Physiological and subjective validation of a novel stress procedure: The Simple Singing Stress Procedure

Jenny T. Le, Poppy Watson, Denovan Begg, Lucy Albertella, Mike E. Le Pelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Laboratory stress-induction procedures have been critical in illuminating the effects of stress on human health, cognition, and functioning. Here, we present a novel stress induction procedure, the Simple Singing Stress Procedure (SSSP), that overcomes some of the practical challenges and conceptual limitations of existing procedures in measuring the causal influence of stress on psychological variables. In the stress condition of the SSSP, participants were instructed to sing a song in front of the experimenter while being video- and audio-recorded. Participants were also informed that they would have to sing again at the end of the experiment, and that this second performance would later be assessed by a panel of experimenters. Participants in a no-stress condition instead read lyrics in each phase. Our findings revealed that participants in the stress condition showed significantly higher blood pressure immediately following the initial singing session, as well as heightened salivary cortisol at a latency consistent with the initial singing session, than those in the no-stress condition. Our stress procedure also generated elevations in self-reported stress ratings immediately after the first singing session and subsequently in anticipation of the second singing session, relative to the no-stress condition. Collectively, these findings suggest that the SSSP is a simple and effective stress induction procedure that may be a promising alternative to existing protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1478-1487
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Cold pressor
  • Cortisol
  • Singing
  • Stress induction
  • Trier social stress test

Cite this