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Lecture 5 - Chapter 13.docx

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PSYC 1002
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Chapter 13 – Stress, Coping and Health The Relationship between Stress and Disease - Contagious diseases (smallpox, diphtheria) vs. chronic diseases (heart disease and cancer) o Biopsychosocial model holds that physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological (personality) and sociocultural factors o Health psychology is the field of study that seeks to determine the importance of psychological factors in illness, as well as prevention/promotion, causation and health maintenance - Changings patterns of illness o Death rates for various diseases during the 20 century reveal that contagious diseases have declined as a threat to health o However, death rates for stress-related chronic diseases have remained high o 3 chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer and stroke) account for 60% of all deaths Stress: An Everyday Event - Stress is defined in the text as any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one’s well-being and that thereby tax one’s coping ability - Major stressors (single, traumatic events) vs. routine hassles (changes in household responsibilities, reoccurring) o Cumulative nature of stress (major traumatic event like a divorce or disaster) o Cognitive appraisals (very subjective and influence the effect of the event)  How do I perceive it  How do I cope with it - Major types of stress o Frustration – blocked goal o Conflict – two or more incompatible motivations (choice)  Approach-approach (pizza or spaghetti), approach-avoidance (a choice is made about whether to pursue a goal that has both attractive and unattractive aspects), avoidance-avoidance (two negative goals – unemployment or degrading job) o Change- having to adapt  Holmes and Rahe – Social Readjustment Rating Scale (measures life change, like marriage, as a form of stress) – Life Change Units (higher points for more stressful events)  A criticism to this approach is that it is subjective o Pressure (social) – expectations to behave in certain ways  Perform/ conform Responding to Stress Emotionally - Stress responses are multidimensional – emotional, psychological and behavioural realms - Emotional responses o Annoyance, anger, rage o Apprehension, anxiety, fear o Dejection, sadness, grief o Positive emotions - Emotional response and performance o The inverted-U-hypothesis (high emotion can negatively influence task performance) Arousal and Performance - Simple task: performance may peak at a much higher level of arousal - Moderate task: optimal level of arousal depends on the complexity of the task, moderate arousal - Complex task: low level of arousal tends to be optimal Stress Process - Potentially stressful objective event (exam) - Subjective cognitive appraisal (personalized perceptions of threat) - Emotional response (fear, anxiety, etc.), physiological response (hormonal fluctuations), behavioural response (coping efforts – lashing out at others, blaming oneself) Responding to Stress Physiologically (physical) - Physiological responses o Fight-or-flight response o Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome  Alarm – organism recognizes a threat (FF response)  Resistance – when stress is prolonged, organism copes with stressor
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