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Psychology Notes Stress

The body's response to stress

Background info and some key terms

Stress is experienced when persons perceived social and physical demands
exceed their perceived ability to cope (the lack of fit between a person and
their environment).
The body's responds in a fight or flight manner. Fight…

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Psychology Notes Stress

The hypothalamic pituitaryadrenal axis acts as a response to chronic stress. It
controls levels of cortisol (CORT) in the bloodstream. Physical and emotional
stressors activate the HPA and compared to the sympathomedullary pathway the
HPA system is easier to activate.

1. Stress is perceived by the hypothalamus…

Page 3

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Psychology Notes Stress

Too much cortisol supresses the immune response shutting down the very
process that fights infection.
Researchers believe that the feedback system may breakdown if individuals
are exposed to chronic stress.


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