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Discuss the view that stress is environmentally determined.

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Introduction

"Psychological research has provided evidence to support the view that stress can be caused by life changes. It has also provided evidence of individual differences in response to sources of stress." Discuss the view that stress is environmentally determined. Although stress is an unavoidable part of life and may not be entirely negative as it is able to increase motivation and arousal, psychological research has shown that it can be caused by life changes and can therefore be environmentally determined. Marmot et al (1997) recognised that an environment such as the workplace can cause stress. The results from lower-paid and higher-paid grades self-report questionnaires and five year follow up showed that the lower-paid grade had an overall increase in stress-related illnesses. ...read more.

Middle

retrospective study. With the social readjustment rating scale (SRRS), participants identified personal life events and were able to give them a social value score. Higher life change units (LCU) were related to an increase in stress related illness, studied by Rahe (1970). As a US study, it was culturally specific; however there wasn't any manipulation of variables so there were no serious ethical issues. In these terms, stress can either be short-lasting and acute, for example, going into an examination, or longer-lasting and chronic, for example, the death of a spouse may cause prolonged stress. Daily hassles cannot be considered as major life events, but instead are the small daily stressors. As much as suggestions have been made about stress being environmentally determined, there is also a large bearing on individual differences. ...read more.

Conclusion

A Type A behaviour (TAB) person is linked to being vulnerable to stress related illness, showing that stress can also be caused by a behaviour type as well as environmental factors, as a Type B behavioural type will not become as vulnerable to stress. Rosenman et al (1976) followed middle-aged men and directed a link between TAB and stress related illness. In accordance with this, a person's hardiness may also determine how stressful they might deem a situation to be. The three basic elements include control, commitment and challenge, which increase resistance to stress. This evidence is slightly contradictory against environmental factors: although environmental factors do contribute towards stress, a personality factors can combat against this result and therefore it is individual differences which conclude a person's reaction. ?? ?? ?? ?? AS Psychology - Biological Psychology Heather McDonald ...read more.

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Response to the question

The candidate here has opted for a very conventional essay structure, but seeing as their are no points for originality awarded in this question (which only tests AO1 and AO2), this is no problem at all. The conventional structure in ...

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Response to the question

The candidate here has opted for a very conventional essay structure, but seeing as their are no points for originality awarded in this question (which only tests AO1 and AO2), this is no problem at all. The conventional structure in fact helps the candidate gather their information and present it clearly. All in all this succeeds at being a very clear and well-presented essay which responds well to the question as the candidate shows a good level of proficiency in both their knowledge of psychology and of the psychological evidence that can be used to fortify their answers. Each point for and each point against (the essay is nicely balanced) the theory that stress is environmentally determined is backed up with a useful, valid study to exemplify the points the candidate gives, and this is what makes the essay so well-constructed and effective.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here is very good. Whilst slightly prescriptive, the candidate succeeds at forming an effective analysis through this formula. The candidate makes good, clear points for and against the argument about environmental stress factors, citing much research evidence to aid their answer. This is good because it not only shows examiners how the candidate can structure effective analysis, but also that they are equipped with enough knowledge to effectively discuss the topic the question proposes.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is good from both a Psychology perspective and an English perspective. On the one hand he candidate makes excellent use of grammar, punctuation and spelling, to ensure clarity in their written expression and also show the examiner they are proficient users of the English language and it's tool in order to shape meaning. And from the psychology perspective, the candidate applies a number of specialist vocabularies and terms accurately, showing the examiner they are confident to discuss psychology in the language of the professionals.


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