Psychological stress, appraisal, emotion and Cardiovascular response in a public speaking task
journal contributionposted on 01.06.2004, 00:00 by Pamela J Feldman, Sheldon CohenSheldon Cohen, Natalie Hamrick, Stephen J Lepore
Forty-three undergraduates (30 males, 13 females) prepared and performed a speech task (stressor) or a reading task (no-stressor control). Preparing to speak led to greater threat appraisal, negative emotion, and cardiovascular (CV) response than preparing to read aloud, particularly in speech anxious individuals. Delivering the speech, however, did not result in an increment in CV response over and above preparation. Although threat appraisals could not explain the effect of stress on CV response during task preparation, negative emotion accounted for over half of the effect. These data support the hypothesis that CV response in these studies is at least partially accounted for by psychological processes (stressor-specific anxiety and negative emotional response) and suggests that these processes may be best studied during a period of stressor anticipation.