An overview of the current research project of GO-LAB.
Stress is bad for your health, especially chronic stress. In PSYCHE we examine how physiological and emotional stress response profiles of patients with heart disease compare to those of healthy peers. McEwen’s theory of allostatic load poses that there are four ways repeated stress may contribute to allostatic load and eventually exhaustion, disease and death. With PSYCHE, we want to find out whether individual differences such as social inhibition and stress resilience predict adaptation to repeated stressors. Part of this study is executed in the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital (cardiac patients).
“it’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it”
- Hans Selye
Practice of Psychology Research
In their second year, bachelor students Psychology take a research course “Practice of Psychology Research”. Each year several groups of students perform a psychophysiological experiment under supervision of one of the GO-LAB staff members.
Emotional crying and pain tolerance
If crying brings relief, which mechanisms are involved? Gracanin, Bylsma and Vingerhoets (2014) postulated the possible involvement of endogenous opioid levels and/ or oxytocin.
Given the impossibility to assess the central levels of these substances, a good alternative might be to evaluate the behavioral effects of these substances, more precisely pain tolerance. The aim of this study is to investigate whether crying might increase one’s tolerance to painful stimuli. After having induced crying in volunteers by exposing them to a sad movie, the participants are instructed to immerse their hands in ice water (so called cold-pressor test).
The dependent variable is how long they can endure this exposure and their self-reported pain levels. We additionally measure cardiovascular parameters that might mediate the relation between crying and response to painful stimulus.