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

Stress. Much of our understanding of the nature of stress can be traced back to the work of Hans Seyle in the 1930s. Seyles research on rats and other animals in the years 1936 and 1950

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

a) Much of our understanding of the nature of stress can be traced back to the work of Hans Seyle in the 1930s. Seyle's research on rats and other animals in the years 1936 and 1950 led him to conclude that when animals are exposed to unpleasant stimuli (for example, injections or extreme temperatures), they all react in the same sort of way. He described this universal response to stressors as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS): 'general' because it was the same response to all agents, 'adaptation' because it actually was an adaptive response - the healthiest way to cope with extreme stress - and syndrome because there were several symptoms in the stress response. This theory entailed three stages in the cycle of stress. The first stage is known as the alarm reaction. This is the initial point when the threat or stressor is recognised, and a response is made to the alarm. Adrenaline is produced, leading to 'fight or flight' activity. In addition, there is some activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, producing cortisol. If the stress continues, the body progresses to the next stage - resistance. ...read more.

Middle

Much of our understanding of the nature of stress can be traced back to the work of Hans Seyle in the 1930s. From his research Seyle put forward his 'General Adaptation Syndrome' model, this model proposes that there is a universal response to stress, and explains the stages throughout this response. This model is characterised by three progressive stages; alarm reaction (stress response), resistance (apparent coping) and exhaustion (breakdown and the onset of other stress related illnesses). The GAS model proposed that stress leads to illness because the body's resources (e.g. glucose reserves) become depleted under extreme stress. Although this study has it's criticisms, findings from other research has too supported the notion that stress is related to illness. Krantz et al. (1991) is one of such studies, he conducted a study to investigate the possible link between stress and cardiovascular disorders. Patients with cardiovascular disorders (along with controls) were observed whilst carrying out numerous tasks that were designed to cause mild stress. From measurements of their blood pressure, and the extent to which blood vessels around the heart contracted, a number of conclusions were deduced. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is difficult to avoid stress, but it is a good idea to do as much as you can to reduce high levels of stress and anxiety throughout everyday life. In my opinion, physiological research has supported the idea that stress is related to illness to quite a big extent, out of all the studies I have looked at there is only one which opposes this idea. Although, exactly how stress causes illness is still not precisely known, the GAS model proposes that resources become depleted so that the body can no longer fight infections. However, more recent research has shown that many 'resources' do not become depleted even under extreme stress. The current view is that the exhaustion phase is associated with increased hormone activity, such as cortisol, and it is this rather than depletion of resources that leads to stress-related illness (Sheridan and Radmacher, 1992). There is no doubt that this research into stress, its effects and possible cures (if there are any) will continue, and in time it may be possible to reduce the effects of stress and educate people more about it. Kerry Phillips. 28th January 2005. St. Edwards School Sixth Form. Assignment 5. 1 Psychology. Topic: Stress. ...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 Physiological Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 Physiological Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Managing stress through Exercise and Therapy

    3 star(s)

    Workplace counselling is very important tool for many reasons such as; * It can reduce levels of stress by more than 50% * Raise the level of job commitment and satisfaction * Reduce levels of substance abuse * Return work related symptoms to the normal range for more than half

  2. Anxiety Disorders

    Treatments There are many effective treatments for OCD, ranging from therapy to self-help and medication. However, the treatment for OCD with the most research supporting its effectiveness is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder involves two components: * Exposure and response prevention * Cognitive therapy Exposure and response prevention

  1. Stress can be explained as the stimulus in the environment that triggers a stress ...

    Commentary Although the effects were clearly linked to stress, they might sometimes happen even if the person feels relaxed & therefore are not simply produced by feeling stressed. Not everyone showed the same reactions, which suggests that differences between the participants may also have a role.

  2. DISCUSS THE MEANING OF THE WORD STRESS

    a very low wage but would be irrelevant to someone earning $500,000 per year. Also, the scale is very male oriented. For example, one of the events listed is "wife begins or stops work" and this would be irrelevant to a woman.

  1. Identify and discuss strategies for coping with Stress

    Kobasa found two different groups between the managers. One group who suffered from high amounts of stress but had very little illnesses and the other group who had high amounts of stress and a high amount of illnesses. Kobasa found that the group the had high amounts of stress but

  2. Psychological influences in childbearing and midwifery practice - A Rite of Passage: Transition from ...

    Midwifery Today. Issue 61 pp 18. Barr J (2001). Postpartum depression impairs the process of passing through the rite of passage as a mother: preliminary findings of a doctoral study: from the 2001 Australasian Conference, held in Christchurch, New Zealand in September 2001. http://www.wairua.co.nz/marce/abstracts/abstract0126.html Accessed 2-11-2004. Beck, A., (1976).

  1. Depression - Gender Differences.

    cells plays a much more pivotal role in maintaining the brain's vitality than researchers had thought...astrocytes double as neural stem cells, the source of new nerve cells" (Pennisi, 1999, p. PG). Wineke (1996) notes the importance of ongoing research into the very real possibility that the absence of astrocytes serves to adversely effect brain function.

  2. Unit 1 psychology revsion notes (memory, attachment, research methods)

    Cannot follow up interesting answers * Formal * Unstructured ? * Follow up issues * Expand on answers * More

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