In Artikeln nationaler und internationaler Fachjournals, Büchern, Beiträgen in Sammelbändern, Working Papers, u.v.m. präsentieren und diskutieren die Autor*innen die neuesten sozialwissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisse aus der umfangreichen Forschungsarbeit, die am Institut für Soziologie geleistet wird.

Habituation of salivary cortisol and cardiovascular reactivity to a repeated real-life and virtual reality Trier Social Stress Test

Oswald D. Kothgassner, Andreas Goreis, Lisa M. Glenk, Johanna Xenia Kafka, Bettina Pfeffer, Leon Beutl, Ilse Kryspin-Exner, Helmut Hlavacs, Rupert Palme, Anna Felnhofer

BACKGROUND: Although the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) constitutes a valid paradigm for social stress induction, less is known about the effects of a virtual reality (VR) TSST on short- and long-term hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic-adreno-medullar (SAM) axis responses. Hence, this study set out to evaluate reactivity and habituation of self-reported stress and HPA and SAM reactivity in a real TSST and VR-TSST when compared to a placebo TSST.

METHOD: Sixty-eight healthy young adults (50% female) were randomly assigned to either a real TSST, a VR-TSST, or a placebo TSST, all of which were conducted three times (one day and one week post initial exposure). Social presence, self-reported stress, salivary cortisol, heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV) were analyzed using ANOVAs and multilevel models.

FINDINGS: On the first exposure, both the real and VR-TSST showed significantly stronger cortisol and cardiovascular responses than the placebo. On the second visit, the cortisol response was still significantly high-and the HRV response low-for the real and VR-TSST. The third visit resulted in HR, HRV, and cortisol responses comparable to the placebo group. Furthermore, the real TSST induced more self-reported stress than the placebo on all three visits, the VR-TSST only on the first two visits. Social presence was stable across conditions and had no association with stress markers.

CONCLUSION: These findings imply that the replicability of stress exposures at shorter intervals seems problematic for the traditional TSST, and for the VR-TSST.

Forschungsplattform The Stress of Life - Processes and Mechanisms underlying Everyday Life Stress, Institut für Klinische und Gesundheitspsychologie, Forschungs-, Lehr- und Praxisambulanz, Institut für Soziologie, Forschungsgruppe Entertainment Computing, Institut für Lehrer*innenbildung
Externe Organisation(en)
Medizinische Universität Wien, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Physiology & Behavior
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
501010 Klinische Psychologie
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience
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