How many LCU's would it be to meet someone looking like this in the street?
The characteristics of the stressor that influence how high it will be on the scale (and the severity of stress which result) include the following:
1. Significance - how critical and important the event is to the individual (deaths, failing an exam, break-up with boy/girlfriend), and how much change will have to be dealt with. The greater the significance and change, the higher the impact of the stressor.
2. Time length - if a stressor is continued over a long period of time, it will result in higher stress levels. For example, tiredness: insufficient sleep over an extended period of time will result in higher stress than that caused by just one night of bad sleep.
3. Cumulative Effect - This is when stressors are built up over a period of time without appropriate mechanisms to reduce or release the build-up. For example, a long series of little irritations and annoyances could result in a massive blowout between two people.
4. Multiplicity - A number of stressors at one time will result in higher stress levels. For example, a fight with one's parents, final exams around the corner and loss of a loved one will be experienced as much more stressful than if each of these events happened separately.
5. Approaching deadline - if a demand has been made a few weeks or months in advance of the deadline, the degree of stress will increase as the due date approaches. For example, if you are given a project assignment two months in advance, it will probably seem to far away to get worked up about. As the deadline approaches, and the work has not been completed, your stress level will increase until you do something about the project.