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Chapter 15

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Glucocorticoid, Adrenal Gland, Anxiety Disorder

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

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Chapter 15
The Nature of Stress
- Stress viewed as in three different ways (stimulus, response, and organism-environment
- Stimulus (stressors) situations that place demands on organisms that tax or exceed
their resources
- Stress a pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological responses, and behavioural
tendencies that occurs in response to a perceived imbalance between situational
demands and the resources needed to cope with them
- Stressors range in severity
o Microstressors daily hassles and everyday annoyances we encounter
o Catastrophic events natural disasters, acts of war, etc.
o Life event scales questionnaires that measure the number of positive and
negative life events that have occurred over a specific period of time
The Stress Response
- Four aspects of appraisal process are of particular significance:
1. Primary appraisal of demands of the situation
2. Secondary appraisal of resources available to cope with it
3. Judgments of what consequences of situation could be
o Potential consequences failing to cope
4. Appraisal of personal meaning (what the outcome might imply about us)
o Psychological meaning of consequence related to basic beliefs about the
Chronic Stress and the GAS
- General adaptation syndrome (GAS) a physiological response pattern to strong and
prolonged stressors
- Consists of three phases:
1. Alarm reaction a rapid increase in physiological arousal
Occurs due to sudden activation of sympathetic nervous system (increase
in heart rate) and release of hormones
“Fight or flight” response
Adrenal medulla produces epinephrine
Adrenal cortex produces cortisol (glucocorticoids), similar to epinephrine
Converts protein to glucose
Makes fats available for energy
Increased blood flow
*Almost every cell in body has receptor for cortisol
Triggers an increase in blood sugars, suppresses immune system, anti-
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