The effects of demand characteristics on heart rate : implications for a triple response mode hypothesis

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James Vernon Odom (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rosemery Nelson

Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate whether a social variable, demand characteristics, could influence heart rate on the behavioral avoidance test(BAT). Two levels of fear, as measured by the fear survey schedule(FSS), and two levels of demand permitted the simultaneous study of demand, fear, and demand-by-fear interactions on heart rate change(HR-C), BAT, and a self-rating of fear, fear thermometer(FT). Demand Level was varied by means of testing instructions to the two groups. The Low demand group received testing instruction informing them only that their level of physiological arousal was being measured. High Fear groups were told specifically that their heart rate was being measured. Further, high demand subjects were told that they would be encouraged to continue with each item unless a significant increase was observed in their heart rate. Discriminant analyses showed that levels of fear and levels of demand could be differentiated using all three measures. No single measure could differentiate fear groups on analyses of variance of HR-C, BAT, or FT. Only heart rate differed significantly for demand groups. This significant finding could not be accounted for by significant, systematic differences in initial heart rate. Demand level accounted for 49% of the total heart rate variance.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1974
Heart beat

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