Individual differences related to stress
Master of Arts
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether differences in how people respond in a stressful situation might be related to underlying differences in personality and cognitive functioning. The four individual differences selected for study were conceptual complexity, type A behaviour pattern, locus of control, and trdit anxiety. The study consisted of two sessions^ one in which the Subject completed the four questionnaires^ and the second in which he participated in a stress experiment. During the second session the subject was allowed to practise a difficult visual-motor task for seven trials, and then on the eighth trial was required to compete against another student who was actually a confederate of the experimenter and performed the task exceptionally fast. Heartrate was recorded throughout the experlmeht as a physiological measure of stress, pleasantness ratings were obtained as a more cognitive, evaluative measure, and performance on the task was recorded as a behavioural measure of stress.