The Effects Of Hormones Cortisol On The Body Essay

759 Words Apr 15th, 2016 4 Pages
The hormone cortisol helps the body to manage stress. However, overproduction of cortisol as a response to major stressors can promote disadvantages to overall health. Aggressive behaviors have been shown to be associated with increased cortisol reactivity. The Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a common laboratory-based protocol used to study stress, provides negative evaluative feedback to study participants by trained judges. While cortisol reactivity of the evaluated participants has extensively been studied, the effects of the mildly aggressive behavior of the judges on cortisol activity has not yet been investigated. In this study, we examine the effect of the behavior of a judging participant in a laboratory-based stress protocol, the Trier Social Stress Test, on cortisol reactivity.
Cortisol and Interpersonal Stress
For many years, researchers have sought to understand the effects of stress on the body. To help moderate stress, hormones, the body’s chemical messengers, are secreted throughout the body to encourage adaptation to a stressor (Cannon, 1932). These messengers are essential for the body’s regulation in helping to adapt to not only to the challenges of everyday life, but to major life stressors. Examining cortisol, often described as the stress hormone, is a common way researchers study stress. Researchers have found cortisol levels to increase in response to both “positive stressors” such as physical exercise (Cook et al., 1992) and skydiving (Chatterton,…

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