Chapter 8: Fear, Anxiety, and Stress


Let’s turn to our last construct – stress.  Remember, the learning objectives for stress are:

  • Is stress an emotion? Why or why not?
  • What is the difference between the General Adaptation Syndrome and Lazarus’ View of Stress?
  • Explain the importance of cognitive appraisals in the stress process.

Stress is a process during which our emotional experience changes. Two views of stress exist. Seyle, who developed the General Adaptation Syndrome, view stress as a response to significant changes in life events. Specifically, Seyle believed the same events lead to the same stress for all people, suggesting he held a universal view of stress. Lazarus is a cognitive appraisal theorist. He believed that stress was our interpretation of an event as threatening plus our perceive ability to cope. Both Seyle and Lazarus view stress as a process and not specifically as an emotion.


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