The Effect Of a Minor Stressor with Varying Auditory Stimuli on Physiological Response
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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College students experience high levels of stress relating to classes, exams, and personal conflicts. Persistent high levels of stress can lead to adverse health outcomes such as mental illness or digestive system complications. Many students use music as a method to cope with stressful situations and anxiety levels, but also as a supplementary studying device. Past research studies have established that high tempoed music, such as that heard in pop music, resulted in increased physiological response and slow tempos heard in classical music, resulted in a decreased physiological response. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether varying genres of music affected the the physiological response of experimental participants after the induction of a minor stressor. All participants were asked to perform a three minute word search in four different experimental groups. Two groups received classical or pop music as the auditory stimulus and a minor stressor, another group received no auditory stimulus, but a minor stressor, and the last group received no auditory stimulus and no stressor. We hypothesized that individuals who listened to pop music would experience a larger positive increase in heart rate, diastolic blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, and respiration rate compared to classical music. Our results showed that exposure to pop music lead to a heightened physiological stress response based on higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures in reference to baseline. Classical auditory stimulus had little effect in response to the stressor. Despite the statistically significant physiological response in participants, music played no noticeable role on task performance between treatment groups.
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2017