Voting triggers stress hormone

Sept. 17, 2011 at 3:58 PM   |   0 comments

BEER-SHEVA, Israel, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Researchers in Israel said they found scientifically that voting is a stressful event -- inducing measurable hormonal changes.

Hagit Cohen of the Anxiety and Stress Research Unit at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Faculty of Health Sciences found the level of cortisol -- a hormone secreted in times of stress to help the body cope with threats -- was nearly three times higher just before voting than the cortisol level of the control group and nearly twice their level 21 months later.

It is known that when a person is in a state of stress, threat or emotional distress, the body releases a series of hormones such as cortisol, known as the "stress hormone," Cohen said.

The study, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, found the level of cortisol was nearly three times higher just before voting than the cortisol level of the control group, and nearly twice their level 21 months later.

The researchers conducted the study on Israel's Election Day in 2009 on 113 people who were on their way to vote. They were asked to give a saliva sample for cortisol testing and to complete a questionnaire examining their emotional arousal at a stand that was placed about 10 yards from the ballot box.

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