Chapter 6 Stress ..
Stress negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological,
cognitive, and behavioural changes that are directed either toward altering stressful event or
accommodating to its effects.
Stressor stressful events themselves, such as noise, crowds, bad relationship, a round of job interviews
or commuting to work.
May be stressful to some people but not to others so how it is perceived determines whether it
will be experienced as stressful.
Stress is a consequence of a persons appraisal process: the assessment of whether personal
resources are sufficient to meet the demands of the environment = person environment fit.
When a persons resources are more than adequate to deal with a situation, he or she may feel
little stressed and experience a sense of challenge.
- Sufficient resources at the cost of great effort = moderate stress
- Not sufficient resources = great stress
- Therefore, stress results from the process of appraising events (harmful, threatening or
Fight or Flight (Walter Cannon) perceived threat, body is aroused and motivated via SymNS and the
endocrine system, which allows the individual to flee or fight.
- Fight refers to aggressive responses to stress
- Flight refers to social withdrawal
- It is adaptive because enables indvul to respond quickly, but can be harmful because stress
disrupts emotional and physiological functioning if stress continues health probs
- Focused on adrenomedullary responses to stress, specifically catecholamine secretion
Hans Selyes General Adaptation Syndrome When an organism confronts a stressor, it mobilizes
itself for action, response is nonspecific and all stressors produced same pattern of reactions, all led to an
enlarged adrenal cortex, shrinking of the thymus, lymph glands and ulcer.
GAS Three Phases:
ALARM organism becomes mobalized to meet the threat.
RESISTANCE organism makes an effort to cope with the threat.
EXHAUSTION occurs if the organism fails to overcome the threat, leads to physiological damage.
Initially interested in the effects of sex hormones but became interested in the stressful impacts
his interventions had.
He explored rats to a variety of stressors
Focused on adrenocortical responses to stress
hypothesized a mechanism for stress-illness relationship
Critisicms of General Adaptation Syndrome
it assigns a very limited role to physiological factors
the assumption that responses to stress are uniform, because not all stressors produce same
how people respond to stress is influenced by their personality and perceptions.
He said that stress is an outcome, but it can occur while the event if going on or even before
Tend and Befriend (Taylor) in addition to fight or flight, humans respond to stress with social and
nuturant behaviour, especial characteristic of females because they attend to offspring, which is acomplex task. Befriending affiliating with others and seeking social contact during stress helps in self
preservation and the protection of offspring.
Oxytocin significance for female responses, stress hormone, rapidly released in times of stress.
Its effects are influenced by estrogen hormone. Increases the affiliative behaviour of all kinds,
especially mothering. High level of this more calm.
Opioids also contribute to affiliative responses to stress in females.
Primary Appraisal Process when an indvl confronts a new or changing environment, they engage in a
process of primary appraisal to determine the meaning of the event. (-/+) perceived events.
- Harm assessment of the damage that has already been done by an event.
- Threat assessment of possible future damage that may be brought about by the event.
- Primary appraisals of events as threats have important effects on physiological responses to
- Events may be appraised in terms of their challenge potential to overcome and even profit from
- Challenge appraisals are associated with more confident expectations of the ability to cope with
the stressful event, more favourable emotional reactions to the event, and lower blood pressure.
Secondary Appraisal Process the assessment of ones coping abilities and resources and whether they
will be sufficient to meet the harm, threat, and challenge of the event.
- Harm and threat high, coping low = substantial amount of stress. Coping high = min stress.
- Some responses are involuntary reactions to stress, whereas others are voluntary initiated by an
effort to cope.
- Cognitive responses to stress include beliefs about the harm or threat an event poses and beliefs