Title

Stress, Anxiety, and Locus of Control: How Internalization of Stressful Situations Relates to Symptoms of Anxiety

Presenter Information

William CrabtreeFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology-Sociology

2nd Student Major

Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Marie Karlsson, PhD.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

This research study investigates the effects of a potentially stressful situation on an individual’s anxiety and locus of control. Previous research has shown that internalization of locus of control is negatively correlated with an individual’s perceived anxiety (Gallagher, Barlow, & Bentley, 2014). Internalized locus of control has also been shown to be negatively correlated with stressful life events and situations (Ryan & Gleason, 2013). The current study has two parts. In part 1, participants completed online surveys about levels of stress, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and locus of control. In part 2, participants complete the Trier Social Stress Test (Kudielka, Hellhammer, & Kirschbaum, 2007) in a lab setting. The task is designed to induce stress by asking participants to do a free speech and mental math in front of an audience acting as a selection committee for an employment opportunity. Throughout part 2, participants are asked to report their levels of stress, anxiety, and locus of control. Hypothesis 1 is that participants' locus of control will become more externalized after the stress task compared to baseline. Also hypothesized is that participants will report an increase in anxiety as their locus of control becomes more externalized. These findings could potentially show that internalizing locus of control in stressful situations may lead to a lower level of anxiety, and further the understanding of psychological states and traits involved with levels of anxiety.

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Stress, Anxiety, and Locus of Control: How Internalization of Stressful Situations Relates to Symptoms of Anxiety

This research study investigates the effects of a potentially stressful situation on an individual’s anxiety and locus of control. Previous research has shown that internalization of locus of control is negatively correlated with an individual’s perceived anxiety (Gallagher, Barlow, & Bentley, 2014). Internalized locus of control has also been shown to be negatively correlated with stressful life events and situations (Ryan & Gleason, 2013). The current study has two parts. In part 1, participants completed online surveys about levels of stress, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and locus of control. In part 2, participants complete the Trier Social Stress Test (Kudielka, Hellhammer, & Kirschbaum, 2007) in a lab setting. The task is designed to induce stress by asking participants to do a free speech and mental math in front of an audience acting as a selection committee for an employment opportunity. Throughout part 2, participants are asked to report their levels of stress, anxiety, and locus of control. Hypothesis 1 is that participants' locus of control will become more externalized after the stress task compared to baseline. Also hypothesized is that participants will report an increase in anxiety as their locus of control becomes more externalized. These findings could potentially show that internalizing locus of control in stressful situations may lead to a lower level of anxiety, and further the understanding of psychological states and traits involved with levels of anxiety.