Modeling Stress and Assessing Reactivity in the Laboratory

Part of the The Springer Series in Behavioral Psychophysiology and Medicine book series (SSBP)


Stress is now a fashionable public concern. However, the concept has been of interest to the medical profession for centuries (Gatchel et al., 1989). At the beginning of the twentieth century, the work of Cannon (1927, 1929, 1935) formalized the notion of stress. Cannon was among the first to use the term stress in a nonengineering context (Carroll, 1992); the terms stress and strain have long been used in the physical sciences. Though a physiologist by training, Cannon was aware of psychological and emotional influences, stating that emotional stress could cause considerable physiological alterations and viewing stress as a potential cause of medical problems.


Cardiac Output Video Game Reaction Time Task Blood Pressure Response Total Peripheral Resistance 
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Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Julius S. (1989). Hemodynamic assessment and pharmacologic probes as tools to analyze cardiovascular reactivity. In N. Schneiderman, S.M. Weiss, & P.G. Kaufmann (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in cardiovascular behavioral medicine (pp. 411–416 ). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Light, K.C. (1981). Cardiovascular responses to effortful active coping: Implications for the role of stress in hypertension development. Psychophysiology, 18, 216–225.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Obrist, P.A. (1976). The cardiovascular—behavioral interaction as it appears today. Psychophysiology, 13, 95–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schneiderman, N., & McCabe, P.M. (1989). Psychophysiological strategies in laboratory research. In N. Schneiderman, S.M. Weiss, & P.G. Kaufmann (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in cardiovascular behavioral medicine (pp. 349–364 ). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sherwood, A. (1993). Use of impedance cardiography in cardiovascular reactivity research. In J. Blascovich & E.S. Katkin (Eds.), Cardiovascular reactivity to psychological stress and disease (pp. 157–199 ). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sherwood, A., Allen, M.T., Fahrenberg, J., Kelsey, R.M., Lovallo, W.R., & van Doornen, L.J.P. (1990). Committee report: Methodological guidelines for impedance cardiography. Psychophysiology, 27, 1–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sherwood, A., & Turner, J.R. (1992). A conceptual and methodological overview of cardiovascular reactivity research. In J.R. Turner, A. Sherwood, & K.C. Light (Eds.), Individual differences in cardiovascular response to stress (pp. 3–32 ). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Steptoe, A. (1980). Blood pressure. In I. Martin & P.H. Venables (Eds.), Techniques in psychophysiology (pp. 247–273 ). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
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    Turner, J.R., Hewitt, J.K., Morgan, R.K., Sims, J., Carroll, D., Sr Kelly, K.A. (1986). Graded mental arithmetic as an active psychological challenge. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 3, 307–309.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wilson, M.E, Lovallo, W.R., & Pincomb, G.A. (1989). Noninvasive measurement of cardiac functions. In N. Schneiderman, S.M. Weiss, Sr P.G. Kaufmann (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in cardiovascular behavioral medicine (pp. 23–50 ). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TennesseeMemphisUSA

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