Of course they will make you bigger, the incorporate the largest muscle groups in the body.
There are a million studies on these things and its goes back to the basics of time under tension. But just because you increase your TUT doens''t mean you are are going to grow faster or larger (example: increasing my reps to 20 instead of 12). There is a threshold for each type of stimulus and it has to be progressive within that certain type of threshold.
I also don't understand what you mean by "stress". I can create an extremely stressful environment with very low reps and heavy weight and you won't grow much.
Stating the body responds to "stress" is pretty generic. THe body repsonds to different types of stress accordingly (myfobrilliar and/or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy). Those two example are both caused by stress but the actual growth and stimulus is quite different.
So once again as I said it before in numerous threads, its not the exercise people should worry avbout so much, its the weight and rep range WHILE keeping to form.