Manipulating levels of socially evaluative threat and the impact on anticipatory stress reactivity

Olivia Craw*, Michael Smith, Mark Wetherell

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Previous work suggests that relative increases in socially evaluative threat modulate the psychobiological stress response. However, few studies have compared stressors which manipulate the level of socially evaluative threat to which the participant is exposed. Here we present two studies. In the first, we assessed the integrity of an ecologically valid, laboratory stressor (direct socially evaluated multitasking) and its effects on acute psychobiological reactivity and ability to evoke an anticipatory response prior to participation. Specifically, we assessed whether the expectation and experience of direct social evaluation (multitasking while standing and facing an evaluator) evokes greater reactivity than indirect evaluation (over-the-shoulder evaluation). In the second study, we sought to replicate the findings regarding acute stress reactivity whilst extending the assessment window to assess the extent to which the stressor evokes anticipatory responses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number622030
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2021


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