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Describe the Gas Model and Illustrate the Relevance of this Model with the Help of an Example. - Psychology

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Answer in Brief

Describe the GAS model and illustrate the relevance of this model with the help of an example.

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Selye studied the body when stress is prolonged by subjecting animals to a variety of stressors such as high temperature, X-rays and insulin injections, in the laboratory over a long period of time. He also observed patients with various injuries and illnesses in hospitals. Selye noticed a similar pattern of bodily response in all of them. He called this pattern the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). According to him, GAS involves three stages: alarm reaction, resistance, and exhaustion.

1. Alarm reaction stage :- The presence of a noxious stimulus or stressor leads to activation of the adrenal-pituitary-cortex system. This triggers the release of hormones producing the stress response. Now the individual is ready for fight or flight.

2. Resistance stage :- If stress is prolonged, the resistance stage begins. The para-sympathetic nervous system calls for more cautious use of the body’s resources. The organism makes efforts to cope with the threat, as through confrontation.

3. Exhaustion stage :- Continued exposure to the same stressor or additional stressors drains the body of its resources and leads to the third stage of exhaustion. The physiological systems involved in alarm reaction and resistance become ineffective and susceptibility to stress-related diseases such as high blood pressure becomes more likely.

Selye’s model has been criticised for assigning a very limited role to psychological factors in stress. Researchers have reported that the psychological appraisal of events is important for the determination of stress. How people respond to stress is substantially influenced  by  their perceptions, personalities and biological constitutions.

Concept: Effects of Stress on Psychological Functioning and Health
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NCERT Class 12 Psychology
Chapter 3 Meeting Life Challenges
Exercise | Q 3 | Page 67
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