GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Psychology Clinical and Abnormal Psychology-Stress, Conflict, Coping Study Material (Page 5 of 7)

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Stress: Anxiety and Fight or Flight

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Stress is defined as a nonspecific response to perceived environmental threats. These threats are called stressors. Stress depends on environmental as well as behavioral factors. For example, an exam (environmental factor) is likely to be less stressful for a student who has mastered all assignments (behavioral factor) than it is for a student who waits to memorize the night before the examination.

Anxiety

The generalized feeling of fear and apprehension associated with a stressor is called anxiety. Anxiety is typically accompanied by activation of the sympathetic nervous system and increased physiological arousal, which causes rapid breathing, increased heart rate, sweating

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Stress: General Adaptation Syndrome and Steps in Stress Response

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General Adaptation Syndrome

Hans Selye is credited for identifying the body’s reaction to stress with a syndrome he called the general adaptation syndrome. It has three phases, depending on the levels of stress hormones:

General adaptation syndrome

General Adaptation Syndrome

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  • Alarm: The body’s first organized physiological responses (similar to fight-or-flight responses) to threat
  • Resistance: Stress-activated responses c

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