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Scholars Day: April 9, 2014

Is Feeling Overwhelmed a Distinct Psychological State?

There is currently no universally accepted operational definition of what it means to feel overwhelmed. Much of the literature examines burnout and stress in which a general psychological sense of feeling overwhelmed is used as a measurement. For example, researchers who study the stress and burnout rate of nursing graduate and undergraduate students often use the term “overwhelmed” in conjunction with “overloaded” but fail to define the term. Most pertinent research regarding overwhelmedness only mentions the feeling as a measure of the stress level in teachers, therapists, and students. Currently no literature specifically defines the “overwhelmedness experience” nor distinguishes between the characteristics of overwhelmedness versus ordinary stress. In order to define overwhelmedness, an examination of the literature is necessary in order to gain a basic understanding of this commonly-used descriptor. This presentation will present a possible model for understanding the term.


Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Cristan Barber (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Psychology
Location: 26/28 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am Session II