The Effect of Acute Psychosocial Stress on Short Term Memory
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Our study’s focus was to demonstrate the effects of an acute psychosocial stress event on short-term memory. We hypothesized that an acute psychosocial stress event would lead to an impairment of short-term memory. To induce a psychosocial stress event a Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) was used and blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate were measured before and after to determine if stress occurred. A short-term memory test was administered immediately after the TSST and consisted of a series of randomly assorted letters and numbers followed by blank slides during which the participant recalled the previously shown characters. The results were compared to a control group that did not experience a stress event. There was no statistically significant change in short-term memory scores between the control and experimental groups. There was a statistically significant change in mean arterial blood pressure (P-value = 0.037) likely indicating a stress response was induced. However, there were no statistically significant changes in heart rate or respiratory rate. The final results did not provide statistically significant evidence that the acute psychosocial stress event affected short-term memory. Further research should be done on a larger sample size and with slight variations on the methods to study the effects of stress on short-term memory.
Trier social stress test
short term memory