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I remember reading of a study where children were told stories. During the telling of the story tension rose and the heart rate increased. After the story was over the heart rate went back to normal.

There was another experiment where the story wasn't told to the end. During the telling of the story, attention shifted elsewhere while the tension was still up and the story never reached its end. In that condition, the heart rate stayed elevated.

Unfortunately, I don't remember the exact source. Can you tell me whether the described effect exists and if so, point me to the studies about it?

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you recall at all where you heard of this study, or did you read it (or was it just an example given)? This might be related to the Zeigarnik Effect and "unfinished tasks caus[ing] anxiety". $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Aug 18 '17 at 14:15
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When stress is chronic it could provoke bad effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Impaired cognition (maybe it explains the distraction)
  • Lowered immune system

In my opinion, the distraction could be the effect of the increased level of cortisol... I wish my intervention will be useful.

REFERENCES Michael S. Gazzaniga, Richard B. Ivry, George R. Mangun (2013), "Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind: 4th Edition"

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    $\begingroup$ The experiment described by the OP could hardly be called 'chronic stress'. Furthermore, the OP seems to be looking for the specific (or related) studies and potential terminology. Not the effects of chronic exposure. Hence, this does not answer the question. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Aug 17 '17 at 9:02

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