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This Author: Robert Sapolsky
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Stress: Portrait of a Killer by Robert Sapolsky

Stress: Portrait of a Killer

by Robert Sapolsky


Title Details

Running Time
56 Min.
Watch this enjoyable documentary from National Geographic and Stanford University, featuring neurobiologist and Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky. Since the 1970s, Sapolsky spent decades studying the effects of stress on baboons in Kenya. In this documentary he lays out many of his findings, most notably the effects of stress in relation to social hierarchy. These findings paralleled with the findings of the British civil servant which examined the health of participants according to their social status. Not surprisingly lower social status led to more stress in the workplace, but it also led to increases in cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, and many other factors led to shorter lifespans. Sapolsky found many similarities in baboons as he took their blood samples over the course of many years. While the stress response in most animals is matter of fight or flight over a short period of survival, worrying humans often don't know how to turn the stress response off, which can often lead to fatal results the long run.

If this documentary interests you, definitely check out Sapolsky's Great Courses course on Stress and Your Body or his popular audiobook Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping.

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