Differential relationship of recent self-reported stress and acute anxiety with divided attention performance
There have been relatively few studies on the relationship between recent perceived environmental stress and cognitive performance, and the existing studies do not control for state anxiety during the cognitive testing. The current study addressed this need by examining recent self-reported environmental stress and divided attention performance, while controlling for state anxiety. Fifty-four university undergraduates who self-reported a wide range of perceived recent stress (10-item perceived stress scale) completed both single and dual (simultaneous auditory and visual stimuli) continuous performance tests. Partial correlation analysis showed a statistically significant positive correlation between perceived stress and the auditory omission errors from the dual condition, after controlling for state anxiety and auditory omission errors from the single condition (r = 0.41). This suggests that increased environmental stress relates to decreased divided attention performance in auditory vigilance. In contrast, an increase in state anxiety (controlling for perceived stress) was related to a decrease in auditory omission errors from the dual condition (r = -0.37), which suggests that state anxiety may improve divided attention performance. Results suggest that further examination of the neurobiological consequences of environmental stress on divided attention and other executive functioning tasks is needed.
Stress-the International Journal on the Biology of Stress
"Differential relationship of recent self-reported stress and acute anxiety with divided attention performance" (2009). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 2002.