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Use of a non-human robot audience to induce stress reactivity in human participants.

Turner-Cobb, J., Asif, M., Turner, J., Bevan, C. and Stanton Fraser, D., 2019. Use of a non-human robot audience to induce stress reactivity in human participants. Computers in Human Behavior, 99, 76-85.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2019.05.019


This study examined whether a non-human robot audience can elicit a stress response in human participants. A 90-minute experimental laboratory session based on the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) using a pre-recorded robot audience, was presented as a live on-screen simulation. Nineteen participants (female=16) aged 21–57 years (M=29.74) underwent a ten-minute mock interview and mathematics task in front of the robot audience. Salivary cortisol was assessed at 10-minutes before and immediately prior to the start of the stress test, and +10-, +30- and +40-minutes after the start of the test. Heart rate was assessed 20 minutes before, at five minutes into and 40-minutes after the test. Perceived stress and trait coping responses were provided at entry and participants were interviewed post task about their subjective experience. Significant increases in salivary cortisol and heart rate were observed over time with no significant interactions by participant subjective report. Coping responses including active coping and planning showed significant relationships with cortisol and heart rate reactivity and recovery. Until now, a non-human robot audience has not been used in a social stress testing paradigm. This methodology offers an innovative application with potential for further in-depth evaluation of stress reactivity and adaptation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Stress testing; Salivary cortisol; Heart rate; Social evaluative threat; Robot audience; Coping
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:32295
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 May 2019 15:14
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:16


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