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Fri Nov 8, 2019, 11:57 PM

You Can "Catch" Stress Through a TV Screen

Couch potatoes beware—characters in distress are hazardous to your health.


Your heart rate speeds up, your breathing quickens. Your muscles tighten. Your stomach ties itself in knots. All of these changes are symptoms of the condition called stress.

When animals, including humans, are under acute stress, their bodies respond with a powerful neurochemical chain reaction. Glucose, the fuel for our cells, is released into the blood from storage sites in our body, notably the liver. The elevated heart rate increases circulation of the energy-enriched blood to the muscles. Any long-term body processes not immediately necessary, such as digestion, growth, and reproduction, are slowed down. Immune defenses are enhanced, ready to respond to bodily injury, and our senses are sharpened.

The major purpose of this response, says psychiatrist and stress researcher Kristen Aschbacher, “is to help redirect energy away from less critical functions in order to devote them to survival functions.” Stress gets you ready to react.

But a recent study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology shows that the stress response is not just experienced by those directly in a crisis: It can be contagious. You can catch it from seeing other people under stress, even if you’re watching a stranger on a video screen. This phenomenon is called “empathetic stress.”

The study looked at pairs of total strangers along with romantically involved couples that had been together for at least six months. One person from each pair was subjected to the Trier social stress test, where they were given a fictitious job interview, then asked challenging arithmetic questions in front of a panel of supposed “behavior analysts.” The other member of the couple simply observed the test, either via a one-way mirror or a video transmission.
More at the link.


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Reply You Can "Catch" Stress Through a TV Screen (Original post)
littlemissmartypants Nov 2019 OP
dweller Nov 2019 #1

Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 03:18 AM

1. yeh, well

there is Videodrome, after all ...


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