Project

The role of expectancy and proactive control on stress regulation: a  neurocognitive investigation  

Duration
01 October 2016 → 01 October 2018
Funding
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Biological psychology
    • Psychophysiology
    • Motivation and emotion
Keywords
stress regulation anticipation prevention
 
Project description

During our life, we face different situations that we can perceive as stressful (for example: a job  interview or an exam). Before and during confrontation with these stressful situations, some  important changes occur in our mind and body: we feel more anxious and less happy, our heart  starts to beat faster, and our body produces more cortisol (the so called hormone of stress). If  these reactions are too extreme (for example: too much anxiety, heart beat and cortisol levels), it  can hamper our health. People can control these psychological and physiological reactions to  some extent, but some people will do this better than others. A person that has problems with  controlling these mind and bodily changes is at risk of important health problems (for example:  depression). In this project, our goal is to investigate, using experimental designs, how people can  control their mind and body changes before and during a stressful situation. We propose that, if  one expects she/he is good at dealing with a stressful situation before it happens, he/she will be  better able to control stress reactions. The results of our project are important because stress is  worldwide a major cause of disease burden. Our results may be useful to develop new  psychological therapies and prevention programmes.