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

How do individual differences influence stress levels?

Extracts from this document...


How do individual differences influence stress levels? The extent to which stress can affect a person is largely dependant on the type of personality they possess. An individual with a Type A personality is categorised as having aggressive tendencies combined with being a competitive high achiever with a fixation on time management. It is thought that these types of traits lead to increased stress levels and blood pressure, which in turn increase the possibility of developing coronary heart disease (CHD). This theory was tested by Friedman and Rosenman in the Western Collaborative Group Study (1960). They used around 3000 middle aged men that lived in California, and tested them for indicators of CHD before assessing their personality. ...read more.


The experiment also does not take into account that many Type As had a family history of cardiovascular problems, which is indicative of genetic condition that would make them more susceptible to heart attacks. Also when the participants were interviewed the interviewer deliberately tried to evoke Type A behaviour, so there is a possibility that the traits displayed were more of a reaction to that particular context. When follow up experiments were conducted they found no link between Type A behaviours and mortality (Ragland and Brand), and that certain aspects of the personality actually help to protect against stress, such as being in control and commitment. One personality type that negates the effects of stress is the Hardy personality (Kabasa and Maddi). ...read more.


A problem with the research into the link between personality and stress is that it is often done through questionnaires, which do not always provide reliable answers as people may feel pressured to give the most sociably acceptable answer. There is also an alternative explanation to the Hardy personality, as the traits can be explained by negative affectivity (Watson and Clark). People with high negative affectivity show the same characteristics as those with low hardy personality scores, which means people who are considered hardy may just have low negative affectivity. In conclusion the effects of stress are definitely modified somewhat by personality, as there is a conclusive link between cardiovascular problems and high stress levels and it has been proven that certain types of personality cope better with stress than others. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Psychology 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 star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay formulates very well-expressed analytical ideas and presents them in a very clear structure. Each point made is well-thought out and cites a relevant piece of research evidence to back up their points. This structure may seem formulaic but ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay formulates very well-expressed analytical ideas and presents them in a very clear structure. Each point made is well-thought out and cites a relevant piece of research evidence to back up their points. This structure may seem formulaic but this is the best way to ensure all the important information required to gain a high mark is incorporated in the answer. The also candidate makes a good discussion by referring to evidence that supports the idea that stress is caused by individual difference (of which, socio-cognitive, biological and environmental are all considered) and this is good because it does not show the examiner only one part of the candidate's knowledge, but instead a very wide range of knowledge about psychology in general.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown here is very good. The candidate makes a very good use of their analytical skills by discussing in detail the extent to which stress is caused by individual differences. The candidate concerns a number of individual differences, and for such a broad approach this is very important. There is a good use of psychological studies and each nicely backs up what the candidate has to say about stress. All in all this candidate can expect to, were this question given a top mark of 12 (quite possibly an Edexcel or AQA question) achieve 4/4 marks for the knowledge and understanding (AO1) and 8/8 for their critical discussion (AO2)

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication here is very good. The candidate demonstrates good English skills and does not make any causes for concern with regard to the spelling, grammar or punctuation. From a Psychology perspective the QWC is also very good, with the candidate utilising a number of psychology-orientated terminology, which shows the examiner that the candidate is proficient and confident at using the language of the professionals when writing their psychology essays.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 22/07/2012

Read less
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 GCSE Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I will evaluate and explain the Social Learning Theory (SLT), which ...

    5 star(s)

    Most surveys are carried out on representative groups. The researcher then generalizes the findings to the target population from which the representative group came. * Questionnaires have to be developed carefully to avoid leading questions e.g. 'Have you seen the crocodile recently?' compared to the more appropriate 'Have you seen a crocodile recently?'.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the problems related with identifying and diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder.

    4 star(s)

    Six of the nine symptoms of the disorder are ?1. fears of abandonment; 2. intense mood shifts; 3. impulsivity; 4. problems with anger; 5. recurrent suicidal behaviours or self-injurious behaviours; and 6. patterns of unstable and intense relationships? (Hoffman, 2007).

  1. Highlight the key features/tenets of Freud's and Murray's theories of personality. Identify key similarities ...

    Some psychologists claimed that Freud's concepts are unobservable and untestable. Also, it relied heavily on a small number of case studies and it neglects the environment and social influence. Because of these, Murray and his collaborators developed a more comprehensive theory to explain personality.

  2. Different Theories and theorists in Human behaviour

    According to Freud, the unconscious is the source of our motivations, whether they be simple desires for food or sex, neurotic compulsions, or the motives of an artist or scientist. And yet, we are often driven to deny or resist becoming conscious of these motives, and they are often available to us only in disguised form.

  1. "Some mothers choose to stay at home and look after their children while others ...

    as the conditioned or secondary reinforcer, and the food being an unconditioned or primary reinforcer). The infant will eventually begin to develop a sense of security when this caregiver is present. These theories have been challenged by an Ethologists 'Harlow' whose studies involved monkeys.

  2. What is forensic science? How can it's study help in the detection and prevention ...

    Markings found on shell casings are like fingerprints but in the ballistics world, each weapon fired leaves distinctive markings. * Document Analysis - characterising the composition of the type of paper used and ink. The age of the paper can be established and the manufacturer.

  1. A study of the psychology of belief with reference to the influence of Freud. ...

    This is to say all gratification of learning is gained through the mouth (feeding, chewing, sucking fingers etc.) From eighteen months to three years the child progresses into the "Anal Stage" this normally happens when the child goes through potty training and often as a result develops fascination in anus and faeces.

  2. Psychoanalytical Theory.

    Pleasure from stimulation of genitals is discovered. The same time children are aware of their sexual anatomy and mostly of the differences between the sexes, which begins at this stage. Most in this period of time, boys experience the emergences of the Oedipus complex, which does consist the sexual feeling for the mother and jealousy of the

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