Discuss the Role Played by Personality Factors in Stress

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Name: Vicki Wong
Date: 21st February, 2011

Essay Topic: Discuss the role played by personality factors in stress Living in a modern world today, we all experience stress in one form or another. Generally, we regard stressors as unpleasant events in our lives as they may cause negative impacts on both of our physical and mental health. However, stress can also appear to be positive under different circumstances. In fact, a similar level of stress may have different impacts on different people. For instance, some people may feel intensively distressed and exhausted when it comes to examination, while some may think that it is actually something to keep them moving forward. In this essay, I will talk about different personality types and how their responses to stress vary. In the past, psychologists have identified five different behaviours in response to stress. They are Type A, B, C, D and hardy type. Type A people are considered to be aggressive, impatient and ambitious. They are competitive and always feel a sense of urgency to finish what is lying ahead of them. They view challenges as a must to defeat while disregarding their ability. Acute stress is common among Type A people and when their SAM system is frequently activated, the intense production of adrenaline will result in racing heart and breathing rate. Referring to the GAS model, these people may easily put themselves in exhaustion, a stage where the adrenal glands may be damaged from over activity, and hence affect the immune system. If stress exists for too long, over production of cortisol will eventually suppress the production of T-cells. This would easily put a person’s health in a rather weak situation. All these explained why Type A is prone to high blood pressure, which is in turn more exposed to coronary heart disease (CHD). According to the research done by the Western Collaborative Group Study (WCGS), created by Friedman and Rosenman in 1960, they stated that the participants they...
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