The influence of motivation on stress: Is it stressful not to fit?

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The present research elaborates on the regulatory fit hypothesis by investigating a biological stress marker in a motivational fit- and non-fit-situation. Recent stress theories lead to the assumption that the participants’ stress level in fit-situations remains constant or rather decreases, whereas under non-fit-conditions an increase of the stress activity is observed. We tested this hypothesis by assessment of salivary α-amylase (sAA), a saliva-based stress marker presumed to reflect noradrenergic activity. The results indicated that participants in a fit-situation show a decrease in sAA, whereas participants in a non-fit-situation demonstrate a contrary effect with an increase in sAA. These findings extend the concept of regulatory fit by illustrating that there are differences in sAA activity depending on whether participants are in a fit-situation. The experience of regulatory fit appears to be associated with a reduction of stress.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)597-601
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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