• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the Role of Individual Differences in Stress

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

One of the criticisms of explanations or contributors of stress when looking at it broadly is that it can vary from person to person - an individual's personality or gender can have an effect not only on the likelihood that they may be stressed in particular situations, but also to what extent that may take place. It has been suggested that the differences between men and women can contribute to what both find stressful and consequently, how they cope in stressful situations. There are three main possible differences which could be used to explain the differences between males and females and their response to stress. The biological explanation suggests that males and females have evolved different physiological responses to stress due to their roles in the early evolution of humans. For example, Taylor et all suggested that when in stressful situations, men are more likely to respond with 'fight or flight' in keeping with their hunter role, whilst women 'tend and befriend' since they had the childcare role. ...read more.

Middle

Carroll found that women were more likely to respond to stress by seeking social comfort (again supported by Frankenhauser), which might help explain why women are less likely in general to develop cardiovascular disorders. However, this trend has been changing in recent years which could be explained by the fact that women are now more likely to drink or smoke. The final explanation of the differences between men and women with regard to stress is the cognitive explanation, which refers to how men and women interpret situations differently and how their thinking with regard to reaction may vary. Vogele et al claims that women are better able to control their anger and therefore more able to deal with stressful situations whilst men feel it is a suitable way to respond and feel stress if they are not able to express it. However, classifying this as a third explanation is a bit vague as it might be a combination of biological and social factors. ...read more.

Conclusion

The studies were also quite limited in their samples - mostly white, middle class, middle aged Americans. Rotter looked at the 'locus of control' with regard to responses to stress He felt that a person's response to stress could depend on how in control they felt, and that this was something that was learnt based on experiences. He found, through a questionnaire, that people who felt in control were in general less depressed. This is a bit too simplistic however - some people, particularly the religious, might be quite content with situations being out of their control if they believe that a God is in charge. On the other hand, believing that every single action you take might have great effect could in itself place massive stress on an individual. There is evidence to suggest that both personality and gender play an important role in how we deal with stress, but it is quite difficult to generalise and apply the findings to every single individual. Discuss The Role of Individual Differences In Stress Susannah M Kitchen 29/01/2008 19:16 29/01/2008 19:16 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The writer appears to have covered most aspects of stress, gender and personality types. The essay is basic, without too much detail, but is well structured. Also, the referencing needs to be improved so that it is clear which sources have been used.

Star rating 3*

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 14/10/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Behavioural Study of Obedience - Stanley Milgram

    5 star(s)

    So at the beginning of the experiment the real subject is introduced to another 'subject' (really the victim who is working for Milgram). It is explained that one needs to be the teacher and the other the learner (or victim).

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the main approaches - Biological and Behaviourist, biological and cognitive, ...

    4 star(s)

    Compare and contrast the biological approach with the cognitive approach in terms of similarities and differences. [12 Marks] The biological and cognitive approaches differ in their view on the nature/nurture debate. The biological approach focuses on nature rather than nurture.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast two psychological approaches

    4 star(s)

    behaviourist only believe that we are controlled by the environment around us, nature. Freud's case studies on the five middle class "mad" women included little or no scientific evidence to support his theory; the behaviourist theory however is based on scientific experimentation and has plenty of actual evidence to be founded upon.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Psychology the factors of Smoking

    4 star(s)

    because their body craves the drive that nicotine has on how they feel, they become addicted to the drug (Hammersley 1999). Addicts are compelled by a physiological need to continue taking the drug, experience physical and psychological symptoms when trying to stop.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and Contrast the five main perspectives in psychology

    3 star(s)

    Therefore the research is accepted today as valuable and can be applied usefully. The Behaviorist approach explains schizophrenia as a learned response and that people will behave in a schizophrenic way if they reinforced by it, develops by operant conditioning by observing behaviour of other schizophrenics.

  2. The Gestalt Approach to Psychology

    "The chronically confluent individual does not know where he ends and others begin. Since good contact requires a sense of difference to others, he is unable to contact well, but since he is unaware of any boundary, he cannot withdraw well either" (Clarkson and Mackewn in Gestalt Counselling in Action, 1989).

  1. Outline and Evaluate the Biological, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Explanations of Abnormality

    It is believed that by removing the brain tissue that is causing the psychological abnormality the symptoms and problems will disappear and will not reoccur. Although medical professionals do not understand why electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) works it has been seen to have a high rate of success in treating psychiatric patients.

  2. The contents of this essay will explain different psychological approaches to health and social ...

    This can be in terms of vicarious reinforcers where you acknowledge that others are being rewarded for certain behaviour (Stretch et al, 2010); subsequently, witnessing individuals having a good time and consuming alcohol, would reinforce the adolescent to also consume alcohol.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work