A case for the usefulness of laboratory social stressors
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Linden, W., Rutledge, T. & Con, A. ann. behav. med. (1998) 20: 310. doi:10.1007/BF02886380
- 187 Downloads
Althrough laboratory, stress research is a popular and vibrant area of research activity, there is surprisingly little evidence that laboratory stress models are clinically useful (i.e. that they can explain and predict the development of disease). This article summarizes evidence that the usefulness of lab stress research can be improved with the use of social stressors. Two lines of evidence are presented in support of this argument: (a) studies comparing physiological reactivity to different lab stressors with ambulatory activity, and (b) a meta-analysis of investigations of cortisol responses to laboratory stressors. Further issues of importance in understanding social stressors are gender differences and the vulnerability (i.e. weak reliability) of social stressor impact to relatively small changes in the experimental protocol itself.