Psychology Lecture 38: Stress pp 543-550
The stress response, psychosomatic disorders, traumatic stress
What causes stress?
Are there consequences of prolonged stress?
How can you protect yourself against stress?
o Pattern of physiological, behavioral, emotional and cognitive repsonses to real or
imagined stimuli that are perceived as blocking a goal or endangering our well being
o Stressor -> Intervening Factors -> Stress Reaction
Stressors include catastrophes, life changes and hassles
Intervening Factors include appraisal, perceived control, personality, social
Stress reactions include physiological responses
o Sympathetic nervous system has adrenal medulla pouring adrenaline into your
o Signal to hypothalamus, anterior pituitary dumps cortisol into bloodstream alongside
o Effects similar to epinephrine
o Coverts protein to glucose
o Makes fats available for energy
o Increased blood flow
o Almost every cell in body has receptor for glucocorticosteriods
o Stress can supress the immune system, making the person more vulnerable
Stress results in release of glucocorticoids which directly supresses the action of
white blood cells
Rats faced with inescapable shock showed a decrease in lymphocyte production
Husbands show decreased immune response after wife’s d