"The manifestations of stress in the whole body, as they develop in time" (H. SELYE, 1975, p.466).
The G.A.S. is the set of non specific reactions of an organism submitted to the protracted action of some aggressive agent.
This concept was introduced in biology by SELYE, according to whom: "The G.A.S. Evolves in three distinct stages: alarm reaction, stage of resistance, stage of exhaustion" (Ibid).
The author explains that the second stage develops solely if the aggression and exposure to the noxious agent is not so violent as to produce quick death: "… no living organism can be maintained continuously in a state of alarm… If survival is possible at all, this alarm reaction is necessarily followed by a second phase, which I called the stage of resistance" (p.37).
In accordance with P. VENDRYES' concept of the use of stored reserves to regulate functions (biological and in general) during the stage of resistance the system uses part or all of the specific – and in some cases, non-specific – reserves at its disposal in order to reestablish homeostasis.
If reserves are sufficient, the system returns to homeostasis If not, "… after still more prolonged exposure… this acquired adaptation is eventually lost" (p.38) and the system enters in a third phase, the stage of exhaustion, which leads it promptly to its destruction.
While this G.A.S. concept and the associated strain and stress concepts are biological ones, they could quite probably be generalized to psychology, as proposed by F. E. HORVATH (1959) and social sciences, as suggested by M. Mc LUHAN and by the well known popular dictum: "It was the last straw that broke the camel's back"!
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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