AQA AS Psychology Unit 2:Stress Management notes

Physiological and Psychological Methods of Stress Managment Notes

Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) - A psychological method of stress management. A form of cognitive behavioural therapy, developed by Michenbaum (1972), it aims to reduce stress by helping people to think differently about it.

Three steps involved in (SIT)

1. Conceptualisation: Identify fears and concerns with help of a therapist.

2. Training and Rehearsal: Taught coping skills that can be general or event-focused.

3. Application and follow through: Apply training to real world. If neccessary follow-up training sessions provided.

Evaluation of SIT:

  • It's flexible and can be tailored to individuals and lots of different stressors.
  • It's expensive and slow and requires clients to be motivated and driven.
  • Benefits of SIT can be long-term (unlike drugs), and teaches coping skills that can be applied to a variety of stressors in the future.

The exams study - Michenbaum (1975)

Michenbaum wanted to find out how effective his SIT was.

How did he do it? An assessment of the effectiveness of SIT was made by comparing three groups of stressed pre-exam students. Group 1: eight weeks of SIT; Group 2: eight weeks of systematic desensitisation; Group 3: no therapy.

What did they find? The SIT group gave most positive self-reports, and out performed the other groups in their exams. They concluded therefore that SIT was the most successful therapy.


  • They used self-reports of success- these are not necessarily reliable.
  • It could be that the other treatment would have been most successful had it been given longer - the study did not consider optimum treatment period.

Physiological methods of stress managment:

Drugs - A physiological method of


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