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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Differentiate between stimulus-based and response-based definitions of stress
  • Define stress as a process
  • Differentiate between good stress and bad stress
  • Describe the early contributions of Walter Cannon and Hans Selye to the stress research field
  • Understand the physiological basis of stress and describe the general adaptation syndrome

The term stress    as it relates to the human condition first emerged in scientific literature in the 1930s, but it did not enter the popular vernacular until the 1970s (Lyon, 2012). Today, we often use the term loosely in describing a variety of unpleasant feeling states; for example, we often say we are stressed out when we feel frustrated, angry, conflicted, overwhelmed, or fatigued. Despite the widespread use of the term, stress is a fairly vague concept that is difficult to define with precision.

Researchers have had a difficult time agreeing on an acceptable definition of stress. Some have conceptualized stress as a demanding or threatening event or situation (e.g., a high-stress job, overcrowding, and long commutes to work). Such conceptualizations are known as stimulus-based definitions because they characterize stress as a stimulus that causes certain reactions. Stimulus-based definitions of stress are problematic, however, because they fail to recognize that people differ in how they view and react to challenging life events and situations. For example, a conscientious student who has studied diligently all semester would likely experience less stress during final exams week than would a less responsible, unprepared student.

Others have conceptualized stress in ways that emphasize the physiological responses that occur when faced with demanding or threatening situations (e.g., increased arousal). These conceptualizations are referred to as response-based definitions because they describe stress as a response to environmental conditions. For example, the endocrinologist Hans Selye , a famous stress researcher, once defined stress as the “response of the body to any demand, whether it is caused by, or results in, pleasant or unpleasant conditions” (Selye, 1976, p. 74). Selye’s definition of stress is response-based in that it conceptualizes stress chiefly in terms of the body’s physiological reaction to any demand that is placed on it. Neither stimulus-based nor response-based definitions provide a complete definition of stress. Many of the physiological reactions that occur when faced with demanding situations (e.g., accelerated heart rate) can also occur in response to things that most people would not consider to be genuinely stressful, such as receiving unanticipated good news: an unexpected promotion or raise.

A useful way to conceptualize stress    is to view it as a process whereby an individual perceives and responds to events that he appraises as overwhelming or threatening to his well-being (Lazarus&Folkman, 1984). A critical element of this definition is that it emphasizes the importance of how we appraise—that is, judge—demanding or threatening events (often referred to as stressors    ); these appraisals, in turn, influence our reactions to such events. Two kinds of appraisals of a stressor are especially important in this regard: primary and secondary appraisals. A primary appraisal    involves judgment about the degree of potential harm or threat to well-being that a stressor might entail. A stressor would likely be appraised as a threat if one anticipates that it could lead to some kind of harm, loss, or other negative consequence; conversely, a stressor would likely be appraised as a challenge if one believes that it carries the potential for gain or personal growth. For example, an employee who is promoted to a leadership position would likely perceive the promotion as a much greater threat if she believed the promotion would lead to excessive work demands than if she viewed it as an opportunity to gain new skills and grow professionally. Similarly, a college student on the cusp of graduation may face the change as a threat or a challenge ( [link] ).

Questions & Answers

differences between general anxiety disorder and phobia
evans Reply
refer to D.S.M.
Rick
huge differences I would say between phobias vs a disorder
Rick
coming from someone who suffers from PTSD. i would say anxiety is different then phobias. although my phobia is snakes with causes a huge panic attack.
Betty
hi im.from Colombia i install this program but i dont underdtand this... is kind of a chat?
Gabriela
i just wanna learn psychology in english coz im psychologist already but is very interesting ... i just seee all this time this conversations and i dont understand
Gabriela
u can find people who know both Spanish n English
Anmol
phobia is a type of anxiety. It's an irrational, unreasonable fear of an object or situation. Common phobias may be fear of the heights, dark, fear of certain animals such as snakes or spiders, or fear of blood -- some people get frightened of having their blood drawn when they go to see their docto
Betty
Anmol Joy, thank you so much, and Betty thanks for your post.. blesses bye
Gabriela
np
Betty
Hello what causes over thinking pls ?
Binta
Anxiety and overthinking tend to be evil partners. One of the horrible hallmarks of any type of anxiety disorder is the tendency to overthink everything. The anxious brain is hypervigilant, always on the lookout for anything it perceives to be dangerous or worrisome. ... Because anxiety causes me to
Betty
how can web help someone who fears spiders?
evans Reply
ummm..(?) place a decoy spider on it and expose ur self.. until you can endure the sight of real spider.
Princeed
How does selection relate to population divergence
Dixille Reply
Is this the only app edition? If so does it contain recent studies such as from 2015?
MsGTG Reply
I am going to look for it right now.
Melissa
lookbit up at google play store just time in i mind or whatever the series would be considerd.
Melissa
did you find anything out?
Zed
i have a question for you dear humans. What is the purpose of your life ?
Akando
Akando Evans are u not human
hari
or u dont know
hari
You're absolutely right.
Akando
I'm sorry but I am more than human. My life's purpose is to teach and lightworker
Rebecca
Only app edition of the one we are currently on if I'm not mistaken
Rebecca
Rebecca ? If you assume to be more than human, then i simply ask you. What is it like being just human ?
Akando
we are multi dementional beings having human experiences
Rebecca
ooooooo my life purpose is to learn and gain knowlege and gain something too
hari
multidimensional ? Interesting. Do elaborate and exemplify please.
Akando
can i ask u one thing Rebecca Lopez
hari
Rebecca ? If you assume to be more than human, then i simply ask you. What is it like being human ?
Akando
Humans do have lot of responsibilities and some productive work to do Alien Akando... They can't spend whole time for some useless explanations..
sunny
Take a minute, and observe the ironical paradox in your message. I will wait.
Akando
do any one believe that humans are stronger and powerfull than any creature in the all dimensions i do . do any one believe?
hari
Yes I do believe humans possess immeasurable power within, I'm Len Allen
Len
is this edition good for graduate study?
MsGTG
nice tomeet u len allen do u believe humans have some natural powrrs
hari
i want yo know is it posdiable ot not
hari
possible
hari
I believe we all possess natural powers that are in fact supernatural supported by theory that infanete power can be dirived from the unknown
Captain
does telekinesis possible to learn or not
hari
telekinesis is possible to learn with a clear mind and being zen with the planet orbital sun and the third eye
Captain
what is meant by being zen with the planet orbital sun and the third eye
hari
in reality you must focus on the object for 10 mins and try to focus how you want to shape it and bend it with your mind
Captain
and tai chi hpnoticesv tele kinesis is these are possible to human being and controlling others mind is posdible if possible.' what things should we get mastry before learning these please say
hari
where are you from?
Captain
y u asked that
hari
india
hari
because the knowledge is out there if you seek it, it is there
Captain
I only ask because India is a country that knows alot of the mysteries you seek
Captain
reallly what u said i did not understand once say again please i want to know about it
hari
where arr u from
hari
please help me in getting knowledge
hari
share ur knowledge
hari
I'm in the United States
Captain
ok what r the bacis we need to learn before to learn telekiness etc
hari
ok please share knowledge captain nemo
hari
Guys, can anyone please suggest books to read statistics and research methodology for psychology? These are tricky topics for me so kindly share books which are easy to understand, thanks!
Himshikha
hi sharma did u get any philosophy book
hari
Nope!
Himshikha
are u a ug student ?
vishav
Yes!
Himshikha
I need it for preparation of entrance of MA Applied Psychology
Himshikha
oooo nice group all the best if u got please share me
hari
ohh! I thought u need it for ug exams ..still i'll ask my professor for the book.
vishav
Thanks so much! Are you an undergraduate student?
Himshikha
sss how u know
hari
I was asking Vishav. Are you too?
Himshikha
sss
hari
i m also looking for admission in MA PSYCHOLOGY but in our state there is no subjective test for enterance..there is common aptitude test
vishav
Oh I see, you could share the books you read in your UG
Himshikha
yeah ! himshikha just completed my last semester
vishav
Oh great! What did you refer to for stats?
Himshikha
honesty ! I studied from YouTube
vishav
That's even better! Could you share the channel?
Himshikha
I just need to clear my concepts
Himshikha
would you tell your topics
vishav
All the basic statistical methods used in Psychology
Himshikha
I'm too afraid of things and I over think about them too much ,which lags me behind and suppresses my confidence level how to overcome this
Rajesh Reply
face your fears
Binta
I started giving time for myself and learning not to give a Crap
Dana
You should live the moment and just do it pretty much. Your fears will just hold u back
Dana
does meditating helps me
Rajesh
be confident with yourself. you are beautiful and perfect.
janneth
yes. at least, take some quiet time and enjoy yourself. believe that you can do anything.
janneth
Meditating can help too :)
Dana
3,9,6 Tesla
Keith
find the origin of problem...why you get scared..
Muhammad
confidence level just doesn't increase on its own. first you have to accomplish something, anything big or small doesn't matter. after that your confidence increases, then try doing things that gives you fear, not everything together, in small parts.
Akarui
it may take time but this confidence is alot more true than the confidence some people fake to hide their insecurity.
Akarui
people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, sure it's an old proverb
Keith
remember the great fllood
Keith
?
Keith
truth will set you free, don't quote me ... somebody else far wiser knew the power of voice & voices
Keith
check out Niney the observer ... Mix up song
Keith
is there anyone addicted to mast.?
Su Reply
Do anyone have solution to get rid of it?
Su
Mast?
Dana
anyone watched Dr Jordan Peterson lectures?
Keith Reply
no, what are they about
Himshikha
there's many , search a short clip of his interview on channel 4 uk
Keith
okay
Himshikha
jordan Peterson is fab! I'm in the middle of putting together a comparative models presentation and we chose the subject of fairy tales to demonstrate this .. in particular carl jungs analytical theory and petersons lectures have been invaluable ... Peterson is well worth watching! .. love him!!
Kimmie
Hello, this is the first time I join this, please give me some advice for this. Thank yiu very much!
O.P.S.S Reply
throw it out there
Keith
music expression of truth tales
Keith
***youtu.be/uYpgsPB-Bkw
Keith
I'm new and I have no idea how these chats work 😂
Dana
start with the being or beginning? no pressure ... I've not clue either
Keith
I still haven't used this app yet to be honest
Dana
😉
Vanessa
haha
Keith
ok are people waking up?
Keith
same here but am still learning
sekele
overcoming anxiety, is it possible?
Dawn Reply
Definitely!
Shuaijun
quelling your caring to social issues
Keith
emotional intelligence
Keith
think it's David Coleman book
Keith
social change without going to far left & equally too far right
Keith
anxiety is a feeling causse to us it problem to co trol it but if u controled u r mind u can do it
hari
increasing your levels of confidence by different means like trying out small tasks n completing it nicely....making friends and joining social gatherings can reduce ua anxiety level
Anmol
please translate in Hindi
Kanchan Reply
what you need to translate in hindi
Ravi
😂
Anmol
what this all about
Fahad
idk. i don't need 2 translate anything.
Vanessa
can someone tell me what is extremes of intelligence
Pralay
why?.. you don't know the answer it what 😂
Pralay
hormones and vitamin levels can affect our thoughts and behavior though. Right?
Kenan Reply
yes
Himshikha
everything we ate affects us.
Whatever
If thoughts as we perceive them are neither matter or energy, what are they?
Dale Reply
neural connections
Himshikha
they all are absolutely a form of energy
virus
such a nice question!!
Anmol
maybe it's an undiscovered form of matter and energy called mattergy......I'm not sure though.
Eric
bro thought as I believe it is .....is nothing but nerve impulses and a very complicated one too
mubii
is it not energy? for example worries can make one tired?
Krish
thoughts I agree that they are neural impulses with energy, an energy that connects u to human feelings, emotions, an energy that has a power to emphasize ultimately the one which forms a network from one thought to other. which results in attachment or clashes between individual....
Anmol
wen u see a person and like him at once , can u guarantee that there isn't the power of thoughts uniting u? don't u think there is some connections of thoughts getting formed at the very moment.. I have these doubts of thoughts with energy
Anmol
but energy have two kinds one is positive other is negative
virus
Do you use energy in the context of an analogy? Because energy is not what you seem to get at here. It is body language, mindset and empathy that you seem to describe.
aemilius
Aemilius then what is energy? Isn't all matter energy? If the whole universe which I am a part of, is energy, and my perceived thoughts are part of me then what are they? it took us a really long time to be able to measure the cosmos, for a much longer time we couldn't.
Dale
I'm ok with stepping outside the boundaries of empiricism, which forces us to ignore the very subject of this conversation, and say subjective thoughts must have some substance we haven't been able to isolate and measure yet.
Dale
Energy is a force that moves something. It can't be destroyed or created.
aemilius
It's a bunch of connections from the things we saw, we heard, we tasted.... Your brain mix it up like a bowl of soup.
Whatever
wow, glad I have been able to understand
ruth
how can I teach a dog to dance with a particular tone
Ali Reply
dance with him daily
Aayush
sit with him normally nd put the song on and and start with that song.. and change the song again and sit normally.. and after 5 more mins do the same 5 time a day u wll see it urself after 15 day..
mahliqa
Teach him steps and give his favorite food pieces after every step done by him.
Cholistan
heya Can someone suggest me in my stuff to find out the courses and colleges of psychology?
Lata
It depends upon from where, you would like to do ( the place ) . In genral every university offers courses in Psychology , you may Google and search some colleges in your localities .
Ravi
give him treats for success
Dani
How can someone overcome the fear of not been able to speak in public?
kabiru Reply
Can an introvert become extrovert
kabiru
not completely....infact no individual is completely an introvert or extrovert....there is term ambivert by Jung...which means there is both level of extroversion and introversion in an in individual....u can increase ua level of extroversion by various ways
Anmol
social anxiety can be reduced by 1st forming small group of friends and then increasing ua group members participanting in functions, parties, trying to give some stage performances can help u.
Anmol
What are the ways
kabiru
use a personal "stress ball" I have a smooth rock I hold in my hand and rub with my thumb, it word for me. everyone is different and it will take a few tries to figure out what works for you.
Dawn
Plx what are the concept of motivations
Iliyas Reply
There are three major components to motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior, such as enrolling in a psychology class
Michael
thanks Michael
Iliyas

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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