Stress made people worry less

German scientists have found that the impact of the stressor weakly changes initial concern of people about not related to the stressor of things. They asked participants in his experiment to assess the danger of potentially toxic substances triclosan before and after reading the article dedicated to him. Those participants whose levels of cortisol due to exposure to extra stress was higher were not more afraid triclosan, however, assessment of its risk affected the subjective feeling of stress. Article published in the journal Scientific Reports.

To avoid trouble, you need to properly assess the risks of occurrence of a particular outcome of the situation. For example, a person may be two ways to get to work: car or public transport. Before you hit the road, he will need to see a rough estimate of the situation on the roads, to assess the time on the road and to consider all extraneous factors like change in weather conditions.

To consider all the factors, however, is not so simple: when the risk assessment is almost impossible to evaluate the real contribution of force majeure (such possible breakage of the train in the subway, in a situation with the way to work). If it is impossible to assess the contribution of such factors should be ignored, but it is not always possible — and often in such cases it is necessary to rely on available information, particularly from other people.

Such information, however, may prove inaccurate — especially if it comes from other people, as they may also be affected by various extraneous factors. To assess how the risk assessment of the situation is affected by stress, decided by scientists under the leadership of Natalie Popovich (Popovic Nathalie) of the Council of Constance University. Participants in their study (in total there were 146 people) had to read an article about the dangers of triclosan — an antibacterial and antifungal component that is used in Soaps and toothpaste and can be dangerous to health in certain doses.

Before the participants read the article, they were divided into two groups. The first group was social stress test Trier — imitation of employment, which is used in order to cause the subject stress from social interaction. The second group were control participants in her stress did not cause. After reading the article, all participants were asked to write a short letter about triclosan another person. During the study, researchers repeatedly measured the levels of cortisol and alpha-amylase (an objective biomarker of stress) in the saliva of participants and asked them to fill out surveys about their subjective level of stress.

Before and after reading the article, participants were asked on a scale of 0 to 100 to evaluate the risk of triclosan. To read the assessment in the two groups did not differ in average triclosan put 29 points on the scale of danger. After the stress of the text and before reading the article, participants of the stress group were slightly more concerned about the threat triclosan than participants in the control group (26 vs. 32 points).

After reading the article the concern of participants increased in that, and in the other group, and participants in the control group increased the danger of triclosan on 23 points and in the group exposed to stress factors, — only 11, even though the participants in the active group the cortisol level during the reading of the article and further evaluations were higher (p < 0.001). From this, scientists concluded that the objective test participants stress does not affect their level of concern about the dangers of triclosan. In his letters about triclosane participants whose cortisol levels were higher, and used less negative judgments — which also indicates that stress did not affect their assessment of risk.

However, concern about the dangers of triclosan was relatively significantly (p = 0,056) is associated with the subjective feeling of stress, wary of the substance were those participants who reported that they suffer from stress despite the fact that biomarkers of stress.

Scientists came to the conclusion that exposure to a stressful situation acts differently on the concern of people and how they broadcast it on the other. On the one hand, the objective stress response of the organism, apparently, leads to a decrease in concern about other, unrelated things with the stressor. On the other hand, anxiety about the same things may grow under the influence of feelings of stress than objective reactions and subjective feelings already.

That stress influences the perception of third-party information showed in the past: e.g. two years ago, scientists found outthat under stress people objectively perceive negative information.

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