Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 302–309 | Cite as

Role-played interpersonal interaction: Ecological validity and cardiovascular reactivity

  • Shari R. Waldstein
  • Serina A. Neumann
  • Halina O. Burns
  • Karl J. Maier


Conflictual role-play scenarios have been used to model brief interpersonal interaction and to elicit cardiovascular reactivity in the laboratory. Here we discuss data suggesting that role-played interactions constitute an ecologically valid laboratory task that may improve laboratory-to-field generalization of cardiovascular response. Specifically, our research indicates that young adults perceive the stress associated with role-play scenarios as similar to that encountered in everyday life. Furthermore, these stress appraisals moderate cardiovascular response to role-play in men. We also find that a social stressor (i.e. speech task) is perceived as significantly more similar to a real-life stressor as compared to other standard laboratory tasks. We propose that particular constellations of cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to laboratory-based social stressors, such as role-played interaction, may elicit different patterns of hemodynamic response. Further understanding of interrelations among cognitive, affective, behavioral, and physiological response patterns may assist in the study of cardiovascular reactivity as a potential mechanism linking personality factors and the development of cardiovascular disease.


Behavioral Medicine Cardiovascular Response Cardiovascular Reactivity Daily Hassle Threat Appraisal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shari R. Waldstein
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Serina A. Neumann
    • 1
  • Halina O. Burns
    • 1
  • Karl J. Maier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore CountyBaltimore
  2. 2.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA

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