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Can eustress protect against distress?

Tieman, Lisa (2016) Can eustress protect against distress?

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Abstract:Stress consists of two types, a negative type which causes distress and a positive type which causes eustress. In this research personality types and physiological and self-reported effects are measured in reaction to a short term stressor. This short term stressor is the Sing a Song Stress Test (SSST) which requires participants to first relax, conduct some neutral tasks, then prepare for singing, sing for 30 seconds and relax again. The reactions to these tasks are measured through Heart Rate (HR) and Skin Conductance Response (SCR). The aim of this research is to determine whether some personality traits (neuroticism vs. extraversion) provide lower distress reactions. Participants were between 18-55 years of age and were divided in the distress group or eustress group, based on their personalities. This was measured with the NEO-FFI. Physiological measures (HR and SCR) were measured during the test and self-reported scores were assigned to the participants’ subjective stress during five phases of the experiment. The results were that HR does not measure the physiological reaction to short term stress adequately. SCR however finds that people in the distress group need more time to recover their SCR after singing, indicating a longer stressful period after singing. No significant differences were obtained about the preparation and singing phases. Self-reported scores confirm more stress in the distress group at the start of the experiment and after singing.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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