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  • The body's response to a threatening event or something in the environment which is seen as stressful.
  • When the demands of your environment are more than what you think you can tolerate. 

Body's response to stress

  • The hypothalamus recognises situations which are stressful so it activates.
  • You breathe faster.
  • Your heart rate increases
  • The adrenal glands in the kidney release two hormones called adrenaline and cortisol which speed up heart rate and increases blood pressure. 
  • Pupils dilate.
  • Blood flow increases.
  • Sweats to cool down the body.


This stands for the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Holmes and Rahe developed this to measure major life events. Each event has its own point called an LCU (Life Changing Unit). If you have a lot of LCUs, the more stressed you will be therefore making you more prone to be ill.

Daily hassles

This is the Hassles and Uplifts scale which was created by Lazarus. They predicted that the more hassles you had, the more likely they are to be stressed and be more prone to generate an illness. However, the more uplifts a person has the less stressed they will be making them less likely to generate an illness. 

Similarities of the two stress rating scales

  • They both measure stress using rating scales.
  • They both assume stress is caused by something in the environment. 

Usefulness of measuring stress using rating scales

  • useful - rating scales use data in number form so it is easy to analyse. 
              - The data can show a pattern so psychologists can develop a theory about what                   can cause stress. 
  • not useful - not everyone experiences stress in the same way.
                   - experiences and emotions of stress are too complex to be defined and


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