Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Psychophysiologic Reactivity

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_828



Psychophysiologic reactivity refers to cardiovascular and biological responses to situations that are perceived as stressful, threatening, and/or physically harmful. Reactivity is defined as the response with respect to resting values. Some of the stressors that are commonly used in laboratory-based psychophysiological studies are designed to replicate real life, such as problem solving and public speaking tasks (Kamarck & Lovallo, 2003). It is, however, often advantageous to use novel stressors, such as the Stroop word-color conflict task and mirror tracing, in order to remove the potential confounding influences of education and work experience. Psychophysiologic stress testing allows individual differences in responses to standardized stress to be evaluated and related to psychosocial factors and health outcomes (Chida & Hamer, 2008). Behaviorally evoked psychophysiological responses are a relatively stable individual trait, consistent across...

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References and Readings

  1. Chida, Y., & Hamer, M. (2008). Chronic psychosocial factors and acute physiological responses to laboratory-induced stress in healthy populations: A quantitative review of 30 years of investigations. Psychological Bulletin, 134(6), 829–885.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kamarck, T. W., & Lovallo, W. R. (2003). Cardiovascular reactivity to psychological challenge: Conceptual and measurement considerations. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(1), 9–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Epidemiology and Public Health, Division of Population HealthUniversity College LondonLondonUK