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The relation between conscientiousness and skin conductance in the Sing-a-Song Stress Test (SSST)

Jenderny, S. (2015) The relation between conscientiousness and skin conductance in the Sing-a-Song Stress Test (SSST).

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Abstract:To understand why stress can differ in individuals many research on the relation between stress and personality has been carried out. Mainly the relation between the Big Five personality traits and stress often has been studied in psychological research. Conscientiousness, one of the personality traits in the Big Five, has often been linked to stress. High Conscientiousness often is related to lower stress. Nevertheless there still are inconsistencies about the relation between conscientiousness and psychophysiological reactions to stress, mainly skin conductance, which is why further research on the relation between stress and skin conductance has to be carried out. To examine the relation between skin conductance and conscientiousness we made use of the Sing-A-Song-Stress test (SSST), a newly designed paradigm which has been proven to induce stress in individuals. Based on this test, we developed an alternate version, including changes in phases and duration. Furthermore we made use of the NEO-FFI, a questionnaire designed to obtain information about the Big Five Personality traits. In the alternate SSST stress is elicited by letting the participants sing in company of the researcher and a confederate. The test consists of different phases including a baseline phases, exposition to neutral stimuli, the anticipation of the singing and a singing phase. Throughout the SSST, heart rate and skin conductance were measured as physiological variables of stress. We expected our version of the SSST to elicit higher skin conductance response during the anticipation and the singing phase than during the baseline. Also, our expectation was that participants scoring high on conscientiousness showed fewer levels of stress and fewer stress response than participants scoring low on conscientiousness. Independent of conscientiousness, all participants showed significantly higher SCR during the Anticipation and the Singing phase than during the baseline. This makes our version of the SSST suitable for further research concerning the theoretical framework of stress. Regarding the relation between SCR and conscientiousness, we found significant differences during the Anticipation phase between two groups of the five groups of conscientiousness. There were no significant differences between the other groups, neither did we find significant differences in the baseline or the singing phase.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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