Perceptions of Psychological and Physiological Stress Responses: Process, Accuracy, and Measurement Convergence
AuthorMason, Ashley Elizabeth
AdvisorSbarra, David A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 29-Sep-2013
AbstractEncountering stressors, both chronic and acute, is ubiquitous to the human experience. From a layperson perspective, it should not be difficult to perceive whether someone is experiencing emotional stress: People rely on intuition to modify their interpersonal behavior in order to ensure smooth social interactions. From a research perspective, determining whether someone is experiencing an emotion is more complex. The majority of available evidence indicates that dimensions of emotional responding - physiological, psychological, and behavioral - are largely uncorrelated, which suggests potential moderators. This study addressed four specific aims: How are self-report (SR) and physiological experiences of stress associated? How well do people agree in their perceptions of others' stress? What dimensions of stress - psychological or physiological, or both - do people perceive when evaluating others' psychological states? What is the process by which people intuit others' stress? Ninety participants (targets, n = 31 men) provided SR tension, autonomic physiology, and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) data in the context of the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Twenty observers across four conditions (n = 5 - 6 per condition) accessed audio (30 s), video (30 s), or audio-video (~13 min and 30 s) variations of recordings made during the TSSTs, and research assistants coded target facial behavior. Among targets endorsing more depression symptoms, SR tension and IL- 6 were inversely correlated, and SR tension and RSA were positively correlated. Among targets endorsing less depression symptoms, SR tension and physiology were uncorrelated. Observers who accessed audio data (3 conditions) evidenced greater agreement than those who viewed silent video. Across all conditions, observer ratings of target (ORT) tension were consistent with SR tension. ORT tension from the ~13 min audio-video condition predicted SR tension 90 min post-TSST after accounting for SR tension assessed immediately post-TSST. Associations among ORT tension and target physiology were variable: ORT from the 30 s audio-only condition (30A) predicted increases in IL-6, ORT from the ~13 min of audio-video condition (13AV) correlated positively with target IL-6 after accounting for SR tension, and ORT from the 30 s audio- video condition (30AV) predicted vagal withdrawal. Visually-observable target behaviors were not correlated with ORT tension, SR tension, or target physiology.
Degree ProgramGraduate College