This activity examines the way that psychologists conceptualize stress, emphasizing that stress is a biopsycho-social process. You will explore the sources of stress in your own life, review your body’s response to stress, and then learn how cognitive appraisal dramatically affects how much stress you actually experience.
Checking the Level of Stress in Your Life
• What was your “Stress Test” score? _______30_____
• Do you think that such a test accurately captures your experience? What other stressors should be included?
I do not feel that it rates high enough on some aspects that are heavily weighing on a person’s chest.
I think they should add an area for personal responsibilities and problems with children.
Stress, Stressors, and Coping
• Psychologists differentiate stressors, strain, and stress. What does each of these terms mean?
Stressors- an external event, situation, or other demand that triggers coping adjustments in a person. Strain- the outcome of stress such as loss of sleep, headaches, and lack of concentration.
Stress- the process by which we perceive and respond to a certain event that we appraise as threatening or challenging.
The General Adaptation Syndrome
• Describe Selye’s general adaptation syndrome.
When something occurs that takes your body away from its original homeostasis state, into fear or rage, and then into exhaustion.
The Biology of Stress
• Although both men and women experience the fight-or-flight syndrome, some scientists argue that women also can experience stress differently (tend-and-befriend). Briefly explain this hypothesis.
This is because natural selection developed stress relieves differently as they grow of different ways and situations.
• Can you think of why this alleged gender difference in fight-or-flight and tend-and-befriend may “make sense” from an evolutionary perspective?
Because natural selectionwas developed in ways that the fittest was more successful than the weaker people.
• Outline the body’s two-part endocrine response to stress.
Hypothalamic, pituatary adrenocortical system is a delayed response that function to restore body to normal, and the Cortisol which affect glucose metabolism.
Stress Harms Your Body’s Organ Systems
• List the effects of stress on:
o the heart: Raise the heart pressure
o the digestive tract: Reduction in enzyme digestions in blood flow.
o the brain: It can damage the neurons involved in learning and in memory, hypocampus is smaller in stressed patients.
Cognitive Appraisal – The Filter Through Which Stressors Are Processed • According to the transactional model, what triggers the process of stress?
By considering it as a transaction in which each person makes continual adjustments to everyday circumstances. It is triggers when we exceed the ability to cope with all our problems in life.