and conclusion?
the chance of developing a cold was significantly correlated to stress index scores - life stress and negative emotions reduce effectiveness of immune system.
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give 3 criticisms of this experiment.
1. no direct measure of immune function - assumption that cold = effect of stress on immune system, 2. no direct manipulation of IV - causality, 3. doesn't show which element of stress causes problem.
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what did Keicolt - Glaser experiment on?
the effect of life stressors on the immune system function
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who were PS and how were they used?
75 med students preparing for final exams - immune function measured by level of natural killer cell activity from blood sample a month before exams and during exams. also did a quest. on loneliness and neg life events
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what were the findings and conclusion?
NK activity reduced in high stress samples, greatest reductions in students reported with highest levels of social isolation - exam stress reduces immune system function so people are more vulnerable to illness/infections.
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GIVE 3 criticsms
1. assumes reduction in immune function leads to increased illness, 2. biased sample - probs with PV, 3. NK cell activity = small component of complex system
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is there any evidence that there are gender differences in immune system response?
Kiecolt-Glaser et al found women showed greater immune function reductions than men in marital conflict.
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1. not representative sample of all stress, 2. contradictory evidence
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what did Holmes and Rahe look into?
the social readjustment rating scale
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how did they do this?
394 Ps asked rate 34 life events with marriage in terms of degree of adjustment, (marriage given 500), final scores averages calculated by /100, these were called life change units,
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what did they create with this and with what?
a social readjustment rating scale - LCUs added up for life events occurring during the past year - 150 or above = crisis increasing likelihood of stress related illness by 30%, 300 or above = major crisis - risk increased by 50%
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what experiment used this scale?
Rahe - investigating link between LCUs and illness in healthy 2500 USA male navy personnel - filled out a questionnaire over last 6 months
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how did they monitor Ps?
over 7 month tour - illnesses recorded and rated to give overall score
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what were the findings?
+ve correlation of +0.118 between LCUs and illness scores - there is a relationship between life events and development of strew related illness.
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give 2 methodological criticsms
1. biased sample - culture and gender - generalisability, 2. correlation can't show causality.
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give 4 criticisms of the SRRS
1. doesn't care if life events are pos/neg - assumed all adjustment is stressful, 2. doesn't take individual diffs into account, 3. retrospective, results in correlation - lack of causality
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what experiment criticises the SRRS?
Raphael et al - people who are already ill looking for an explanation - may exaggerate life events.
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who showed that probability of developing a cold increased with negative daily events?
Evans and Edgeton.
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what did De Longis et al do?
compared scores on both hassle scale and life scale - greater correlations with hassle score and health outcome, uplifts unrelated to health outcome.
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what did Marmot et al do and what was it called?
the whitehall study - decision latitude at work and heart disease in civil servants
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analysd data from 7000 Ps who worked as london - baed gov.civil servants - Ps did quest, checked for signs of cardiovascular disease, 5yrs later all reassessed, 1. signs of CVD, 2. presence of coronary risk factors, 3. employment grade, 4. sense of
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findings and concl?
rate of heart disease 1.5X higher for lower grade, risk factors accounted for some increase - most sig. factor in developing heart disease was amount of control in job.
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3 methodological criticmsm
1. self report - biased, 2. biased sample, 3. conclusion may be a result of another variable that wasn't measure
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give and experiment that criticises it
Caplan et al - more ambitious people more affected by workplace stress,
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supporting exp.
Fox et al - low job control and high job demand related to hbp in nurses (risk factor of heart disease)
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how found that High TAB individual is vulnerable to heart disease and how?
Rosenman et al - 3454 middle aged USA men categorised as Type A or B using structure interview and observation, Ps followed for 8.5 yrs during this time = 257 heart attacks, 69% were Type As.
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3 methodological crit.
1. gender + culture specific - generalisability, 2. it is possible that another variable was not controlled, 3. half studies done on this topic don't support these findings.
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give 2 experimenter who looks at hostility VS TAB
Dembroski et al - hostility more strongly linked to heart disease than Tab score, Myrtek - meta-analysis of 35 studies - only found association between 1 aspect of TAB and CHD - hostility.
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who looked at Hardiness and what did they find?
Kobasa people - people with higher quest (assessing control, commitment, challenge)scores reported fewer stress-related symptoms.
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who supports this?
Beasley - students who scored higher hardiness showed reduced levels of psych. distress
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who looked into stress and cardiovascular illness?
Krantz et al - if mental stress increases myocardial ischemia
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what was the conclusion of this lab experiment?
cardiovascular patients showed more myocardial ischemia during mental task and had Highest bp
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Card 2


who were the Ps, what were they given and what was this based upon?


394 Ps given a "stress index" score based on 1. response to questionnaire on no. of stressful life events in past year, 2. self report ratings of degree of stress, 3. self report ratings of level of -ve emotions

Card 3


in the experiment what happened to the ps?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


what were the findings and conclusion?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


give 3 criticisms of this experiment.


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