Unit 3 - Stress Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 3 - Stress Deck (63):

Define Stressor

The event/stimulant that causes stress


Define Stress Reaction

The physiological and psychological result of stress.


What are 4 things that can cause stress

Daily pressures
life events
acculturative stress
Catastrophes that disrupt whole communities


describe daily pressures and give 2 examples

potential stressors that are experienced on a daily basis. Examples may be homework or what to wear


Describe Life Events and give two examples

Major events in a person's lifetime that accumulate both positive and negative stress. Example: Death of a loved one, or getting a big promotion at work


Describe acculturative stress and provide examples

The physiological and psychological impact that occurs when individuals have difficulty adjusting to a new culture. Examples being moving to a new country.


What is the 4 stages from low stress to high stress in acculturative stress



Describe catastrophes that disrupt whole communities

Extreme events that impact communities as a whole and cause stress. Examples being natural disasters, war, and political uprising


Define Eustress and how does it help us

eustress refers to a perception of stress as positive resulting in a physiological response to a perceived stressor. It primes our body to attain our optimal result.


What is an example of eustress

Getting nervous before a race/grand final, 'butterflies', winning a trip overseas


Define Distress

distress refers to a negative psychological response to a perceived stressor. We get into a state where our stress symptoms are no longer helping us achieve our optimal result. Unlike Eustress, distress does not act to prepare us for or combat stressful situations rather it cause dysfunction


What are examples of distress

vomiting before an exam, failing a test


Define stress

a state of physiological or psychological tension that occurs when a person's ability to cope is strained or exceeded. It is initiated by a stressor.


what is chronic stress

response to emotions pressure faced over a prolonged period of time


what is acute stress

response to a quick and intense event such as a natural disaster


what is the role of cortisol

a hormone that is released in the adrenal gland to energise the body in times of stress


What is the HPA Axis

a set of interactions and responses between three endocrine glands - the hypothalamus, the piturity glands and the adrenal glands - in response to a stressor resulting in the release of cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline.


What is released from the hypothalamus in the HPA axis

CRH - corticotropin releasing hormone


What is released from the pirturity gland in the HPA axis

ACTH - Adrenocorticotropic hormone


What is released from the Adrenal cortex



Why may we get sick after prolonged periods of stress

Cortisol is vital for maintaining health and well-being of the body under stress. If it is activated over a long period of time our boys resources can become depleted. This can lead to a decrease in immunity, making us more susceptible to illness.


Define fight-flight-freeze response

The fight flight freeze response is initiated by the sympathetic nervous system to prepare the body to confront a stressful situation to optimise the chance of survival. Which mechanism adopted is dependant on the likelihood of survival in each situation


What are some physiological stress reactions

heart attack
stomach ulcers


What are the three psychological reactions to stress

Behavioural - change in eating habits, sleep
Emotional - Agression, irritability
Cognitive - memory impairment, decrease concentration


Define the yerkes dodson law

A graph that shows the relationship between physiological and psychological arousal and performance. Whereby low arousal results in poor performance, high arousal results in poor performance, and moderate arousal results in high performance.


What are the models of stress as a biological response

HPA axis
Fight flight or freeze
General adaption syndrome


What is the General Adaption Syndrome

A model produced by Hans Seyle, to describe the body's short and long term reactions to stress. it comprises of three stages: the alarm reaction stage, the resistance stage and the exhaustion phase.


What are 2 biological models of stress

Fight Flight Freeze response and the role of cortisol
General Adaption Syndrome (GAS)


What are the three stages of GAS

Alarm: shock and countershcok


Explain the alarm stage (not including the stage of shock and counter shock)

The first stage of GAS when a person first realises there is a threat or stressor. The fight, flight freeze response is activated by the sympathetic nervous system as a result of the HPA axis. Alarm is experienced in 2 phases: Shock and counter shock.


Explain the shock stage

During the shock phase, the body responds as though it is injured. Body temperature and blood pressure momentarily drop as the person becomes aware of the situation. This is why initially, people may faint or in extreme cases have a heart attack.


Explain the countercheck phase

The body increases its resistance to the stressor with the release of adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol in the bloodstream. Our heart and respiration rates are increased and more glucose is released into our bloodstream to give our body more energy.


Explain the resistance phase

The parasympathetic nervous system reduces heart and respiration rates, however blood glucose levels and adrenaline and cortisol continues to circulate. This keeps the body prepared for action as well as increasing a persons stress tolerance. However, the body cannot continue to remain physiologically aroused for a long period of time and the continued circulation of cortisol and adrenalin depletes the body's resources and results in a suppressed immune system. Subsequently, we are more susceptible to illness.


Explain the exhaustion phase

If the resistance stage lasts for an extended period of time, there will be prolonged and elevated levels of arousal due to the stress hormones in the blood stream. The person's ability to meet the demands of the stressor begins to decline as the person enters the stage of exhaustion. As the person's biological resources become severely depleted , they become susceptible to more serious life-threatening illness.


What are strengths to the GAS model

- Able to demonstrate that exposure to prolonged stress could lead to death
- measures a predictable pattern that can be measured in individuals


what are the limitations of the GAS model

- tested on rats not humans
- does not account for individual psychological response


what is the model of stress as a psychological process

Lazarus and FOlkman's Transactional model of stress


What is Lazarus and folk mans transactional models of stress and coping

A model developed by Lazarus and FOlkman whereby stress is regarded as a 'transaction' between the person and their environment where the person's cognitive appraisal and perception determines how they will deal with the stressor. It focuses on the psychological process, rather than the biological.


What influences a person's appraisal

Beliefs, goals, life experiences


Wat is primary appraisal

The first stage of the Lazarus and Folk's model of stress in which a person asses a situation to determine whether a stress is present.


What are the three possible outcomes of primary appraisal



What are the three factors as to why someone may perceive something as a stress in primary appraisal



What is Harm/loss in primary appraisal and give an example

Some type of damage has been done (past), for example receiving a poor result on a test "i just failed my test"


What is a threat in primary appraisal and give an example

The potential there may may be future harm or loss (future) for example "i may fail my next test"


What is challenge in primary appraisal and give and example

Opportunity for personal growth which may have a positive outcome "I didn't do well on the practice test, but if I work hard I can achieve a better score on the actual test". and upcoming marriage or promotion may also be seen as a challenge.


What is the stages of the Lazarus and Folkman's transactional model of stress and coping

primary appraisal
(if stress is present) secondary appraisal
reappraisal (if emotion-focused coping is pursued)


What is secondary appraisal

The second stage of the Lazarus and folk man model of stress whereby a person evaluates their coping options and resources for dealing with a stressful situation.


What is problem focused coping

Looking at causes of stressor from a practical perspective and constructs strategies to reduce stress through using behaviour modification.


What are some problem focused strategies

Taking control, information seeking and evaluating pros and cons


What is emotion focused coping

The second stage of the Lazarus and folk man model of stress that involves trying to reduce the negative feeling associated with the stressor such as fear, embarrassment or anxiety through strategies to alter the emotional response.


How does stress form from the secondary appraisal

If coping resources are inadequate


What is reappraisal

After implementing emotion-focused strategies person may need to reassess whether the stressor is still stressful.


What are the strengths of Lazarus and folk mans model of stress

- accounts for the individual's psychological and cognitive process in reacting to stress
- Allows for individuals to have a different perception to stress
- Explains interaction between an individual and their environment
- suggests methods to cope with stressor


limitation of L and F model

- Lack or empirical evidence ad ability to measure, as they rely on self reports (subjective data)
- Overlap between primary and secondary appraisal


Define coping

Coping refers to constantly changing cognitive and behavioural efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands.


What are the factors that influence our ability to cope

- Context specific effectiveness
- coping flexibility
- Self efficacy


define context specific effectiveness and provide an example

A scenario in which there is a good alignment between a stressful situation and a coping strategy used. How effectively an individual can implement coping strategies is determined on past experience, and whether those strategies were helpful. For example if someone's job involves regular public speaking, they may no longer get nervous due to experience with coping to the stress.


Define coping flexibility

Refers to an individuals ability to replace can ineffective coping strategy with another according to the demands of the stressful situation. It focuses on how well an individual can adapt to stressors and reapraissal.


What is self efficacy

AN individuals confidence in their ability to control events that occur in their lives.


What are strategies for coping with stress

- Exercise
- Avoidance
- Approach


How does exercise help with stress

- regulates mood and manages anxiety due to beta-endorphins
- reduces reactivity of sympathetic nervous system and HPA axis response
- Can reduce effects of high blood pressure and heart disease caused by chronic stress due to the improved blood circulation.


What is avoidance with an example

A strategy for coping with stress that involves evading dealing with stress by protecting oneself from psychological distress, for example by ignoring facts, detail, distancing.


What is approach with an example

A strategy for coping with stress that involves an individual using proactive strategies to help reduce/alleviate a problem, for example starting homework or applying for jobs