Overview of Acute Stress

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1. My definition of stress would be the following: stress is any stimulus, whether physical, mental, or emotional, that activates a response that mimics the symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, and/or arousal. While this may seem like a very broad and generalized definition, I think that is extremely suiting for stress. Stress comes in different forms and is interpreted uniquely by individuals. For example, there are two students giving a performance in front of a panel of judges for a class assignment. Each student knows the credentials of each judge. Each judge is an expert in their field and extremely respected in the realm of theater. For the assignment, both students must perform a well-known piece of theater in front of the panel for at least 7 minutes. Neither of the students are theater majors, but student A used to be apart of the drama club in high school. Student B however, is more of an introvert and has no experience when it comes to performing. In this example, who do you think would have more stress, student A or student B? I think it goes without saying that student B would be much more tense and anxious about performing than student A. To student A, this task is a walk in the park, something that comes naturally. To student B however, performing in front of this panel is extremely difficult and may induce stress that mimics the symptoms of an anxiety attack (or other acute somatic symptoms). As clearly demonstrated by this example, each student views the stimulus (performing) as threatening, or non-threatening. Another great example is given to us within the article. The author gives us an example about two skiers, both atop a difficult skiing course. One skier has skied before and is quiet good, while...

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Works Cited

Jamieson, J.P., Mendes, W.B., & Nock, M.K. (2012). Improving acute stress responses: The power of reappraisal. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(1), 51-56.
McGonigal, K (2013, June). Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend.html
Seery, Mark (09/01/2013). The biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat: Using the heart to measure the mind. Social and personality psychology compass, 7 (9), 637-650.
Vine, S. J., Freeman, P., Moore, L. J., Chandra-Ramanan, R., & Wilson, M. R. (2013). Evaluating stress as a challenge is associated with superior attentional control and motor skill performance: Testing the predictions of the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 19(3), 185-194.

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