PSYCH 243 Notes Ch 3

PSYCH 243 Notes Ch 3 - Stressors, Sources, and Reactions I....

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Stressors, Sources, and Reactions I. Stress as Cause and Effect A. Facts of Life How stressful events are depends on our interpretations. If a demand is laid upon us and we can meet that demand, then no stress exists. Our body automatically responds with its immune system to direct physical stressor effects of injury or infection. Any other stress is produced psychologically. The presence of an actual stressor is not necessary for a person to experience a negative stress reaction. It all depends on how we interpret them. Our bodies prepare for a “fight or flight” reaction. B. Historical Background An actual event is only a stressor if it causes a person to feel strained. Psychologists are now including psychological factors as both potential causes and actual effects of stress. II. Stressors A. Defining a Stressor A stressor causes stress or produces a stress reaction, while stress is a reaction to a stressor. 1. Negative Stressors and Distress – physical reactions to fear of something negative possibly going to happen, not knowing what the final effect might be, unwanted effects or negative stimulus events 2. Positive Stressors and Eustress – some stressors can be positive because they are useful and beneficial, attractive and desirable forms of stimulation, our goal should be to find a balance between the equally destructive forces of hypo and hyper stress while finding as much eustress as possible and minimizing distress a. Fun ‘n’ Games – stimulation by physical excitement can be gained from many different activities like sports, vacations, love, etc. b. Excitement and Adventure – some seek out dangerous situations as sources of strong stimulation, these events can be exhilarating because of the rush it gives them c. Uplifts – small positive occurrences and events, mild form of eustress, strength to overcome the negative things of life d. Hyperstress – too much stress, profound physical and psychological effects e. Hypostress – too little stress, an individual who is not sufficiently challenged may suffer from a lack of growth and from boredom B. Stressors are Ubiquitous As we grow and our life changes, the stressors and sources of stress around us also change. Each age has its own tasks and problems to solve as a part of the stressors of life. If prolonged and severe, these stressors can cause much serious psychophysiological damage. III. Sources of Stress A. Change All life involves unavoidable continuous change. If we accept change as a part of our physical existence, and develop means to cope, then change does not have to overwhelmingly stressful. Holmes and Rahe developed a Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) to estimate the amount of stress experienced by persons by using the number of changes in a person’s life in a fixed period. People were asked to estimate how much readjustment they would need if they were hit with a life event. Each event was then given a Life Change Unit (LCU) number for how severe it was. B.
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PSYCH 243 Notes Ch 3 - Stressors, Sources, and Reactions I....

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