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Noise/Community Stress. Dana Malka, Sarah McCardell, Jingsha Wu. Stress: (Evans & Cohen). A process that occurs when there is an imbalance between environmental demands and response capabilities of the organism

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noise community stress

Noise/Community Stress

Dana Malka, Sarah McCardell, Jingsha Wu

stress evans cohen
Stress:(Evans & Cohen)
  • A process that occurs when there is an imbalance between environmental demands and response capabilities of the organism
  • Individual cognitive appraisals- stress occurs when you decide that environmental stimuli are going to exceed your coping capacities
stress an alternative definition
Stress- an alternative definition
  • A formulation that predicts that certain environmental conditions lead to a stress reaction, which may have emotional, behavioural, and physiological components
theoretical perspectives on stress evans cohen
Theoretical perspectives on Stress:(Evans & Cohen)
  • Physiological Perspective-
    • emphasize physiological responses of the body to noxious stimuli
    • homeostatic processes- stressor disrupts internal equilibrium and organism focuses on reequilibration to return to homeostatic balance
      • Cannon, Selye
  • Psychological Perspective-
    • emphasize the individual’s interpretation of the meaning of environmental events plus an appraisal of personal coping resources
    • stress occurs when a situation is appraised as demanding with potential of exceeding coping resources
classical studies of stress
Classical Studies of Stress:
  • One of the earliest contributions to stress research: Walter Cannon’s (1932) description of flight or fight response
  • Fight usually refers to aggressive responses to stress, and flight may been seen in social withdrawal
models of environmental stressors evans cohen
Models of Environmental Stressors:(Evans & Cohen)
  • Stimulation Levels
    • most common explanation of effects of environmental stressors
      • Yerkes-Dodson Law
models of environmental stressors cont d evans cohen
Models of Environmental Stressors cont’d:(Evans & Cohen)
  • Control
    • Humans have a strong need for environmental mastery and a sense of self-efficacy
    • Actual or perceived control over a stressor leads to fewer negative consequences than exposure to stressors that are uncontrollable
    • Chronic exposure to environmental stressors that are uncontrollable/unpredictable may lead to learned helplessness due to failure of coping efforts to modify an environmental source of stress
hans selye 1956 1974
Hans Selye (1956, 1974)
  • Selye’s work on the General Adaptation Syndrome
    • When an organism confronts a stressor, it mobilizes itself for action
    • The response itself is nonspecific with respect to the stressor
    • The individual will respond with the same physiological pattern of reactions
after effects
  • Consequences of a stimulus that occur after the stimulus has stopped
  • Effects of a stressor on mood or behaviour, often measured by task performance, that occur after termination of the stressor
  • May include
    • cumulative fatigue (frustration tolerance/cognitive performance)
    • overgeneralization of learned coping responses
    • learned helplessness
    • physiological activation
    • chronic adaptive efforts can lead to disease
    • less ability to cope with subsequent stressors
environmental stressors evans cohen
Environmental Stressors:(Evans & Cohen)
  • Typically aversive, primarily uncontrollable, and of variable duration and periodicity and require low to moderate adjustments
cataclysmic events lazarus cohen 1977
Cataclysmic Events(Lazarus & Cohen, 1977)
  • Sudden catastrophes that demand major adaptive responses from all individuals directly affected by the event
  • Usually affects whole communities of people
example toxic exposure
Example: Toxic Exposure
  • The belief that one has been exposed to toxic substances may cause a stress reaction
  • In two studies of two toxic accidents perceived threat to health was associated with stress
example natural disasters
Example: Natural Disasters
  • Disaster victims are more likely to exhibit symptoms of stress and emotional problems shortly after a disaster
    • medically unexplained physical symptoms
    • depression
    • nightmares
    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Hurricane Katrina Survivors
stressful life events lazarus cohen 1977
Stressful life events(Lazarus & Cohen, 1977)
  • Major incidents in the lives of people that typically require personal or social adaptive responses
  • Clearly defined time referents
  • Social Readjustment Rating Scale
    • According to the scale, how stressed are you?
daily hassles lazarus cohen 1977
Daily Hassles(Lazarus & Cohen, 1977)
  • Typical events of ordinary life that may cause frustration, tension, or irritation
ambient stressors lazarus cohen 1977
Ambient Stressors (Lazarus & Cohen, 1977)
  • Continuous, relatively stable, and intractable conditions of the physical environment
  • Many are background conditions, usually unnoticed unless they interfere with some goal or health
ambient stressor noise
Ambient Stressor: Noise
  • Important characteristics are predictability of noise bursts and degree of personal control over noise
  • Sources of noise include occupational exposures, transportation sources, activities of nearby residences
    • loud unpredictable noise exposure has physiological responses
    • interferes with task performance
    • can influence memory
    • interferes with decision making
    • influences affect and interpersonal behaviours
      • stress, tension, annoyance, altruistic behaviour
effect of high intensity noise on non auditory processes cohen et al 1982
Effect of High Intensity Noise on Non-Auditory Processes (Cohen et al 1982):
  • Narrowed focus attention
  • Reduction in one’s perception of control over environment
  • Alteration of physiological arousal characteristic of generalized stress reaction
previous research findings cohen et al
Previous Research Findings (Cohen et al):
  • Higher absenteeism and accident rates

From: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

Knipschild (1977)

Residents (especially woman) were more likely to be under medical treatment

Noisy & quiet areas differ in socioeconomic status

Increase in the purchase of cardiovascular drugs vs. number of aircraft over-flights at night.

Heft (1979)

Poor performance in matching and incidental memory task

Los Angeles Noise Project Overview
  • Children living and attending school in the air corridor of Los Angeles International airport vs. children from school in quieter neighbourhoods
  • Test 1: cross-sectional study
  • Measures the course of adaptation and impact of noise abatement intervention on blood pressure, attentional processes and the feeling of personal control
  • Retest after one year to determine whether effects of noise occurred in test 1would persist after children were assigned to quieter classrooms
aircraft noise blood pressure
Aircraft Noise & Blood Pressure
  • Test 1 data: higher systolic and diastolic pressure
  • Replication of study found higher blood pressure among those exposed 2 years or less and not among those attending school for a longer period of time
aircraft noise helplessness
Aircraft Noise & Helplessness
  • (Seligman, 1975) Learned helplessness
  • Measures of helplessness: whether or not puzzle was solved, time to solution, whether child given up before allotted time
  • Test 1: task 1 - insoluble (failure) vs. soluble puzzle

task 2 - same puzzle for both groups

  • self-selected into a failure condition
  • children from noise schools were
      • more likely to fail and give up solving the puzzle
      • Longer the exposure to noise, the slower s/he solve the puzzle
      • less capable of performing cognitive task
  • Test 2: Noise school children were reliably more likely to fail the test puzzle and more likely to take longer solving it than quiet school children
aircraft noise distractibility school achievement
Aircraft Noise, Distractibility & School Achievement
  • Test 1: % of E found was the criterion measure for performance
  • distracting vs. ambient sound condition
  • noise schools children performed better on distraction task during the first 2 years of exposure and perform worst after 4 years of exposure
  • Length of noise exposure increase, children more disturbed by auditory distracters
  • Study result found that math, reading, and auditory discrimination were all unrelated to noise or duration of noise exposure
noise abatement noise stress reduction
Noise Abatement & Noise-stress Reduction
  • impact of abatement intervention
  • slight improvement on marginal effect of increasing number of children who were able to solve moderately difficult test puzzle and that math achievement was higher for children in abate condition
  • Individual differences
  • What noise abatement intervention can be implemented in noise impacted areas?
motivational consequences of environmental stress evans stecker 2004
Motivational Consequences of Environmental Stress: (Evans & Stecker, 2004)

3 research paradigms-

  • Uncontrollable stressor is used to induce helplessness
  • Look at how stressor exposure increase vulnerability to the induction of learned helplessness by other uncontrollable stimuli
  • Behavioural after-effects paradigm
1 helplessness induction and stress
1.Helplessness induction and Stress
  • Hiroto (1974) - escapable vs. inescapable stimuli
  • Characteristics of people more susceptible to helplessness:
        • High need for control
        • External locus of control
        • Type-A personality
        • Attributional styles that blame negative events on stable, internal characteristics
        • Intolerance of high levels of environmental stimuli
  • Baum & Valins (1977) - crowding in college dormitories
example personality types and stress
Example: Personality Types and Stress
  • Kirkcaldy, Shephard, Furnham (2002) studied 332 managerial staff throughout Germany
  • Those with Type A personality and external locus of control associated with greater levels of perceived stress, lower job satisfaction, poorer physical and mental health
2 environmental stressors vulnerability to helplessness induction
2. Environmental Stressors & Vulnerability to Helplessness Induction
  • Rodin (1976)- residential crowding
  • Maxwell & Evans (2000)- daycare noise level vs. longer time to solve puzzle
3 stressor task persistence
3. Stressor & Task Persistence
  • Behavioural aftereffects measure (i.e. proofreading, stroop performance, puzzle)
  • Glass & Singer (1972) - unpredictable or unsignalled noise and perceived control
  • Mackintosh et al.(1975) – stroop task: men and women revelled opposite patterns
  • Fleming (1987) high-density vs. low-density neighbourhoods
  • Klein & Beith (1985) persistence on unsolvable puzzle increased following noise exposure. People seem to give up on the puzzle because they know that the puzzle is unsolvable
additional studies bronzaft and mccarthy 1975
Additional Studies:Bronzaft and McCarthy (1975)
  • Tested reading scores of students from 2nd to 6th grade
  • Researchers found students in building closer to subway track performed more poorly on reading task than students on opposite side of building
evans bullinger hygge 1998
Evans, Bullinger, Hygge (1998)
  • Studied children ages 9 to 11 over a 2 year period before and after inauguration of the Munich International Airport
  • Measured cortisol, epinephrine, nor epinephrine, and blood pressure through urine and blood tests
  • Epinephrine, nor epinephrine, and blood pressure increase in children living in the flight paths of the new airport after it opened
stansfield et al 2005
Stansfield et al. (2005)
  • 2844 children from 89 schools in the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands participated
  • Exposure to chronic aircraft noise was associated with a significant impairment in reading comprehension
  • Also associated with significant impairment with regards to memory and recognition
  • Researchers noted no effects of either aircraft noise or road traffic noise on self reported health or mental health
adaptation and coping
Adaptation and Coping:
  • Habituation-
    • In most situations, when an aversive stimulus is presented many times, the stress reaction to it becomes weaker and weaker
  • Adaptation to a stressor may occur because neurophysiological sensitivity to the stimulus becomes weaker, uncertainty about the stressor is reduced, or the stressor is cognitively appraised as less and less threatening