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Title: Evoking Stress Reactivity in a Virtual Dance Competition
Stress reactivity involves a physiological response to a stressful task, as a biological mechanism related to mental and physical health outcomes. Traditional stressors evoke social evaluative threat, which is fear of judgment and a threat to social status, typically via public speaking tasks. To be well-suited for virtual reality, however, a novel approach is necessary in the design of new stress tasks. We hypothesized that a virtual reality stress task involving social evaluative threat through a dance competition in front of an audience, elicits a stress response, measured by autonomic nervous system, cortisol, and testosterone reactivity. Participants (n = 18) showed autonomic nervous system reactivity in terms of increased heart rate and decreased respiratory sinus arrhythmia, indicating a stress response. Levels of cortisol increased in response to the dance competition, especially within responders, whereas testosterone levels did not change significantly over time. A virtual reality dance competition involving physical social evaluative threat elicits a stress response.
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Cassenti, D; Scataglini, S; Rajulu, S; Wright, J
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Advances in Simulation and Digital Human Modeling. AHFE 2020
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National Science Foundation
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