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The Effects of Stress and Executive Functions on Decision Making in an Executive Parallel Task
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of acute stress on parallel task performance with the Game of Dice Task (GDT) to measure decision making and the Stroop test.  Two previous studies have found that the combination of stress and a parallel task with the GDT and an executive functions task preserved performance on the GDT for a stress group compared to a control group.  The purpose of this study was to create and use a new parallel task with the GDT and the stroop test to elucidate more information about the executive function contributions from the stroop test and to ensure that this parallel task preserves performance on the GDT for the stress group.  Sixteen participants (Mean Age: 26.88) were randomly assigned to either a stress group with the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) or the control group with the placebo-TSST.  The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were given before and after the TSST or placebo-TSST and were used as stress indicators.  The results showed a trend towards the stress group performing marginally better than the control group on the GDT but not significantly.  There were no significant differences between the groups for accuracy on the Stroop test trial types.  However, the stress group had significantly slower mean response times on the congruent trial type of the Stroop test, p < .05, though.  This study has shown further evidence that stress and a parallel task together preserve performance on the GDT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 20 p.
Keyword [en]
stress, executive functions, parallel task
National Category
Psychology Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124398OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-124398DiVA: diva2:951575
Supervisors
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Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-09 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved

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