• 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)

    Many will cause you to become dependent on them. Effective methods for coping with and handling stress are things such as exercise, meditation, reading, warm bath, massage, hobbies, conversation etc Tertiary stress intervention Individual Tertiary stress interventions help heal the traumatised individual.

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

    & andocentric (males only). Hard to generalize to population. There are some Issues with the SRRS 1. Link between SRRS & Illness depends on the accuracy of recall. 2. The SRRS doesn't separate positive & negative life events. Stress & Illness may be linked to negative life changes.

  1. Describe and evaluate what psychological research has shown us about stress and the immune ...

    An individual's cognitive process varies from one person to the next, and so by accounting for individual differences we cannot know for certain how genuine the answers given by participants were; some may have exaggerated to appear more dramatic, whilst others maybe have down-played the effect the stressor(s)

  2. Identify and discuss strategies for coping with Stress

    found that hardiness was only available to offer protection from stress even though social support is available showing that Kobasa's work draws attention to the role of exercise and social support in the management of stress. However, Kobasa's work has been heavily criticised firstly because there have been few studies since showing the effectiveness of hardiness training.

  1. Anxiety Disorders

    * Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don't need or use. Common obsessive thoughts in OCD include: * Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others * Fear of causing harm to yourself or others

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

    Arch Women's Mental Health. 7, pp 1-6. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com Accessed 20-10-2004. Axelrod RM (1990). The Evolution of Cooperation. London: Penguin Books. http://pscs.physics.lsa.umich.edu/Software/CC/CCPreface.html Accessed 24-10-2004. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bandura, A. (1991). Self-efficacy mechanism in physiological activation and health-promoting behaviour.

  1. Depression - Gender Differences.

    it is relatively easy to recognize the fact that without the necessary astrocytes in place, conducting the brain-healing processes that they have been discovered to posses, it triggers within the brain the inability to maintain a sense of perspective. "A kind of star-shaped brain cell that helps support surrounding nerve

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

    (demand characteristics * Can infer cause and effect * Less control over EV?s * Less control over participant sample * Hard to replicate * Time consuming to set up and carry out * Consent, deception and right to withdraw are important as they may not think they are in an

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