Psychological Stress Test Essays

1663 Words Dec 15th, 2016 7 Pages
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 numbers presented were six and four they have to add them together and call out the answer “ten”. They then have to remember the second number of the original pair of numbers i.e. four and then add this number to the next number presented to them. Throughout the test the speed at which the numbers were presented increased; the intervals between the numbers were 4.5 seconds for the first two minutes but then were shortened by .5 seconds every two minutes thereafter. An experimenter, wearing a white laboratory coat, sitting close to the participant obtrusively scored the participants answers whilst making obvious head movements and eye contact in the participant’s direction. The test was scored on the basis that every participant began…

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