Hans Selye


When I began my first experiments in 1936, the stress concept had not yet been formulated. Today, in my position as director of the University of Montreal's Institut de Médecine et de Chirurgie Expérimentales, I see that the acceptance of the stress concept is widespread, not only in virtually all fields of medieine, but also in the behavioral sciences and philosophy. Indeed, stress is such a fast growing field of medical research that the documentation service of our Institute has accumulated hundreds of books and over one hundred thousand articles on stress and stress-related topics. The notion is common, too, in our everyday experience. At social gatherings we hear a great deal about the stress of executive life, pollution, city life, marriage, and so on, yet few who discuss stress so glibly really know what it means. They have never taken time to study its scientific meaning or its mechanism.

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