Chapter 09

For each term below, first note how you would define the term. Then, click on the arrow to reveal the book’s definition.

Absolute reactivity

The absolute value of heart rate during stress.

Allostasis

The process of an organism’s adaptation to a stressor promoted by the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis.

Allostatic load

The cost of an organism’s coping/adaptation to a stressor promoted by the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis.

Cross-stressor adaptation hypothesis

The hypothesis that a stressor of sufficient intensity and/or duration will induce adaptation of the body’s stress response systems.

Distress

A stressor that is negative.

Eustress

A stressor that is positive.

Habituation

The process whereby the response to a challenge decreases in magnitude as the challenge becomes familiar.

Homeostasis

The ability of an organism to change and stabilize its internal environment in spite of constant changes in the external environment.

Primary appraisal

An initial assessment of a situation’s importance and its potential challenges, threats, and possibilities of harm.

Psychophysiology

A scientific discipline that examines cognitive, emotional, and behavioral events through their manifestation as physiological processes and events.

Relative reactivity

The value of heart rate during stress relative to a baseline value.

Secondary appraisal

A follow-up assessment of a situation’s importance and its potential; the assessment might modify a primary appraisal and might involve considering the availability and viability of options.

Sensitization

Refers to the fact that a novel stressor results in an augmented response.

Stress

The physical and emotional tension felt when a person faces a challenge.

Stress response

The body’s immediate physiological adaptations to an encounter with an acute stressor (e.g., “fight or flight” response).