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A student pilot is going to take the type rating skill test in one week, but he is already very anxious about it, which is affecting his mental performance towards his exams. Which type of stress factor is this?
  • A

    Imaginary stress or anxiety.

  • B
    Cognitive stress.
  • C
    Physiological stress.
  • D
    Fatigue-based stress.


Stress disturbs the body’s homeostasis and enables you to adapt to encountered situations. it is the body’s response to a stressor, which is an internal or external stimulus that is interpreted as a threat to the body’s equilibrium, and prepares it for action. Stress is a natural human reaction and it is not always negative! A certain moderate amount of stress is beneficial to human performance - it stops you slowing down and keeps you on your toes – this is the sort associated with success. Unnecessary stress, such as an upcoming examination, can also be bad for the person's performance in day-to-day activities, as is well known by all who have had to deal with stressful scenarios.

Stress is a very subjective matter – every individual is different and stress reactions as well as their magnitudes differ from person to person. The individual level of stress depends on the individual’s subjective perception of available abilities and comparing them to the situational demands. How good do we think we are versus how good we think we need to be.

In this case, the question is asking about the different types of stressors/stress factors. Stress can occur from the following types of factors:

  • Physiological.
  • Cognitive.
  • Non-professional.
  • Imaginary.
  • Organizational.
Imaginary stress is when we suffer from stress without a real stressor being present. It is the anxiety about a potential future risk, formed from a belief or previous experience. As the risk of a pilot losing their medical is quite a large one, imaginary stress can manifest itself prior to a medical, even if the pilot has nothing wrong that should cause an issue, such as in this scenario.

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