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Stress is a type of psychological feeling of emotional or physical tension. Stress can arise in a person's life from any life event or incident that took place which makes the person feel angry, disturbed, or nervous. Psychologists justify that stress is how the human body and mind react towards a challenge or demand.
Measuring the stress
There are several ways that psychologists use for measuring stress and analyzing its impact on the person. Some of the most effective tools and techniques are discussed below which are used by psychologists for identifying the cause and measuring stress.
The Social Readjustment and Rating scale (SRRS) - Holmes and Rahe (1967)
What it is?
How is it carried out?
Figure 1: Social Readjustment and rating scale
(Source: www.simplypsychology.org, 2010)
It concludes that there is a significant relationship between the life change units and health. Therefore, as the life change units will increase depending on the impact of the life event, the frequency of the illness will also increase.
My results showed that I have 260 life change units which indicate that I have a 50% chance of suffering from stress (www.simplypsychology.org, 2010).
According to Kanner et al. (1981), a hassle scale was developed which contains 117 items that help to analyze the mental and physical disappointments a person faces in their daily life.
Figure 2: Daily Hassle and uplift scale
(Source: www.simplypsychology.org, 2010)
This study aims to investigate the relationship between levels of workplace stress and productivity by analyzing workers from two of the groups.
The workers working in this group are provided with a positive and flexible work environment where they were allowed to work in the maintenance and cleaning departments. The workers belonging to this group are mostly used as the control group by the organization.
In this study, I measured the heart rate of my friends before and after showing them a very disturbing explosion video.
X: 71bpm, Y: 65bpm, Z: 40bpm
X: 88bpm, Y: 89bpm, Z: 64bpm
X: 68bpm, Y: 73bpm, Z: 42bpm
Figure 3: Psychological heart rate measurements
(Source: Created by self)
From the graph, it can be concluded that two of my friends faced a sudden increase in their heart rate due to the disturbing content of the video and I also observed that their heart rates fall after listening to the smooth calming music. I also observed that X and Y had the most impactful session while watching the video and did not like the video at all on the other hand the video did not have a severe impact on Z.
Personality type A and type B
Personality type A
Personality type B
Friedman and Rosenman conducted an empirical group study to test their hypothesis that type A personalities are more prone to heart disease than type B personalities people. They selected a group of 3154 men belonging to the age group of 39-59 years from the past eight and a half years. All the participants were asked with a complete questionnaire and with the help of their responses towards the answers they were included in each of the personality types (Rosenman et al. 1975).
It is observed that women are more likely to get affected because of the stress in comparison to men. Surveys conducted by the researchers indicate that almost 28% of the women face physical and mental illness due to stress whereas 20% of the men are affected due to stress and get affected. The survey provides the idea that almost half of the women surveyed observed that stress has increased in the past 5-6 years. On the other hand, the number of men who observed the increase in the amount of stress level is almost 10% lower than women (www.apa.org, 2012). This shows that women are mostly affected due to stress and this is one of the root causes of their illness. It is observed that in women short-term stress affects their body and they face muscle stiffness and the long-term stress leads to headache, migraine, body aches, and pain. Tension-type pain is very much common in women. It is also observed that the women are much exposed to depression and anxiety because of the stressful environment they tackle daily (Nelson and Burke, 2002). The chances of anxiety disorders are higher 2-5 times higher in females in comparison to males.
Culture and stress
Culture stress is interlinked with each other and difference in the culture in the social or work environment has been one of the most prominent reasons behind the increase in the stress. The cultural difference affects the coping mechanism of the people as there is a lack of social support for the people which results in lowering the belief in themselves (Spradley and Phillips, 1972). This affects their stress coping ability and results in mental and physical illness.
In the UK most people face stressful conditions because of their workplace conditions and social environment. belonging to different cultures means there will be a difference in the language being spoken and this is the reason people often feel isolated in their workplace or social environment. In the UK the social norm which is used in Monogamy whereas in many other countries the social norm is polygamy which indicates the people belonging to different cultures follow different norms which is one of the main reasons a sense of isolation is faced by people belong to small groups of different cultures which increases the stress among the people (Ravalier, 2019). This shows the exact relationship between culture and stress.
Evaluating the use of correlations method
To measure the stress and analyze the effect of the stress on the people it is very essential to use the correlations method as it helps to analyze two or more variables together and get the best idea about what to look about (Fu et al. 2012). For example, an article was published in the LA Times in the year 2010 discussing the fact that if a child born his or her mother resides in almost 1000 ft. of a freeway is more exposed to acquiring autism (www.latimes.com, 2010). This indicates that all the children born in such areas will face such issues in the future due to which various people left the areas and went to stay in a place which is not well within that range. Later, it was disclosed in an interview that for autism residing within 1000 ft of the freeway cannot be the only reason as it can be hereditary or it can happen due to the amount of pollution in the nearby environment of the pregnant mothers or newly born infants
Fu, P., Johnson, S.M., Settgast, R.R. and Carrigan, C.R., 2012. Generalized displacement correlation method for estimating stress intensity factors. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 88, pp.90-107.
Holmes, T.H. and Rahe, R.H., 1967. The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of psychosomatic research.
Johansson, G., Aronsson, G. and Lindstrom, B.O., 1978. Social psychological and neuroendocrine stress reactions in highly mechanised work. Ergonomics, 21(8), pp.583-599.
Kanner, A.D., Coyne, J.C., Schaefer, C. and Lazarus, R.S., 1981. Comparison of two modes of stress measurement: Daily hassles and uplifts versus major life events. Journal of behavioral medicine, 4(1), pp.1-39.
Nelson, D.L. and Burke, R.J., 2002. Gender, work stress, and health (pp. xii-260). American Psychological Association.
Ragland, D.R. and Brand, R.J., 1988. Coronary heart disease mortality in the Western Collaborative Group Study: follow-up experience of 22 years. American Journal of Epidemiology, 127(3), pp.462-475.
Ravalier, J.M., 2019. Psycho-social working conditions and stress in UK social workers. The British Journal of Social Work, 49(2), pp.371-390.
Rosenman, R.H., Brand, R.J., Jenkins, C.D., Friedman, M., Straus, R. and Wurm, M., 1975. Coronary heart disease in the Western Collaborative Group Study: Final follow-up experience of 8 1/2 years. Jama, 233(8), pp.872-877.
Rosenman, R.H., Brand, R.J., Sholtz, R.I. and Friedman, M., 1976. Multivariate prediction of coronary heart disease during 8.5 year follow-up in the Western Collaborative Group Study. The American journal of cardiology, 37(6), pp.903-910.
Spradley, J.P. and Phillips, M., 1972. Culture and Stress: A Quantitative Analysis 1. American Anthropologist, 74(3), pp.518-529.
www.apa.org (2012). Gender and Stress. Available at https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2010/gender-stress#:~:text=Women%20are%20more%20likely%20than%20men%20(28%20percent%20vs.,10%20(39%20percent)%20men. [Accessed on 8th March 2021]
www.latimes.com (2010). Proximity to freeways increases the autism risk, study finds. Available at https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-dec-16-la-he-autism-20101217-story.html [Accessed on 8th March 2021]
www.psychologyhub.co.uk (2021) Sources of Stress - Workplace stress, including the effects of work load and control. Available at https://psychologyhub.co.uk/sources-of-stress-workplace-stress-including-the-effects-of-work-load-and-control/ [Accessed on 8th March 2021]
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