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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSocial stress manifest as both physiological effecs (such as sweating or increasing one's heart rate), and psychological effects (like anxiety and depression) (Newman 2003, Thayer et al., 2011). One manifestation of stress that curiously provides an insight into both the physiological and psychological impacts upon an individual is the way that one chooses words to use. The primary objectives of the Stress Study are to determine the relationship between personality factors and emotional state characteristics under stress. This study proposes that language usage and emotional state determinants are identifying factors that predict performance under stress. We hypothesize that those participants who use less emotionally driven language should have decreased cortisol levels to baseline. Conversely, those who use more emotionally driven language should have increased cortisol levels to baseline, thereby showing that language usage can identify factors of stress resilience or vulnerability in given individuals. The data collected did not prove statistically significant, however, three underlying trends arose. 1. We observed an increase in cortisol levels at initial collecting of saliva and after the modified Trier Social Stress Test, but not during the post-stress reminder time period, which creates an interesting notion that the participants were more stressed when initially entering the testing site and once the speech was concluded. 2. The simple scatterplots conveyed that specific LIWC word choice may be used as a way of a coping mechanism to decrease stress level 3. The results of the ANCOVA's and simple linear regression models suggested that with a more in-depth statistical analysis word choice can be indicative of one's resiliency to stress. Collectively, these findings indicate that word choice and language usage could be an identifying factor to determine if someone is resilient or not resilient to stress. These results have the potential to be used in future studies that can perform on a higher level of statistical analysis and compare a variety of factors that are not just limited to word choice.
Degree ProgramNeuroscience and Cognitive Science