Stressful life events are related to more negative interpretations, but not under acute stress


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Bélanger, K. et Blanchette, I. (2021). Stressful life events are related to more negative interpretations, but not under acute stress. Psychological Reports . pp. 1-21. ISSN 0033-2941 DOI 10.1177/00332941211014150

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Studies have identified deleterious effects of stress on multiple cognitive processes such as memory and attention. Little is known about the impact of stress on interpretation. We investigated how an induced acute stress and more long-term stress related to life events were associated with interpretations of ambiguous stimuli. Fifty participants answered a questionnaire indexing the number of stressful life events. A median split was used to compare those reporting few or more events. Half of participants performed an arithmetic task that induced acute stress; they were compared to a control group performing a less stressful task. We measured the interpretation of ambiguous visual stimuli, which participants had to judge as “negative” or “positive”. We found a significant interaction between the number of stressful life events and the induced acute stress on the proportion of positive interpretations. In the control group, participants reporting more stressful events produced less positive interpretations than those reporting few events. In the induced stress condition, no significant difference was found. Life events tend to influence interpretation in the absence of an acute stressor, which seems to be more influent in the short term.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: Coping Executive function Induced acute stress Interpretation bias Stressful life events Visual ambiguous stimuli
Date de dépôt: 14 août 2023 12:34
Dernière modification: 14 août 2023 12:34
Version du document déposé: Version officielle de l'éditeur

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