“Thanks for the Memories, Even Though They Weren’t So Great”: The Relationship Between Chronic Stress and Working Memory in College Students

Name: Carina Arnosti
Major: Psychology
Minor: Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Nathan Foster
Second Reader: Dr. Grit Herzmann
This study examined the association between chronic stress and cognition. Specifically, this study analyzed how students’ working memory capacity may be associated to normal college stressors versus college stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participant stress levels were measured by asking them to reflect on a normal college semester or a semester during the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of a revised version of the College Chronic LifeStress Survey by Towbes and Cohen (1996). Participants were then asked to complete a complex working memory task called the operation span task, created by Turner and Engle (1989). Abivariate correlation analysis was used to assess the data. The results were not significant but showed that there was a negative correlation, suggesting that people who have higher stress levels trend towards having a lower working memory capacity.

Carina will be online to field comments on April 16:
8-10am EDT (PST: 1-3pm, Africa/Europe: late evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 10, 2021.

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