In connotation. In a recent US study, over

In the 21st century, stress is a disease that affects the
behaviors of countless of people. There is an epidemic of stress. The use of
the word stress is more common in our daily life. In it, we associate stress
with a negative connotation. In a recent US study, over 50% of people felt that
stress impacted their work life negatively. Additionally, there was an increase
of stress levels from 10% to 30% for people across the USA (CITE). As a result,
when we hear the world stress we think of it as having negative effects on us. 2014 report, the American Academy of
Pediatrics called the problem of tired teens a public health epidemic.


Stress was originally a terminology used in physics. The
definition of stress in physics is “the force that produces strain on a
physical body”. Soon after, a Hungarian researcher, Han Selye began using this
term in his psychological studies in the early 1920s. At first, the term was
specifically on the effect of external strains on the physical well-being. Over
the years, the term has evolved into external threats that affects the
physiology and psychology of a person. However, the general cause of stress was
still unknown. Further research into stress proves that the general cause of
stress can be boiled down into 4 main causes. Novelty, threat to ego,
unpredictability and sense of control are the main causes of stress. If a
never-before encountered stress threatens someone’s ego, their sense of control
on the situation is what determines the extent of the effects.           

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Originally, stress is an evolutionary mechanism that
triggers the fight or flight response. This was crucial in a jungle environment
as for instance when a prey experiences the stress of an incoming predator,
mechanisms in the body prepares it to run or fight. In the 21st century, the
stress response is not useful for issues we experience daily. There is no
running from stress and we have to fight it. As a result, the 21st century saw
a rise in stress like never before. It has become an epidemic. Stressors can
come from anywhere, from traumatizing life changing events to a near-miss in
the highway.


In the academic world, stress can also threaten the
well-being and performance of students. Without a doubt, the amount of stress
is highest among high school and college students. The number of essays,
homework, assignments, and exams they have to study for are too much for a
student to handle. However, elementary school students are starting to
experience stress (CITE). These stresses can be caused by poor eating habits, full
schedule, etc. As stress in school can start from a very young age, the
solution to the problem has to be discovered soon.


The paper’s research question is relevant to the real world
as it might give an insight to the effects of acute stress on student
performance. If the effects of acute stress on student performance is
investigated, the findings of this essay can be applied to the treatment and
identification of acute stress. Prevent emotional, mental, and physical
distress on students before it is too late. It may also help students to
prepare better for exam and inform them how cope better with stress.


This essay will discuss the extent of acute stress on
student performance, weighing both strengths and limitations. The effects of
acute stress on student performance will be investigated regarding the
physiological effects of acute stress and how this affects cognitive processes
of students. These cognitive processes are memory retrieval and formation, and
this essay will investigate the extent to which how the effect of acute stress
on these cognitive processes can benefit or impair student’s performance.