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Stress – The Impacts of Stress

2. Identifying and Measuring Stressors

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This second lecture looks at sources of stress and how we can measure the stress levels they bring about. Firstly, acute stress (single stressful events), chronic stress (ongoing problems that alter daily life), and daily hassles (regular, minor inconveniences) are differentiated. Dr Tomova describes how it is the continuous stressors (chronic stress and daily hassles) that have the most profound impact on wellbeing, moreover individual traumatic events. This links back to the somewhat healthy singular biological stress response discussed in lecture one, when compared to the unhealthy sustained state of stress and alertness. The second part of this lecture moves to measuring stress levels, looking at Holme’s & Rahe’s 1967 Social Readjustment Ratings Scale (SSRS), DeLongis, Folkman & Lazarus’s 1982 Hassles and Uplifts Scale, and Kohen, Kamarch & Mermelstein’s 1983 Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The last part of this lecture focuses on utilising physiological assessments to measure stress levels, including skin conductance/electrodermal response and saliva cortisol levels.


In this course, Dr Livia Tomova (University of Cambridge) explores the topic of stress. The first lecture discusses the physiological stress response, detailing the key hormones, organs and neurotransmitters involved in these complicated biological processes. The second lecture looks at sources of stress and the methods researchers have used to measure someone’s stress level or response. The third lecture expands on this by outlining individual differences in people’s responses to stressful situations, focusing on the concepts of hardiness and personality types. The fourth lecture describes four key methods for coping with stress: drug therapies, cognitive behavioural therapies, biofeedback, and social support. The fifth and final lecture explores how stress can impact cognition, specifically memory processes.

Note: Dr Livia Tomova is currently looking for 16-19 year old males in the Cambridge area to take part in a research project looking at how being alone affects young people’s cognition. Click here for more information.


Dr Livia Tomova is a research associate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, with an interest in how stress, loneliness and social isolation affect the brain and mind. Dr Tomova’s current research focuses on biological markers indicating vulnerability to the effects of isolation and loneliness in adolescents and young adults. Her recent publications include investigations into how social isolation can evoke cravings in the brain akin to the hunger response, and how acute stress can alter value representation. Dr Tomova’s other research interests include whether social media can fulfil social needs.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Tomova, L. (2021, December 03). Stress – The Impacts of Stress - Identifying and Measuring Stressors [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Tomova, Livia. "Stress – The Impacts of Stress – Identifying and Measuring Stressors." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Dec 2021,

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