describe how the body responds to stress

4612 WordsApr 30, 201419 Pages
Describe how the body responds to stress (6 marks) Acute stress causes the arousal of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS comprises of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which prepares the individual for ‘fight or flight’ and the parasympathetic branch, which returns the individual to their original state of relaxation. Part of the SNS response is the sympathetic adrenal system (SAM), this system along with the SNS is collectively called the sympathomedullary pathway. The SNS is activated when the neurotransmitter noradrenaline is released and travels to the organs of the body preparing them for rapid action. Common responses to this would be increased heart rate, increased pupil size and metabolic changes such as a release of…show more content…
For example the death of a partner may be devastating for one person but a blessed relief for another and yet both people would be given the same LCU score. Therefore it is not suitable to use a standard method of categorising individual stress levels when everyone is different. There is an issue of reliability in life change research as it is retrospective meaning reports may not be accurate or consistent as they are based on memory which can prove unreliable. Brown (1974) suggests that people who are unwell may feel the need to provide an explanation for their illness, and therefore are more likely to report stressful events than those who are not ill. Indeed Rahe’s research of Naval personnel relied on the participants accurately recording life events prior to their tour of duty but some may have forgotten events, while others may have over-elaborated, which would have ultimately affected their scores. Discuss two explanations of why people conform (4+4 marks) Normative Social Influence – deciding to comply through conformity without adopting that viewpoint. This may be as a result of feeling pressure from a majority and not wanting to be rejected from a group by dissenting as humans strive to develop and maintain social companionship. Therefore dissenting behaviour would risk social rejection and may damage relationships so we avoid it by conforming. Informational Social Influence – Conforming to others due to a genuine

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