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Biological Psychology: Stress
Stress is bodily response:

The body's response to stress, including the pituitary-adrenal system and the
sympathomedullary pathway in outline.

Stress is a response to stressors. Stress arises when the individual feels the demands of
their situation are more than their resources can cope with.

A stressor can…

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This is the Sympathetic adrenal medullary This is the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal
system. axis.
It produces the immediate shock response. It helps the body to recover after stress but
may also have negative effects.
The stressor acts on the hypothalamus The hypothalamus stimulates the release
which activates the adrenal medulla…

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2. To save energy.

These two functions are represented by what are called branches.

Sympathetic Parasympathetic
Activates organs in times when needing Involved when the body is trying to store
energy or arousal- `Fight or Flight'. resources.
Heart rate and blood pressure return to
normal and digestion speeds up. The…

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Stress-related illness and the immune system.

The immune system is a collection of billions of cells that travel through the bloodstream.

They move in and out of tissues and organs, defending the body against foreign bodies
(antigen), such as bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells.

When we are stressed, the immune…

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Stress in Everyday Life:

Life changes and daily hassles

The two main concepts are life changes and Daily hassles.

Our lives change all the time; major changes include:

Moving House
Getting Married
Death in the family

Accommodating these changes can be very stressful.

Holmes and Rahe: Life Changes

Holmes and…

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Rahe 1970: Sailor Study


To see whether illness was related to SRRS scores.


SRRS scores were taken from 2500 male, US sailors, six months before duty.

During the six months, medical records were kept.

After six months SRRS scores correlated with illness.


There was a significant positive…

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Daily hassles

Daily Hassles are little annoying and irritating things in everyday life. E.g. being late or
losing your keys.

However some believe hassles can also arise from pre-existing chronic stressors (life

For example, when a man's wife dies; he now has to deal with the cooking and

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Delongis 1982

Delongis set out to investigate whether daily hassles would be a better predictor of life

Four things Delongis considered for the participants:

1. Uplifts
2. Hassles
3. Life changes
4. Participants' health

She gave 100 participants (over 45), questionnaires on the above.


1. She found a…


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