Research Article

In Sync: The Effect of Physiology Feedback on the Match between Heart Rate and Self-Reported Stress

Table 1

Brief descriptions of all 20 tasks used in the experiments. The time limit of tasks was restricted to one minute, sometimes by the length of the stimulus (e.g., sound or video clips) and sometimes by sounding a bell after 1 minute and having the software automatically continue with the next step of the experiment.

NumberCategoryTask description

1StressfulMental arithmetic: calculate the result of 1149 minus 17, subtract 17 again from the result, etc.
2StressfulRead a scenario about standing in traffic, illustrated with a video.
3StressfulPlay a computer game under time pressure, where falling cards need to be caught before they reach the bottom of the screen.
4StressfulMemorize a list of common English words (memory for the words is not tested afterward).
5StressfulListen to a sound clip containing silence randomly interspersed with sharp bursts of noise.
6StressfulCount the red cars passing by in a video clip of a busy intersection.
7StressfulRelive a self-chosen memory that evokes frustration or anger.
8StressfulMake a to-do list.
9StressfulWatch a video clip of a throng of people getting pushed and pulled at a crowded subway station.
10StressfulRecord a voicemail message for a job application.
11RelaxingSelf-relaxation with eyes open.
12RelaxingWatch a video clip showing a quiet beach.
13RelaxingPlay a simple computer game, where two cards with the same number need to be matched.
14RelaxingWatch a video of smooth, sparse traffic.
15RelaxingRead an article about “perfect summer weather.”
16RelaxingWatch a video clip showing a forest.
17RelaxingRead a scenario about taking a relaxing road trip, illustrated with a video.
18RelaxingDo a guided breathing exercise.
19RelaxingRelive a memory that evokes happiness or relaxation.
20RelaxingListen to a sound clip containing some smooth jazz.