Stress mindset: Does it (or does it not) affect cognitive performance? [University of West Florida]

Authors

  • Sonia Yanovsky University of West Florida
  • Tesa Saulmon University of West Florida
  • Paula Pham University of West Florida
  • Morgan Taylor University of West Florida
  • Hui-Ya Han University of West Florida
  • Carolyn Pritchett University of West Florida

Keywords:

Stress mindset, Stress

Abstract

Stress is widely perceived as debilitating, which is a negative stress mindset, while the helpful aspects of stress, from a positive stress mindset, are often overlooked. Stress mindset can either be a positive, stress-is-enhancing mindset, or a negative, stress-is-debilitating mindset. Previous research has shown that having a positive mindset lowers stress levels and generates better self-reported work performance. Thus, this study focuses on the effects of manipulated stress mindset on objective cognitive performance, which has not been studied before. During each of our three stages (baseline, stress induction, and mindset manipulation), we measured participants’ current subjective stress levels, objective stress levels using a pulse oximeter, stress mindset with the Stress Control Mindset Measure and an implicit association task, and cognitive performance with the Stroop task and Trail Making Task. To induce stress, we informed the participants that they must give a public speech if they did not improve their reaction time and accuracy on the cognitive tasks. Then we manipulated their mindset using a randomly assigned video to convince the participant that stress is either enhancing or debilitating. Our first hypothesis is that the Positive Mindset group will have self-improved accuracy and decreased reaction time in the cognitive tasks as compared to the Negative Mindset group. Our second hypothesis is that the stress levels of the Positive Mindset group will be reduced/mitigated after mindset manipulation as compared to the Negative Mindset group. The between-subjects design will be used to explore the effect of stress mindset (Positive, Negative) on change in stress level and cognitive performance.

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Author Biographies

Sonia Yanovsky, University of West Florida

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Tesa Saulmon, University of West Florida

Student

Paula Pham, University of West Florida

Student

Morgan Taylor, University of West Florida

Student

Hui-Ya Han, University of West Florida

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Carolyn Pritchett, University of West Florida

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Published

2019-04-26

How to Cite

Yanovsky, S., Saulmon, T., Pham, P., Taylor, M., Han, H.-Y., & Pritchett, C. (2019). Stress mindset: Does it (or does it not) affect cognitive performance? [University of West Florida]. Journal of Student Research. Retrieved from https://jofsr.org/index.php/path/article/view/657