GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME – (GAS) –
He studied rats and put them in a stressful situation by giving them daily injections and found that their bodies all responded in the same way when put under stress. They went through 3 stages:
1) ALARM – recognition of stressor. Adrenaline produced as response. 2 pathways activated releasing corticosteroids.
2) RESISTENCE – body is adapting to environment. Resources becoming limited. Body seems to be coping but psychologically things are deteriorating.
3) EXHAUSTION – get stress related illnesses – stomach ulcers; strokes; high BP. Body no longer maintain normal bodily function. Not releasing enough hormones to cope.
• 1ST SYSTEMATIC ATTEMPT based on experimental data to explain bodily responses to stress
• 1ST TO EMPHASIZE IMPORTANCE of 2 pathways in the body to cope with stress
• Problem with working with non-human animal = CANT GENERALISE our findings with humans
• LACKS POPULATION VALIDITY
• Humans can take action to deal with stress (using cognitive thought processes) – rat’s cant!
• IGNORES INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES – people could react differently with stress – women better then men/cultures
• ETHICS – last stage – exhaustion; SELYE believes that people became physically ill because there became a lack of hormones. – HORMONE DEPLETION – releasing too much makes you ill.
• BUT thinking has now changed and its thought that it’s the hormones themselves that are responsible for negative effects of stressful situations.
Therefore it can be concluded that this system is very good in terms of explaining the general adaptation syndrome by seyle and is a very good representation of how our body functions in terms of reacting to stress psychologically.