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PSY367

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Transcript of PSY367

Work Stress Seminar 1:
What is Stress? Theoretical Models

PSY367
Define stress.
Stress is a total experience comprising of
(1) stressors,
(2) psychological appraisal,
(3) short-term stress outcomes,
(4) long-term stress outcomes, &
(5) stress moderators.
Different components of the total stress experience link to each other in the general stress model.
(Source: uniSIM Study Notes – Work Stress)

Describe the flaws of stimulus and response definitions of stress.
Human body can have a biological reaction that is very similar to the stress response even when there is no stressor present,
e.g., the intravenous administration of adrenaline can also increase the heart rate.
If we focus only on the stress response, these definitions fail to explain that different types of stressors cause different biological responses
For example,
whilst uncertainty causes adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol in the body,
anger and fear cause increases in only noradrenaline and cortisol (Mason, 1975).

Human body reacts to all types of stressors in the same way
i.e., the same chain of biological reactions will take place that will prepare the body adaptively to deal with stressors.

Prepares body to deal with potential injury and blood loss.

Summarised as the “flight or fight response,”
Was good for helping our ancestors escape from predators
But is not helpful in the context of modern day stressors
Over time, narrow the arteries and increase the risk of arterial blockage.

The flight or fight response is also not helpful in the modern day context
leads to withdrawal behaviours
absenteeism from work (flight response)
workplace incivility (fight response).

Discuss the importance of studying stress in organisations.
It is important to study work stress because it affects
job performance, &
worker health.
Cite research studies that show reduction of stress leads to improved productivity & performance…
(homework)
Explain the differences between stimulus definitions of stress, response definitions of stress, and stimulus-response definitions of stress.
 
S-R
Response
Stimulus
Stressor-focused
(environment)
Human Reaction focused
(person)
Combining S & R
(person-environment
interaction)
Provide examples of each :
Describe the flaws of stimulus and response definitions of stress.
Human body can have a biological reaction that is very similar to the stress response even when there is no stressor present,
e.g., the intravenous administration of adrenaline can also increase the heart rate.

If we focus only on the stress response, these definitions fail to explain that different types of stressors cause different biological responses
For example,
whilst uncertainty causes adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol in the body,
anger and fear cause increases in only noradrenaline and cortisol (Mason, 1975).
Describe the
seven
models of stress
Lazarus’ Cognitive-Transactional Model
Hobfoll’s Conservation of Resources Theory
Janis’ Conflict-Theory Model
Karasek’s Job Demands – Job Decision Latitude Model (also called Demands-Control Model)
Person-Environment Fit Model
Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
The physiology of the stress response:
The GAS model:
(Source: http://www.stress-management-for-peak-performance.com/general-adaptation-syndrome.html)
Human body reacts to all types of stressors in the same way
i.e., the same chain of biological reactions will take place that will prepare the body adaptively to deal with stressors.
Prepares body to deal with potential injury and blood loss.
Summarised as the
“flight or fight response,”
Was good for helping our ancestors escape from predators
But is not helpful in the context of modern day stressors
Over time, narrow the arteries and increase the risk of arterial blockage
The flight or fight response is also not helpful in the modern day context leads to withdrawal behaviours
absenteeism from work (flight response)
Workplace incivility (fight response).

(Source: http://revisionforpsy4.wikispaces.com/Psychological+Responses+to+Stress+%26+
Lazarus+and+Folman%27s+Transactional+Model)

Stress response occurs, person must perceive an imbalance between the demands of the situation and his/her own capability to deal with them.
The cognitive-transactional model:
Focuses on the cognitive appraisal of the situation
Focuses on the transaction between the demands of the situation and the person’s capability to cope with the demands.
“Conflict” = decisional conflict
conflicting choices represented by different decisions
Conflict-theory model:
Stress is a frequent cause of faulty decisions in life
Because people fail to consider all the information about the stressor.
Major findings: People can cope with stress better
If they were given realistic warnings and preparation about the stressor beforehand.
Helps stimulate the mental rehearsal of the potential threat and its implications.
(Source: http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english?content&nd=857170419)
(Source: http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english?content&nd=857170419)
French, Caplan, & Harrison, 1982:
Two types of lack of fit between the individual and the environment lead to psychological strains
e.g., job dissatisfaction, depression and boredom
1. Supplies-need fit:
Fit between
(1) the individual’s
needs and values
; and
(2) the
opportunities
existing within the environment
to meet those needs and support those values.

Job Demands
(i.e., psychological stressors of job, e.g., heavy workload)

X

Job Decision Latitude
(i.e., degree of control one has over the job)

=

Psychological strains
(e.g., exhaustion and dissatisfaction)

Conditions:
When demands are high and job control is low, then it is a
high strain job
.

When demands are high and job control is high, then it is an
active job
.
When demands are low and job control is low, then it is a
passive job
.

When demands are low and job control is high, then it is a
low strain job
.


The Job Decision Latitude Model
However, research findings do not support
The interactive effects of job demands and job decision latitude on psychological strains.
Instead, research seems to indicate that
both
job demands and job decision latitude independently explain psychological strain (Fletcher & Jones, 1993).
Research has found that
only when
social support
is low,
do high demands and low job control interact to cause psychological strain.
When an individual has low
self-efficacy
(i.e., low self-confidence),
high demands and high job control actually causes psychological strain (Schaubroeck, Jones, & Xie, 2001).
Such people prefer not to be in control.

Everyone seeks to
1. conserve the quantity and quality of their resources, &
2. limit any circumstance that might endanger the quantity or quality of these resources.
Stress is experienced when there is
1. threat of resource loss;
2. failure to obtain more resources; or
3. actual resource loss.

COR theory puts resources into four categories.
1.
Objects
are material possessions
e.g., money, food and housing
2.
Personal characteristics
describes about a person
e.g., self-esteem, level of education, quantity of experience and career orientation
3.
Conditions
refer to desirable states
e.g., happily married, comfortably retired and workplace seniority
4.
Energies

are resources such as time, money, knowledge and energy
that are important in the acquisition of other kinds of resources.
COR theory also states the following (Hobfoll, 2001):
That people are more worried about resource loss than resource gain.
That people must invest resources to protect against resource loss, recover from losses, or gain more resources.
That people who lack resources are more vulnerable to further resource loss.
That people who possess resources are more able to gain more resources.
That people who lack resources are likely to adopt a defensive posture to conserve resources.


Challenge-Hindrance Stressors Model

Newest model of stress

Key point:
Challenge stressors have a positive impact on performance
Hindrance stressors have a negative impact on performance.

Challenge stressors
= those perceived as surmountable, and may stimulate hope for personal growth or gain.
e.g., high workload, time pressures and heavy responsibility.
Coping well with these stressors may lead to organisational rewards (e.g., higher bonuses, valuable learning and promotions)
Hindrance stressors
= those perceived as insurmountable, and may not stimulate any
e.g., organisational politics, role ambiguity and red tape.

Research findings show that
challenge stressors do indeed have a positive impact on performance;
hindrance stressors do indeed have a negative impact on performance
Read & summarize:
Lepine, Lepine, & Jackson, 2004;
Lepine, Podsakoff, & Lepine, 2005


Wallace, Edwards, Arnold, and Frazier (2009) reported that challenge stressors’ positive impact on performance was even stronger when
organisational support
was high.

Reading:
Wallace, J. C., Edwards, B. D., Arnold, T., & Frazier, M. L. (2009). Work stressors, role-based performance, and the moderating influence of organisational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 254-262.
As a test of the 2-dimensional model of work stressors, the present study proposed differential relationships between challenge stressors and hindrance stressors and role-based performance, which were expected to be moderated by organizational support.

In a sample of 215 employees across 61 offices of a state agency, the authors obtained
a
positive relationship
between challenge stressors and role-based performance and
a
negative relationship
between hindrance stressors and role-based performance.

In addition, organizational support moderated the relationship between challenge stressors and role-based performance
but did not moderate the relationship between hindrance stressors and role-based performance.

This suggests that organizations would benefit from increasing challenges in the workplace as long as they are
supportive of employees, and
removing hindrances.
Further implications for organizational theory and practice are discussed.
What are the 5 components of stress?
From
Figure 1.2.2
Resources from the COR-Evaluation Inventory, identify as many resources that you feel are important to you. Rank your top 10. Discuss.

Stress only occurs when the cognitive appraisal of the situation concludes that the individual’s capability is insufficient to cope with the demands of the situation.
There are three types of cognitive appraisal:
1. primary appraisal
(i.e., the initial judgment of the situation);
2. secondary appraisal
(i.e., the process of deciding how to deal with the stressor): and,
3. reappraisal
(i.e., the reevaluation of the situation after the primary and secondary appraisals have occurred).
Conflict-theory model
conceptualises stress as a response to danger
based on research during World War II.
Applicable to all highly traumatic life situations such as divorce, earthquakes and job loss.
This mental rehearsal of the potential threat and its implications will help people better answer four sequential questions. These four questions will in turn help them make good or bad decisions when coping with the stressor.
1. Are the risks serious if I don’t change?
2. Are the risks of change itself serious?
3. Is it realistic to hope to find a better solution?
4. Is there sufficient time to search and think through solutions?
Answering “no” to all four questions results in maladaptive decision-making.
Answering “yes” to all four questions results in effective coping if the danger materialises.

2. Demands-abilities fit.

Fit between
(1) the
demands

of the environment; and
(2) the

abilities
of the person to meet those demands.

Fit may be measured in two ways.
Objective fit = measured independently from person’s perceptions, e.g., supervisor appraisals or skills tests.
Subjective fit = measured by assessing person’s own perceptions of fit.
Full transcript