International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 12 Num. 2 - June 2012


Single versus Multi-Sentence Paradigm as a Method of Stress Induction

Volume 12 Num. 2 - June 2012 - Pages 127-138


Mair?ad Foody , Yvonne Barnes-Holmes , Dermot Barnes-Holmes


The current study investigated the effects of a single- vs. multi-sentence stress induction paradigm on subjective ratings of discomfort, anxiety, and distress in a non-clinical sample. The Single-Sentence task required participants to write a sentence stating the hope that a loved one is involved in a car accident. The Multi-Sentence task required participants to write five sentences that added greater detail to the hypothetical accident. As predicted, both tasks were associated with an increase in the three dependent variables, suggesting that both served as stress induction procedures. Contrary to predictions, however, the Multi-Sentence Condition did not induce greater stress than the Single-Sentence Condition, although the former was associated with greater willingness to engage with thoughts of the accident and greater vividness of thoughts. In contrast, the Single-Sentence Condition was associated with stronger feelings of guilt and moral wrongness. The implications of the findings for existing stress induction procedures are discussed.

Key words:

stress induction, anxiety, believability.

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