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Stress – The Impacts of Stress

2. Identifying and Measuring Stressors

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about sources of stress and how we can measure the stress levels they bring about, focusing in particular on: (i) differentiating acute stress (a single stressful event) from chronic stress (ongoing problems that alter daily life) and daily hassles (regular, minor inconveniences); (ii) the fact that continuous stressors (chronic stress and daily hassles) have the most profound impact on wellbeing, moreover individual traumatic events (acute stressors); (iii) the somewhat healthy singular biological stress response discussed in lecture one, when compared to the unhealthy sustained state of stress and alertness; (iv) 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); (v) 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. In the first lecture, we think about the physiological stress response, detailing the key hormones, organs and neurotransmitters involved in these complicated biological processes. In the second lecture, we look at sources of stress and the methods researchers have used to measure someone’s stress level or response. In the third lecture, we expand on this by outlining individual differences in people’s responses to stressful situations, focusing on the concepts of hardiness and personality types. Next, we describe four key methods for coping with stress: drug therapies, cognitive behavioural therapies, biofeedback, and social support. In the fifth and final lecture, we explore how stress can impact cognition, specifically memory processes.

Research project looking for 16-19-year-old males:


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. Some of Dr Tomova’s recent publications include 'The effects of social deprivation on adolescent development and mental health' (2020) and 'Acute stress alters neural patterns of value representation for others' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

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

MLA style

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

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