Psychological Stress Test Essay

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Psychological Stress Test
The acute psychological stress test we used was a ten-minute version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) (Gronwall, 1977). This has been shown to reliably perturb both the cardiovascular system and salivary cortisol levels (Phillips et al., 2005, Phillips et al., 2006, Phillips et al., 2009) and demonstrate good test-retest reliability (Willemsen et al., 1998). In this task, the participants were presented, via a compact disc player, a series of single digit numbers and were required to add the present number to the number previously presented and report their answer aloud. They then have to remember the last number that they heard and add it to the next number presented. For example, if they first two
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These cardiovascular measures were taken during minutes 2, 4, 6 and 8 of the baseline, stress task and recovery periods. A single measure was also taken during minute four of the adaptation period for familiarity and to ensure the equipment was functional, however, this data was not recorded. Heart rate was also measured continuously from the QRS complex using electrocardiography (ECG) and spot electrodes placed on the right and left clavicle and lower left rib. Blood pressure (BP) was also continuously measured, this time from the left index finger using a Portapres Model-2? (Finapres Medical Systems, Amsterdam, the Netherlands). The data was continuously sampled at 200 Hz? using an analogue-digital converter (PowerLab, ADInstruments, Sydney, Australia) and analyzed using LabChart software (Version ??, ADInstruments, Sydney, …show more content…
This targeted University of Birmingham students, athletes of surrounding sport teams and local residents. Before completing the questionnaire, all participants were asked to read the studies’ information sheet (Appendix?) as well as an informed consent document; their undertaking of the questionnaire after reading this signified their agreement to participate, as well as their informed consent for participation in the whole study. Upon completion of the screening procedure, individuals with scores of 3-5 on the lifetime adversity measure and those with scores of 2 and 6 or higher? (6+)? on the CTQ were classified as the childhood adversity exposure group. Conversely, the control group was made up of an equal number of randomly selected participants who scored 0 on both measures. Both of these groups of participants were contacted by email and were invited back to the laboratory for the second part of the study. They were requested to refrain from eating for one hour, smoking or drinking caffeine for two hours, exercising vigorously for four hours and were told not to consume alcohol in the 12 hours preceding testing. The participants were also not able to participate if they were currently ill/infectious or any medication (besides the contraceptive pill) which could interfere with the

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