Chapter 1: Stress
Critical Thinking Questions
- One example is divorce. People may perceive a divorce as a threat if they believe it will result in loneliness, change of lifestyle (due to loss of additional income), or humiliation in the eyes of their family. However, divorce may be perceived as a challenge if they view it as an opportunity to find somebody more compatible, and if they consider the process of finding a new partner a pleasant one, perhaps involving mystery and excitement.
- One example is when somebody’s spouse dies or is unexpectedly diagnosed with a fatal disease. In both cases, the stress experienced by the surviving spouse would be intense, continuous, and—according the general adaptation syndrome—would eventually increase vulnerability to illness or disease (exhaustion stage).
Personal Application Question
Think of a time in which you and others you know (family members, friends, and classmates) experienced an event that some viewed as threatening and others viewed as challenging. What were some of the differences in the reactions of those who experienced the event as threatening compared to those who viewed the event as challenging? Why do you think there were differences in how these individuals judged the same event?