This study examined differences in the physiological and cognitive response patterns among peptic ulcer, rheumatoid arthritis, and healthy group subjects to two types of stressors-slides of autopsies and imagined scenes involving conflicts and attitudes proposed to be associated with the two psychosomatic disorders. Ten subjects were assessed in each group. Results indicated that the ulcer patients demonstrated a heart rate accelerative trend, while arthritic and normal subjects showed significant deceleration, in response to the aversive slides of autopsies. Ulcer patients also reported paying less attention to the slides, and experiencing more anxiety when viewing them, relative to the other subjects. In response to the imagined scenes, the arthritic patients responded with more heart rate acceleration, apparently because of the greater emotional imagery produced by the scenes in these subjects. Finally, self-report and interview data did not lend support to a derivative of the specificity-of-attitude model of psychosomatic disorders.
- rheumatoid arthritis