Cool, calm and collected : the buffering effect of head cooling on stress. (2012)
AuthorsRobinson, Timothy Donaldshow all
Most people would like to be less stressed. With our increasingly fast paced and busy lives it appears that stress related issues are increasing, with the addition of issues such as terrorist attacks, stress at times can be hard to avoid. Many studies have found that cooling the brain is beneficial for those who have sustained traumatic brain injuries and the process of cooling can often stop or prevent further damage (Qui et al, 2006). The body may also use a natural cooling mechanism, yawning, as a way of keeping the brain at optimum temperature, so it can perform at its best (Gallup & Gallup, 2008).There seems to be very little research on the effects of head cooling on psychological variables. It was hypothesised that cooling would reduce stress levels and when put in conjunction with a self-affirmation manipulation would decrease stress levels even further. Participants had their ear temperature measured, filled out a stress questionnaire and then were asked to sit in between two fans for 12 minutes. Their ear temperature was measured again, they then went on to complete another questionnaire, some containing a self-affirmation manipulation and then went on to a stressor task. Lastly, they received a final stress questionnaire. Results were nonsignificant, yet general trends headed in the hypothesised direction. The implications of the findings are discussed as are limitations and suggestions for future research.