Chapter 9 Psych


The term used to describe the physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to events that are appraised as threatening or challenging


Evens that cause a stress reaction; They can come from within a person or from an external source and range from relatively mild to severe

1) Distress
2) Eustress

List the two kinds of stressors...


The effect of unpleasant and undesirable stressors.


Results from positive events that require the body to adapt or change (ex. marriage, a job promotion, having a baby -- these are all positive events, but they require a great deal of change in people's habits, duties, and even lifestyle, thereby creating


An unpredictable, large-scale event that creates a tremendous need to adapt and adjust, tremendous amounts of stress, as well as overwhelming feelings of threat
Ex. wars, hurricanes, floods, fires, airplane crashes, etc

Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS)

Assessment that measures the amount of stress in a person's life over a one-year period resulting from major life events.
- Holmes and Rahe in 1967
- Added up "life change units," where 0 meant no changes were required, and 100 meant extreme changes were

150 or below

SRRS scores that are not associated with any significant problems


SRRS scores that are considered a "mild life crisis," and are associated with a 33% increase in the risk of that person experiencing an illness or accident in the near future (when compared to persons not experiencing any crisis)


SRRS scores that are labeled "moderate life crisis," and are associated with a 50% increase in risk

300 or above

SRRS scores that are considered a "major life crisis," and represent an 80% increase in risk

- high blood pressure
- ulcers
- migraine headaches
- mental illness
- depression

List the illnesses that stress may cause according to the textbook and in relation with the SRRS testing

College Undergraduate Stress Scale (CUSS)

Assessment that measures the amount of stress in a college student's life over a one-year period resulting from major life events
- highest events: being raped/finding out you are HIV positive = 100
- lowest rating = 40, associated with falling asleep in


The daily annoyances of everyday life; The bulk of the stress we experience daily comes from little frustrations, delays, irritations, minor disagreements, and similar annoyances.


The psychological experience produced by urgent demands or expectations for a person's behavior that come from an outside source.
Ex. meeting a deadline or final exams


The psychological experience produced by the blocking of a desired goal or fulfillment of a perceived need

External Frustration

Losses, rejections, failures, and delays are all sources of what kind of frustration?

Internal (Personal) Frustration

Occurs when the goal or need cannot be attained because of internal or personal characteristics
Ex. a 5ft tall man wants to be a basketball player but cannot because of his physical characteristics


Actions meant to harm or destroy; Typical reaction to frustration

Displaced Agression

Taking out one's frustrations on some less threatening or more available target; Form of displacement


Psychological defense mechanism in which emotional reactions and behavioral responses are shifted to targets that are more available or less threatening than the original target


Habitual targets of displaced aggression; Pets, children, spouses, and even minority groups (who are seen as having less power)

Escape or Withdrawal

Leaving the presence of a stressor, either literally or by a psychological withdrawal into a fantasy, drug abuse, or apathy; Another possible reaction to frustration
- Ex. leaving, dropping out of school, quitting a job, ending a relationship, ceasing to


The psychological distress occurring when a person has to choose between different and incompatible or opposing goals

Approach-Approach Conflict

Conflict occurring when a person must choose between two desirable goals
Ex. chocolate cake or key lime pie

Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict

Conflict occurring when a person must choose between two undesirable goals; much more stressful than approach-approach conflict.
- "caught between a rock and a hard place"
- many people avoid making a choice by delaying decisions

Approach-Avoidance Conflict

Conflict occurring when a person must choose or not choose a goal that has both positive and negative aspects.
- Only involves one goal or event that is both appealing and unappealing at the same time
- Most stressful of all the types of conflict, and man

General Adaption Syndrome (GAS)

The three stages of the body's physiological reaction to stress, including alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.


1st stage of GAS - when the body first reacts to a stressor, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. The adrenal glands release hormones that increase heart rate, blood pressure, and the supply of blood sugar, resulting in a burst of energy. Reaction


2nd stage of GAS - As the stress continues, the body settles into a sympathetic division activity, continuing to release the stress hormones that help the body fight off, or resist, the stressor. This stage will continue until the stressor ends or the org


One of the hormones released under stress that affects the brain's processing of pain, so that a person under stress may experience a kind of insensitivity to pain.


3rd stage of GAS - when the body's resources are gone, this occurs. This can lead to the formation of stress-related diseases (high blood pressure, weakened immune system), or death of the organism is outside help is unavailable. When the stressor ends, t

Immune System

The system of cells, organs, and chemicals of the body that responds to attacks from diseases, infections, and injuries

Vagus Nerve

The longest nerve that connects the body to the brain; Where chemicals that are released through the immune system activate receptor cites, which signals the brain that the body is sick

Type 2 Diabetes

Disease associated with excessive weight gain and occurs when pancreas insulin levels become less efficient as the body size increases. It is typically associated with older adults.

Natural Killer Cell

Immune system cell responsible for suppressing viruses and destroying tumor cells; Stress has been shown to depress the release of these cells, making it more difficult for the body's systems to fight cancerous growths

Health Psychology

Area of psychology focusing on how physical activities, psychological traits, and social relationships affect overall health and rate of illnesses

Primary Appraisal

The first step in assessing stress, which involves estimating the severity of a stressor and classifying it as either a threat or a challenge.
1st step in Lazarus' Cognitive Appraisal Approach


Something that could be harmful in the future


Something to be met and defeated

Secondary Appraisal

The second step in assessing a threat, which involves estimating the resources available to the person for coping with the stressor
2nd step in Lazarus' Cognitive Appraisal Approach

Hardy Personality

A person who seems to thrive on stress, but lacks the anger and hostility of the Type A personality
- commitment to their values, work, family, etc
- feel that they are in control of their lives
- they interpret events in the primary appraisal different t


The process of adapting to a new or different culture, often the dominant culture

Acculturative Stress

Stress resulting from the need to change and adapt a person;s ways to the majority culture


Maintaining one's original cultural identity while still forming positive relationships with dominant culture members
Ex. Observing cultural traditions in the home, but interact with members of the dominant culture according to local customs, dress, and e


The minority person gives up the old cultural identity and completely adopts the ways of the majority culture
- moderal levels of stress


The minority person rejects the majority culture's ways and tries to maintain the original cultural identity
- high degree of stress, and it is even higher if the separation is forced rather than voluntary


Neither maintain contact with the original culture nor join the majority culture
- highest degree of acculturative stress because they are without a social support system