SOLUTION: GRE 06755 Cypress College Your Typical Response to Stress Report

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Your Typical Response to Stress
We all find ourselves in stressful situations from time to time. If we didn’t, life would be a bore. It
would be too predictable, too routine, and because of that, it would be stressful. It is not that we have
stress that is the problem; it is that we do not respond to or manage it well. Some people become
aggressive when that is an inappropriate reaction. These are the people who get into fights, either
verbal or physical. Others make poor decisions in an attempt to manage the stress. They may drink
alcohol or use other drugs to alleviate the stress. Yet, when the drug wears off, the stressful situation
or feelings remain. Still others ignore the need to act altogether. This “head in the sand” approach to
coping is usually ineffective since, as when drugs are used, the situation remains unchanged, waiting
for the head to resurface.
Do any of these descriptions apply to you? To help you answer that question, and to assess
how you typically react to stress, we present the Appropriate Response to Stress scale.
Scale 1.1: How Effective Would You Be in Responding to Stressful Situations?
Using the scale below, you can determine whether your responses to specific stressful situations
would be appropriate. If not, the scale helps you determine whether your responses would be
unhealthy, a direct violation of appropriate response, a denial, or outright ineffective.
This test presents descriptions of people in stressful situations. These people
want to reduce their stress. Read each item. Circle the letter of the appropriate
action for the person to take to reduce the stress. If there is no appropriate
choice presented, circle choice D, “None of the above.”
1.
Valerie has just been promoted to a new job in a different city. An appropriate way for Valerie
to reduce her stress would be to:
A. change her hairstyle and way of dressing to reflect her new image.
B. take on as much work as she can to keep herself busy.
C. establish a suitable schedule soon after she arrives.
D. None of the above.
2.
John is in a noisy office and is trying to concentrate on his work. An appropriate way for John
to reduce his stress would be to:
A. skip lunch and work during the lunch hour when the office is quieter.
B. rearrange the books and papers on his desk.
C. wear more comfortable clothes to work.
D. None of the above.
1
© 2013 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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3.
Bruce is worried that he will fail his history test, even though he has studied hard for it. An
appropriate way for Bruce to reduce his stress would be to:
A. stay up late the night before the test in order to study more.
B. think about how angry his parents will be if he fails the test.
C. go out and take a bicycle ride.
D. None of the above.
4.
Arthur is very busy typing when a co-worker asks Arthur to help her with her typing.
Arthur is a bit annoyed by her request. An appropriate way for Arthur to reduce his stress
would be to:
A. help her with her typing but explain that he won’t do it again.
B. explain that he can’t do her typing and concentrate on finishing his own work.
C. pretend that his co-worker’s request doesn’t bother him and continue working.
D. None of the above.
5.
Paul has been told that there is no chance that he can pitch for his baseball team because the
owner’s son will be taking his place. An appropriate way for Paul to reduce his stress would
be to:
A. look into pitching for another team.
B. get to know the other members of the team better.
C. tell the owner that he insists on being able to pitch for the team, no matter what.
D. None of the above.
6.
Nancy drives home on a busy, crowded freeway. An appropriate way for Nancy to reduce her
stress would be to:
A. drive with the car windows open slightly.
B. make sure that she takes the same route home whenever possible.
C. drink a cup of coffee as she drives.
D. None of the above.
7.
Gary is concerned that the quality of his work is not good enough, even though all of the
people he works with tell him he’s doing a good job. An appropriate way for Gary to reduce
his stress would be to:
A. spend more time trying to improve the quality of his work.
B. plan to have a few beers with his co-workers every day after work.
C. spend more time focusing on the positive qualities of his work.
D. None of the above.
8.
Leslie has just recently married and moved to a new city. An appropriate way for Leslie to
reduce her stress would be to:
A. try to change some of her old habits.
B. set aside some time each day to relax.
C. take a vacation with her husband.
D. None of the above.
2
© 2013 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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9.
Sharon works on an assembly line where she watches metal fittings go by all day long. An
appropriate way for Sharon to reduce her stress would be to:
A. bring in a soft cushion for her chair.
B. ask her boss if she can listen to a radio as she works.
C. see if she can work through lunch so that she can finish her work as quickly as possible.
D. None of the above.
10.
Karen had been planning on taking a week off from work. Now her boss tells Karen that it is
impossible for her to have the vacation time she had planned. An appropriate way for Karen
to reduce her stress would be to:
A. threaten to switch jobs unless she can take her vacation as planned.
B. act as if she didn’t want the time off that much anyway.
C. tell her boss that she’s disappointed and ask if she can take the time off next month.
D. None of the above.
11.
Phyllis has four final exams and only two days left to study for them. An appropriate way for
Phyllis to reduce her stress would be to:
A. take her mind off her own tests by helping a friend study.
B. pick the hardest course and study for that exam only.
C. set up a schedule so that she has some time to study for each test.
D. None of the above.
12.
Gwen wants to be president of a local club but has been told that she doesn’t have the
organizational ability. An appropriate way for Gwen to reduce her stress would be to:
A. stop attending club meetings.
B. take a business class to improve her skills.
C. tell the club members that she doesn’t really want to be president.
D. None of the above.
13.
Gregg lives across from an all-night gas station and is disturbed by the noise from the cars.
An appropriate way for Gregg to reduce his stress would be to:
A. play loud music to block out the noise.
B. take a sleeping pill to help get to sleep.
C. give all of his business to another gas station.
D. None of the above.
14.
Stanley is surrounded by people at a very crowded party. An appropriate way for Stanley to
reduce his stress would be to:
A. stay in the middle of the crowd.
B. have several extra glasses of wine in order to relax.
C. loosen his tie so that he will feel more comfortable.
D. None of the above.
3
© 2013 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Joyce must speak to a large group of people and keeps thinking about the time she was giving
a speech in front of her class and forgot what she was to say. An appropriate way for Joyce to
reduce her stress would be to:
A. set aside some time before the speech to relax.
B. remember as many details as she can about her previous experience giving a speech.
C. keep her hands busy while she gives the speech.
D. None of the above.
SCORING*
Assign yourself one point for each of the following responses:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
C
D
C
B
A
D
C
B
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
B
C
C
B
D
D
A
These are the appropriate responses to each situation described. If you made other choices, you did
not react the most effective way. You might have reacted in an unhealthy way, as when you skip
lunch to reduce stress resulting from a noisy work environment as in the situation described in item 2.
Or you may have chosen an ineffective response, as when you take on as much work as you can to
keep busy when overwhelmed with stress from a new job in a new city as in situation 1. Another
response might have been a direct violation of what would be an appropriate response, such as when
you decide to think about how angry your parents would be to your failing a test as in situation 3. Or
you may have used outright denial as when you are annoyed by a co-worker’s request but pretend it
doesn’t bother you as in situation 4.
INTERPRETATION OF SCORES
This scale measures how effective you would be in responding to stressful situations. Using the key
below, you can evaluate your incorrect answers as being either:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Unhealthy—a response that is unhealthy.
Direct Violation—a response that is in direct violation of the appropriate responses to stress.
Denial—a response that denies the stress or the problem producing the stress.
Ineffective—a response that is related to the situation but is ineffective in reducing stress. It is
neither unhealthy, nor in direct violation, nor denial.
None of the Above—a response that indicates there is no correct answer when there is a
correct answer.
* Source: Centers for Disease Control. An Evaluation Handbook for Health Education Programs in Stress
Management. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, 1983, pp. 105–112.
4
© 2013 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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INCORRECT ANSWER CHOICE ANALYSIS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
Unhealthy
Direct
Violation
Denial
Ineffective
None of the
Above

A
A


C
B

C



B
B

A

B
A
C


A,C

A
A

A
A
B



C





B

C



B
B,C


B
A,B
A

A

B
A
C
C
C
D

D
D
D

D
D
D
D
D
D


D
ACTIVITY: SELECTIVE AWARENESS
One very appropriate response to stress that has been demonstrated to be effective is called selective
awareness. Selective awareness is learning to perceive life changes and other stressors as less
distressing by attending to their positive aspects and de-emphasizing their negative ones. We all are
free to choose what to think, although most of us don’t exercise this control of our thoughts but allow
them to ride the high seas rudderless. To complicate matters, we have been taught to be critical rather
than supportive, focusing on the bad rather than the good. To help you learn to focus on the positive
aspects of situations and people, rephrase the following situations so the focus is upon their positive
components:
1.
Waiting in a long line to attend a movie
2.
Being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic
3.
Having to make a presentation before a group of people
5
© 2013 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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4.
Being rejected from something because you’re too old
5.
Having a relationship break up
Right now there are situations in your life that are causing you a great deal of stress. You may
not like where you live, or with whom you’re living, or the work you’re doing. You may not feel you
have enough time to yourself or for leisure activities. You may not like the way you look. You may be
in poor health. You may be alone. Some of these stressors you may be able to change; some you will
not be able to change. You now know, however, that you can become selectively aware of their
positive components while de-emphasizing (though not denying) their disturbing features. Below, list
these stressors, and list the positive aspects of each upon which you will choose to focus:
SELECTIVE AWARENESS: Stressors and Their Positive Aspects
1.
2.
3.
Stressor:
Positive Aspect:
Stressor:
Positive Aspect:
Stressor:
Positive Aspect:
Why not go even further? Each time you do something that works out well, keep the memory
of that with you. Tell others how proud of yourself you are. Pat yourself on the back. Take time just
before bed (or some other convenient time of day) to recall all the good things about that day. Don’t
be like some of your friends who can’t sleep because they still feel embarrassed about something they
did that day or worried about something over which they have no control. In the words of a best
seller of several years ago, “Be your own best friend.” Revel in your good points and the glory of
your day.
6
© 2013 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.

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