Situational Stress and Temporal Changes: in Self-Report and Vocal Measurements

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Abstract

Vocal stress levels (using the Psychological Stress Evaluator) the day before and eight days after final examination week for one group (I) of volunteer students were compared with levels of another group (II) without intervening examinations. Time intervals for both groups were identical. Vocal stress was also compared with self-rated anxiety. There was a significant (p<.05) difference in vocal stress for group I when compared to group II, with group I showing a decrease. Mean changes in vocal stress paralleled mean changes (or lack thereof) in self-reported anxiety for both groups. This study suggested that vocal stress, as recorded by the PSE. does depict predictable and self-reported state anxiety which is significantly increased prior to and declines following college final examinations. Data further suggest that the PSE is useful for intervals of days rather than just in terms of minutes and that PSE measures may not be readily altered by acclimatization to the testing situation.

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