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Andrew Jones

Psychology Page 1

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Acute Stress

Acute Stress ­ Sympathomedullary Pathway

Psychology Page 2

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Chronic Stress

Psychology Page 3

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Selye's Investigation of the Effect of Chronic Stress (1936)

Aims ­ Selye wanted to investigate the link between long term stress and illness. He worked in a hospital
and he noticed that whatever the cause of a patient's illness was, they all shared a common set of

Procedures ­…

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Stress and the Immune System

Psychology Page 5

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Cohen et al (1993)

Aim ­ to investigate the role of general life stress on vulnerability to the common cold

Method ­
Natural experiment
394 participants completed questionnaires on number of stressful life events they had
experienced in the last year.
Participants exposed to low doses of the common cold.…

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Kiecolt-Glaser et al. (1984)

Aim ­ to investigate whether the stress of important exams has an effect on the functioning of the
immune system.

Method ­ This was a natural experiment using 75 American medical students. Blood samples were taken
one month before their final exams (low stress) and during…

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Evans et al. (1994)

The antibody sigA was measured after acute stress and it was found that the levels increased. It was also
measured during exams (chronic stress) and sigA levels decreased. This suggests that acute stress
increases efficiency of the immune system and that chronic stress decreases efficiency.


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Measuring Stress

Holmes and Rahe (1967)
From their work in hospitals they noticed that many patients with heart disease reported
significant life events in the previous year.
They introduced the concept of life events as a change in life circumstances that require some
The Social Readjustment Rating Scale…

Page 10

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Psychology Page 10


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