Stress - Unit 2 (AQA)

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  • Created on: 22-01-13 19:44
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Introduction to Stress
Stress: A state of psychological and physical tension produced when there is a mismatch
between the perceived demands of the situation (stressors) and the individual's ability to
cope.
Stressor: Any factor that can trigger a stress response:
Different people will respond differently to different stressors
Stressors may be major life changes of daily hassles and may be the environment or the
workplace
Stress as a Bodily Response
The nervous system is divided into two, these sub sections are:
Central nervous system Brain & Spinal Chord
Peripheral nervous system All other nerve cells in the body
The peripheral nervous system is further divided into two sub sections these are:
Section Job
Somatic Nervous System (SNS) Voluntary movement of the skeletal muscles
Automatic Nervous System (ANS) Involuntary movement of smooth and cardiac
muscles (e.g. heart & lungs)

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The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is further divided into two more sub sections:
Type of Response Branch Response
Immediate Response Sympathetic Branch Activates internal
Arousal organs in situations
needing energy and
arousal (e.g.…read more

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Countershock Response ­ Key Points:
Cerebral Cortex ­> Evaluation
Hypothalamus -> Activates Response
Hypothalamus -> Triggers CRF Hormone release
CRF Stimulates -> Pituitary Gland
Pituitary Gland release -> Hormone ACTH
ACTH stimulates -> Adrenal Cortex
Adrenal Cortex releases -> Corticosteroids -> Give use energy (break down fat reserves &
converting stored glycogen into glucose)
Energy produced -> Replaces lost energy in original response
Stress related illness & immune system
Stress on its own does not make you ill but it may increase your risk of…read more

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Stress in Everyday Life
Life Changes:
When normal routines are disrupted we have to think about how to do things that we would
normally do on `auto-pilot' ­ We have to use much more energy
Holmes & Rahe called this energy `Psychic Energy' ­ Constantly having to think and use up
energy leaves us exhausted and less able to cope with other parts of our lives (stress =
mismatch between out perceived ability to cope with perceived demands of situation)
The bigger the change, the…read more

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Shows how stress involved in changes that life events bring have a link to an increased
risk of illness
Results not representative of the entire population ­ Can only me generalised to
American Navy Seamen
Only correlation ­ cant assume a casual relationship between the variables ­ correlation
may be caused by an unknown third variable
Evaluation of SRRS:
Research is correlational ­ cant establish cause & effect
Doesn't separate positive & negative life events ­ Stress & illness may be more linked to
negative…read more

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Stress in the workplace:
5 Key `Source' Areas:
Relationships ­ with bosses, colleagues, customers may be stressful ­ we may feel
undervalued and feel that we lack support
Work Pressures ­ Having too much work, maybe with strict deadlines
Physical Environment ­ Too noisy, overcrowded, too hot, too cold, health risks,
unsociable hours
Linked to Role ­ worrying about job security, prospects for promotion, conflict between
responsibilities/tasks
Lack of Control ­ may not have much influence over type or amount of work we do or…read more

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Individual Differences
Hardiness
Hardiness = A cluster of traits possessed by those people best able to cope with stress
Kobasa 1979:
Identified hardiness as an individual difference
People are either `hardy' or `non hardy'
Hardy People:
High levels of commitment to jobs and other activities
View change as positive
See change as an opportunity for challenge
Strong feelings over control and what happens to them (Internal locus of control)
Non Hardy People:
Opposite to hardy people
Unable to cope in situations
View change negatively
They…read more

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Personality Types
Type A People:
Aggressive, ambitious, time conscious, business like, controlling, workaholics, multitask, hate
delays
Type B People:
Relaxed, easy going, no sense of time schedule, lacking urgency and sensitive to other people's
feelings.
Friedman and Rosenman (1974) ­ Type A personalities & illness
3000, 39-59 year old American males were assessed for their personality
characteristics using interviews and observation.…read more

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Culture & Stress:
Culture = A group of people categorised by their beliefs, behaviour, morals or customs they
share.…read more

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Gender - Stress
Biological Explanation:
Through evolution men in their role of the `hunter-gatherer' may have developed a stronger
`fight or flight' response than women who has the role of looking after the children
Taylor et al. (2000) ­ Women produce a calmer response due to a hormone called Oxytocin.
This hormone is released in response to stress and has been shown to lead to maternal
behaviour and social affiliation.…read more

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