Primates Stress Club Analysis

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The Primates Stress Club: Robert Sapolsky, a biologist who is a leading expert on the effects of stress on humans and animals, talks about his discoveries and observations. He spent 30 years studying baboons at a Kenya game reserve, and during that time he learned about the complex rules of their social lives, and how those rules can place members of the baboon troop under great amounts of stress. The baboons were smart and successful and had no real enemies to be worried about, except themselves. He discovered that Baboons play out mind games all the time. One example of this is when a less aggressive baboon knows that a more aggressive baboon is taunting him to fight. He knows he will lose the fight, and he also knows he will have to fight anyway. The results of this fight will be a psychological clash that will be stressful and humiliating for the losing baboon. Sapolsky has matched the individual stress of a baboon with reactions in that baboon’s body. He took blood samples from stressed baboon’s and he used those samples to measure the stress hormones that trigger the biological “fight or flight” response. His findings were that although these hormones are supposed to biologically be there only briefly, when an immediate threat or stress is felt, they were there over a long period of time in stressed baboons. These…show more content…
This response enables us to shut down everything in our system except what we need to survive. Humans are like the baboons in this discussion. We have long-term stressors that we worry about and cannot forget. Mortgage payments, financial responsibilities, family demands, etc are all examples of human long-term stressors. Sapolsky has discovered that physiologically these long-term stressors causes humans to chronically mobilize our energy instead of storing it. When we are constantly mobilizing our energy we are more likely to get a host of metabolic

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