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Flashcards in Stress Deck (259)
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What is stress?

A state of stress is defined as existing when there is an imbalance between perceived demands and perceived coping responses.


What is a stressor?

A stimulus or situation imposing demands on an individual.


What is a transactional model?

A model of stress that defines stress as an imbalance between perceived demands on an individual and their perceived coping resources.


What is primary appraisal?

The person appraises or assesses the situation to identify potential threats or demands.


What is secondary appraisal?

The person appraises their ability to cope with a threatening situation.


Where was the term 'stress' introduced into psychology?

From mechanical engineering, where it referred to the tension placed on metals by heavy loads.


What did Selye (1956) study on stress do?

He first noted that rats given repeated daily injections developed gastric (stomach) ulcers. He then wondered whether it was the stress of the injections themselves or what was injected that produced the ulceration. In a series of careful studies Selye confirmed that it was the stress of the injections themselves.


What did Selye develop as the stress response?

He mapped out the body's physiological responses to stressful stimuli, or stressors, and eventually concluded that different stressors all produced the same pattern of physiological responses. This is called the stress response.


How did Selye using the stress response develop a definition for stress?

He could argue that any stimulus producing the physiological stress response was by definition a stressor. This is a response-based definition of stress.


What is a stimulus-based view of stress?

We could probably agree that certain events, such as physical injury or the death of someone close to us, can be considered stressful. This is a stimulus-based view of stress, where certain events of stimuli by their very nature are defined as stressful


What is the problem with the stimulus-based view of stress and the response-based view of stress?

Both of these approaches ignore the vital factor of individual differences. Some people with phobias will show the physiological stress response when faced with a tiny house spider, whilse others will not react to events others would find stressful.


What is the current approach to how we see stress?

The transactional model


Who developed the transactional model?

Cox and Mackay (1978) and Lazarus and Folkman (1984)


What is the transactional model?

It emphasises individual differences. It does this by giving a major role to the individual's cognitive processes. This transactional model sees stress as depending upon the person's perception of themselves and the world around them. The key process is appraisal, and this is divided into primary and secondary appraisal. Primar and secondary appraisals are based on our perception of ourselves and the world around us. Putting these two processes together leads to a definition of stress "When an imbalance of discrepancy exists between perceived demands and perceived coping resources, then a state of stress exists."


What is the transactional model of stress (diagram)?

The words actual coping ability and actual demands at the top. From these are arrows that lead to perceived coping ability and perceived demands. They both have arrows pointing to 'cognitive appraisal'. Then there is an arrow down pointing to 'Mismatch between demands and coping ability'. Two arrows come out from this that say 'feelings of stress' and 'bodily stress response'


What is a neuron?

The basic unit of the nervous system. Neurons are cells specialised to conduct electrical impulses.


What is action potential?

The technical term for nerve impulses. Pulses of electrical activity conducted along the neuron, action potentials represent coding of information in the nervous system.


What are dendrites?

Part of the neuron, dendrites are short processes connecting to the cell body. Nerve impulses are often triggered on dendrites.


What are axons?

Part of the neuron, the axon is an elongated process running from the cell body. Axons can have up to 1000 branches connecting via synapses to other neurons.


What is the structure of neurons?

Neurons are covered in a complex cell membrane made up of several layers. The biochemical structure of this membrane allows it to conduct or transmit pulses of electrical activity known as action potentials or nerve impulses. Nerve impulses begin on the dendrites and then travel across the cell body and along the axon.


Describe the neuron (diagram)?

The is the cell body, which appears like a 'head' with a nucleus inside it. Connected to the cell body are loads of scriggly and thin lines which are the dendrites. From the cell body, is the 'tail' like part which is called the axon. From this there are branches that come off that are called the axon branches. The end of the axon branches are called axon terminals.


What is between the axon terminal and the next neuron?

A tiny gap called the synapse.


How do nerve impulses cross the synapse?

Stored within the axon or presynaptic terminal are packets or chemicals known as neurotransmitters. As nerve impulses travelling down the axon reach the axon terminal they stimulate the release of neurotransmitter molecules into the synapse. The synaptic gap is so small that the molecules can diffuse over to the postynaptic membrane of the following neuron. Located on this membrane are synaptic receptors. As the neurotransmitter molecule reaches the postsynaptic membrane it binds to the receptor for a brief period of time. This combination of neurotransmitter with receptor alters the biochemical characteristics of the postsynaptic membrane; this makes a nerve impulse more likely to be triggered at that point on the membrane.


What is an axon terminal?

The end of a neuronal axon, also known as the presynaptic terminal


What is a synapse?

A tiny gap separating the presynaptic terminal of one neuron and the postsynaptic terminal of the following neuron. Transmission across the synpase is chemical, suing neurotransmitters.


What is a presynaptic terminal?

The axon terminal leading into a synapse. Neurotransmitters are released from the presynaptic terminal.


What is a neurotransmitter?

A chemical stored in the presynaptic terminal. Nerve impulses stimulate the release of neurotransmitter molecules into the synapse, where they diffuse over to the postsynaptic membrane and combine with receptors.


What is the postsynaptic membrane?

The neuronal cell membrane on which synaptic receptors are located. The neurotransmitter released from the presynaptic terminal combines with these receptors and this combination makes a nerve impulse more likely to occur in the postsynaptic neuron.


What are synaptic receptors?

Molecules located on the postsynaptic terminal that combine with neurotransmitter molecules in a lock-and-key fashion.


What is the all-or-none principle?

Applied to the nerve impulse. Combination of neurotransmitter with synaptic receptors disturbs the postsynaptic membrane and makes a nerve impulse more likely. If a threshold disturbance is reached, a nerve impulse is triggered.