GAS+ Flight Fight Freeze + Cortisol Flashcards Preview

Psych 3 4 > GAS+ Flight Fight Freeze + Cortisol > Flashcards

Flashcards in GAS+ Flight Fight Freeze + Cortisol Deck (10):
1

What is GAS?

Three stage PHYSIOLOGICAL response to stress that occurs regardless of the stressor that’s encountered.

Non specific

Consists of three stages: alarm reaction (shock and counter shock), resistance and exhaustion.

2

Alarm reaction:

Initial response occurs when first aware of stressor.

SHOCK: ability to deal with the stressor falls below its normal level. Blood pressure & body temp drop, temporary loss of muscle tone

COUNTER SHOCK: sympathetic nervous system is activated. Body’s resistance to the stressor increases. FFF response initiated. Alertness and readiness to respond to stressor.

Initial stage is defensive reaction to stressor= tension, alertness and readiness to respond to stressor

3

Resistance

Body’s resistance to the stressor rises above normal.

Intense Arousal of alarm reaction stage diminishes, physiological arousal remains at a level above normal.

Unnecessary physiological processes shut down.

Cortisol released into the bloodstream to further energise the body and repair damage - weakens immune system, resistance to disease decreases

4

Exhaustion

Enters if the stressor is not dealt with successfully and stress continues.

Alarm reaction changes may reappear but can’t sustain resistance. Effects of stressor can’t be dealt with.

Resources are depleted, resistance to disease is weak, more vulnerable to physical and mental disorders eg) extreme fatigue, anxiety, nightmares, hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease.

Brings about signs of physical wear and tear in organs that have been consistently trying to deal with stressor during resistance.

5

Strengths of GAS

One of the first to suggest that stress could weaken the body’s ability to resist infection and increase likelihood of developing a physical disorder.
• Identifies biological processes associated w stress response.
• Influential through description & explanation of potentially detrimental effects of persistent stressors

6

Limitations

Does not take into account individual differences.
• Overlooks roles of body systems other than endocrine.
• Does not take into account physiological or cognitive response.
• Not all people experience the same physiological response to stress.
• Stress may not be ‘non‐specific’
• Based on animal research – may not be applicable to humans.

7

Fight

Confronting and fighting off the threat


• Sympathetic NS stimulates the adrenal gland, which secretes hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.

• Occur within seconds.

8

Flight

Escaping by running away to safety

Sympathetic NS stimulates the adrenal gland, which secretes hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.

• Occur within seconds.

9

Freeze

Keeping absolutely still and silent, avoiding detection.

Not completed understood

Involves both sympathetic and parasympathetic ns

10

Role of cortisol

Effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline do not last long.
• F‐F‐F is first wave response.
• Second wave: HPA axis, which releases cortisol.
• Cortisol:
• Increases energy supplies.
• Enhances metabolism.
• Has an anti‐inflammatory effect by blocking white
blood cells.
• Takes longer to initiate. Lasts longer.
• Prolonged release of cortisol leads to impaired immune system functioning, increasing vulnerability to disease.