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PS102 Final: Chapter 14 Stress

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Joanne Lee

Chapter 14 Stress, Coping Health What is Stress? Stress Stresses Stress state brought on by any situation that threatens or appears to threaten a persons sense of wellbeing, thus challenging the persons ability to cope Stressor a situation or circumstance that triggers the stress response o Stressors can be acute or chronic o Acute Stressor a stressful situation that happens in the short term has a definite endpoint e.g. near miss in heavy traffic o Chronic Stressor a stressful situation that is more long term and often lacks a definite endpoint e.g. dealing with a high pressure job or being unemployed The definition of stress is broad takes into account a wide range of situations that people experience as stressful e.g. health crises, natural disasters Stress is derived more from how we appraise the situation than from the situation itself o Our appraisal of our ability (or inability) to cope with a situation is important in how much stress we experience o E.g. two people attending party full of strangers one may view it as challenging enjoying the idea of meeting new people whereas the other person may view the situation as highly stressful o It is our perception of stress that triggers the emotional state connected to stress Ways of Experiencing Stress Feeling Frustrated Whenever we find ourselves thwarted in pursuit of a goal, we experience frustration o Frustration is an emotion people feel when their goal gets ruined o E.g. work hard on a test but get a C, find a parking spot but someone else takes it Life is full of frustration; can be caused by acute or chronic stressors Barriers to progress generate stress Feeling Pressured Pressure is the expectation that we should act in a certain way e.g. pride felt by Ashleys parents to university is a source of pressure Pressure often comes from within some individuals have high expectations of themselves that they are constantly under selfimposed stress Pressure varies along with task situation participants experienced greater stress when performing complex tasks in front of an audience in contrast to doing them alone Perceived discrimination is associated with increased levels of depression diagnoses Sports Pressure: performance pressure results when athletes feel strongly about the outcome of an event believe their own performance will have an impact on outcome Performances on tasks of any kind increase along with physical or mental arousal but once an optimal, moderate level of arousal is passed, performances begin to decrease o Applying this law to athletic performance, it is generally believed that if an athlete is not aroused, hisher performance will suffer that if heshe is too aroused performance will also suffer there needs to be optimal level of arousal Alternate Theory: o level of arousal at which optimal performance occurs is a zone (not a single point) and varies from athlete to athlete
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