Volume 2, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X
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This paper gives an overview of physiological stress responses and shows methods for measuring such responses in field studies. It discusses the available techniques for assessing endocrinological and immune functions, cardiovascular functions, physical activity, electrodermal activity, muscle activity, respiration, and, the size of the eye pupil. Furthermore, methods for collecting psychological data are depicted. As examples for psychophysiological stress research under natural conditions, a showmaster's heart rate responses during a TV show are reported, as well as psychophysiological effects of work demands in air traffic controllers and in simultaneous interpreting. The latter example shows that mental overload in simultaneous interpreting may change the attitude to the job: It is taken less seriously and a certain carelessness sets in. This might be an effective self-defense mechanism against mental overload caused by situations such as increased time on task, extremely fast speakers, unintelligible speakers, and long working hours. It seems to occur rather automatically, without being noticed by the performing interpreter. Especially with increased time on task, interpreters' own judgement of output quality, whether they are novices or experts, seems to become extremely unreliable.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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