How to Induce Stress in Laboratory Conditions? Validating the Effectiveness of a New Stress Test


  • Iva Kuculo Meridia Savjetovanje, Zagreb, Hrvatska
  • Sara Maras Meridia Savjetovanje, Zagreb, Hrvatska
  • Meri Tadinac Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Odsjek za psihologiju, Zagreb, Hrvatska


stress test, heart rate, EDA


Research on stress in laboratory conditions requires methods that can reliably induce stress reactions in participants, without compromising their psychological or physical health. The aim of our study was to validate the procedure designed for this purpose – Stress Test of Oral Mathematical Performance (STOMP), which combines the methods of inducing acute stress through time-limited tasks and social evaluation. Two experiments were  conducted (N1 = 105; N2 = 64), with the following research problems: 1) to establish whether STOMP causes an increase in objective and subjective stress measures, and 2) to determine the relations between these two measures. Objective measures of stress were pulse (1st experiment) and pulse and electrodermal activity (EDA) (2nd experiment), and the subjective measure was a self-assessment of experienced stress (1st experiment). The results of both experiments show a significant increase in both objective and subjective measures after performing STOMP, compared to the situation immediately before its beginning. Subjective stress assessments are significantly related to the objective measures at almost all measurement points. Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded that STOMP is successful in eliciting stress in laboratory conditions, and at the same time convenient, accessible and easy to apply.