General adaptation syndrome – Intro to Psychology

General adaptation syndrome – Intro to Psychology

Thanks Greg! The three stages are what Selye referred to as the General Adaptation Syndrome. To recap, General Adaptation Syndrome consists of three stages. First is the alarm stage. This is when your body first reacts to the stressful or threatening situation. With activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the HPA Axis. The second stage is the resistance stage. This is when your body tries to adapt to the stress. Here, we have sustained release of cortisol, as our body attempts to maintain our level of arousal to combat the threat or the stressful situation. And finally we have the exhaustion stage. This is when our body resources have been depleted in an attempt to deal with the threat or stressful situation. As a result of this depletion, our immune system is weakened, making it more likely that we experience illness and infection. It’s important to note however that this model doesn’t account for all stress responses. In fact, new research has shown that different emotions can actually produce different activation patterns in a autonomic nervous system. Which call for some question of the validity of the general adoption syndrome never the less this model does serve as an overview of how are bodies might react with stressful event.



  • Cari


  • Juan Velez

    Very useful

  • Mr Il

    Well, there actually are two versions of the stage 3 – one is exhaustion and the 2nd one is the anabolic phase in which our body ''gets it's groove back'', repairs the damage made in first two stages by producing the proteins and getting the electrolytes back to normal, etc. Just so everybody knows đŸ˜€

  • agha hussain

    I'm actually here for a Pathophysiology class im taking for nursing school, and believe it not, you're the first person to explain the Cortisol for keeping Homeostasis in the body. Even Khan Academy was wrong. Good work!

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