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Studies Of Stress On The Body

1027 words - 5 pages

Stress is a physiological reaction that happens in the body. Stress occurs when the body finds certain situations stressful and feels as if there is no way of coping with them. Various stressors cause the body to react in the same way. Stress exhausts the body and leads to various illnesses. Selye investigated the effect of stress on the body. He created the General Adaptive Syndrome model of stress or GAS model. Selye was curious as to how stress affected the boy. He put rats under various stressors and found that the rats all reacted in the same way. The GAS model has three stages. The first stage is the Alarm stage: during this stage the body first displays signs of stress such as raised ...view middle of the document...

The first part being primary appraisal which determines whether or not the situation is stressful or a threat. The second part being secondary appraisal which determines whether or not an individual can cope with stress or not. If the individual has difficulty coping with the stress then the GAS model of stress is activated. To support his theory that stress is not completely physiological, Lazarus looked at post-mortem examinations of patients who were either conscious or unconscious at the time of their death. Those who were conscious had higher levels of cortisol in their bloodstream which suggests that they were more anxious and stressed.
Friedman and Rosenhan conducted a study on stress and illness. They looked at individual differences in particular the role of personality. They thought that those with “Type A” personalities, who were stressed easier and more neurotic, were more likely to develop Conory Heart Disease (CHD). The participants in the study were 3154 healthy men living in, and around the San Francisco area, between the ages of 39 and 59. The first interview, in 1960, determined if the men had Type A or Type B personalities. For example, the interviewer asked how they would feel about waiting in a long queue or having to work with and extremely slow partner. The interviewer also purposely tried to evoke a response from the participants, i.e. the interviewer would talk slowly and hesitantly, so those with a Type A personality would want to interrupt. The researcher recorded the participants’ answers and response so as to classify them as either Type A or Type B. Eight years later, the participants were re-interviewed. A total of 257 had developed CHD. 178 of these men were asses as Type A, 69%, while only half as many were Type B, 31%. This proved Folkman and Rosenhan’s point that personality types affected levels of stress and stress related illness and disease.
Stress can come from many different places mainly environmental, social, and occupational. Within Environmental there are certain stressors like overcrowding and noise. For example,...

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