Congruence between physiological and emotional reactivity to stressors of Type A individuals


  • A. Perminas
  • G. Jarasiunaite


One of the hypotheses why individuals with Type A behavior pattern are more prone to cardiovascular diseases is that they cannot recognize their emotional tension in stressful situations. So, the aim of this study was to assess the congruence between physiological (skin temperature) and emotional response to stressors of Type A individuals. 169 students (108 Type A’s and 61 Type B’s) aged between 18 and 24 participated in the study. They were selected on the basis of their scores on Adolescent/Adult Type A Behavior Scale-3 (Forgays et al., 1993). A total of 4 stressors (3 psychological and 1 physiological) was used to assess students response to stressors. An attention demanding task was used as a psychological stressor. One of psychological stressors was given with standard instructions, another with instructions to compete and on the third stressor students’ performance was criticized. Students’ emotional reactivity to stressors was measured by Emotional Assessment Scale (Carlson et al., 1989), while skin temperature reactivity to stressors was assessed using biofeedback device Nexus-10. The results of the study showed that when being criticized and having higher skin temperature reactivity Type A individuals report feeling less anxious, less disgust and fear. When having higher skin temperature reactivity on physiological task they report feeling less fearful. Those incongruous emotional and skin temperature responses were not observed in Type B individuals.





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