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Psychology of Stress Assignment

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What is Stress?

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?

  • Holmes and Rahe developed a 43 questions questionnaire which is termed the social readjustment and rating scale (SRRS) which is used for identifying the major stressful life events (Holmes and Rahe, 1967).
  • Major stressful life events affect the mental and physical health of a person.
  • The bigger the event the more will be the impact of the stress on the person.

How is it carried out?

  • They looked upon 2500 sailors and provided them with the SRRS to assess how many stressful life events they had experienced in the previous 6 months of the tour of duty (Holmes and Rahe, 1967).
  • They rounded up almost 250 sailors out of them and asked them to score the life events depending on the amount of adjustment they had to make because of the events (simplypsychology.org, 2010).

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 of the questionnaire

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).


  • I have observed that this scale is very low on a scientific base as the life change units depend on the psychic energy that a person has and how traumatic the life event was. This indicates that the SRRS has different point awarding criteria for every other person which makes it more complex.
  • This only provides the idea about the life events and the illness and avoids one of the most important factors which is "cause". The change is the only thing that can provide the exact idea about the cause of stress which is ignored in this scale of measuring the stress.

Hassle and Uplifts Scale (HSUP) - Kanner (1981)

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.


  • The HSUP includes 117 items in the Hassle scale and a 135 uplifts scale to analyze the relationship between the hassle and health of a person (Kanner et al. 1981).
  • The events are rated depending on their severity for the hassles and frequency for the uplifts.


  • Each participant was asked to circle the events they had experienced in the previous month and rate each of the events according to the severity of the hassles and frequency for the uplifts.
  • Each participant was tested once a month for 10 consecutive months (simplypsychology.org, 2010).


  • It is observed that there is a positive correlation between the daily hassles and uplifts related to health and illness.
  • It is also observed that the higher the reading on the scale the higher will be the chance of the person to face mental or health illness. It indicates that daily hassles are the things that can give stress daily and will increase the chances of being ill.


  • This scale contains a questionnaire that has 252 questions in it and for an effective analysis of the stress the people are needed to answer all of the questions and this can make people lose their interest in the middle of the assessment (simplypsychology.org, 2010).
  • The correlations provide an effective platform for future research or analysis prospects.

Figure 2: Daily Hassle and uplift scale

(Source: www.simplypsychology.org, 2010)

Occupational stress (Swedish Sawmill Workers, 1978)


This study aims to investigate the relationship between levels of workplace stress and productivity by analyzing workers from two of the groups.

Group A

  • Working on the line, managing and handling the pieces of machinery, and starting from the initiation to the finishing of the products (Johansson et al. 1978).
  • The working hours and the rate of working of the workers will impact the amount of money the whole group will earn.
  • Machinery work is very complicated and needs an adequate amount of technical and managing knowledge for accurately performing them.
  • The huge amount of physical strain on the body of the workers can lead to physical illness and sometimes mental illness as well (simplypsychology.org, 2010).

Group B

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.


  • The workers of group A are always indulged in physical efforts which indicates that their adrenaline rush is very high during the first half of the working hours and it drops down in the second half (Johansson et al. 1978).
  • The workers of group B are subjected to perform both physical and maintenance tasks due to which their adrenaline rush rises after the first shift of working hours. Their adrenaline drops but not at a higher rate and most of the time maintains good consistency with their adrenaline.
  • Group B workers are more sensible and have good senses of well-being on the other hand the workers belonging to group A are observed facing absences and psychosomatic illness (psychologyhub.co.uk, 2021).


  • It concludes that the stress level is higher for the workers of group A in comparison to the workers of group B because of the huge number of technical responsibilities on them, the high number of issues with the wage-setting and isolated workplace environment.
  • It is recommended that the workers of group A must be provided with the required amount of support in their workplace rosters for maintaining a good rotation policy for the workers, provide them with a good social environment, and a fixed rate for their working hours (psychologyhub.co.uk, 2021).
  • It concludes that implementing these strategies for the workers of group A has been able to enhance job satisfaction and increase productivity as well.

Measuring psychological Heart rate


In this study, I measured the heart rate of my friends before and after showing them a very disturbing explosion video.

Participants X, Y, and Z

  • Took a reading of the heart rates of the participants
  • Each of the participants watches the 2-minute long video of the Beirut explosion which is considered as one of the most public videos available on the internet. I suddenly spoke few random words in their ears for observing their consciousness.
  • After the video, I took the heart rate reading again.
  • I used the "Radha-Krishna" flute tune and asked them to listen to them and breathe deeply which will help their mind to calm down.
  • At last, another reading was taken.


  • Before watching the video:

X: 71bpm, Y: 65bpm, Z: 40bpm

  • After watching the video:

X: 88bpm, Y: 89bpm, Z: 64bpm

  • After listening to the calming music:

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

  • People belonging to this personality type are very extroverted, competitive, hostile, and time-urgent.
  • These people are highly prone to heart diseases.
  • People belonging to this personality type majorly face blood pressure issues (Rosenman et al. 1976).

Personality type B

  • People belonging to this personality type are relaxed, introverted, easy-going.
  • These people have fewer chances to acquire heart diseases.
  • The people belonging to this personality type are less prone to blood pressure issues (Rosenman et al. 1975).

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 was observed that people belonging to the personality A type are more than twice the number of people belonging to the type B personality which indicates that most of the people among the participants are prone to heart diseases.
  • Almost 70% of the people were observed belonging to type A personality (Ragland and Brand, 1988).


  • Type A people are more exposed to an environment where they can indulge in a fight with others, they are highly aggressive.
  • The people belonging to the type A personality are at high risk of acquiring the stress hormones which indicates that they will face stress-related issues more often than others. These stress-related illnesses are the root cause of heart diseases.


  • In this study, only men were analyzed therefore it does not provide any suitable evidence related to the behaviors or personality types for the women.
  • It is also observed that they only used two parameters which are considered to be very small as there are also people who possess characteristics of both personality types.
  • Some researchers also observed that the death rate of the people belonging to type A is lower than the people belonging to the type B personality.

Gender and stress

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 Mechanics88, 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. Ergonomics21(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 medicine4(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 Epidemiology127(3), pp.462-475.

Ravalier, J.M., 2019. Psycho-social working conditions and stress in UK social workers. The British Journal of Social Work49(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. Jama233(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 cardiology37(6), pp.903-910.

www.simplypsychology.org (2010). Stress and Life events. Available at https://www.simplypsychology.org/SRRS.html. [Accessed on 8th March 2021]

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