Generalization of cardiovascular response: supportive evidence for the reactivity hypothesis.
Cardiovascular responses were monitored while 36 subjects completed a battery of laboratory stressors comprising mental arithmetic, a reaction time task, a speech task, and the forehead cold pressor. Inter-task consistency was assessed for each of 6 physiological parameters for all task pairings. Considerable inter-task consistency for reactivity scores was seen among the psychological stressors for all variables. The question of such consistency between the cold pressor and the psychological tasks was then addressed. The pattern of consistency was not as clear-cut in this case. For systolic blood pressure and pre-ejection period, reactivity scores to the cold pressor did not correlate with those to any of the psychological tasks. In contrast, cardiac output and total peripheral resistance responses showed considerable consistency. The importance of determining the nature of the relationship between psychological and physical stressors is discussed.
Turner, JR; Sherwood, A; Light, KC
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