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Lecture 21.doc

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Carleton University
PSYC 2600
Chris Motz

Lecture 21 Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - Ch. 18: personality and health-- stress and illness - We’re going to talk about stress—foundational clarification - Then we’ll zero in on personality—how it connects with our response to stress - Different personality types—different approach than traits - We’ll draw the FFT one last time in class o 1) Dispositional domain: basic tendencies (core) o 2) Biological domain: biological bases (secondary) o 3) Intrapsychic domain: unconscious and motives, existential self—we added these (secondary) o 4) Adjustment domain: characteristic adaptations (core) o 5) Cognitive-experiential domain: self-concept—part of characteristic adaptations; characteristic adaptations o 6) Socio-cultural domain: external factors (secondary)  *Objective biography: those parts of your personal biography, happened specifically to you. This differs from socio-cultural (all of us subject), characteristics to the situation (we all have typical responses)  *Objective biography: unique things that happen to you specifically—it stands alone, does not fit with the content of our six domains - What is stress? o Internal, subjective feeling that’s produced by external events - Stressor: the thing causing the stress o Common attributes (ex. Perception of it being uncontrollable, threatening to our goals) - Stress: o Subjective response to stressor - Stress effect o Not all stress is bad o Alittle bit gets you out of bed in the morning, makes you come to classes o Very functional o Positive stress: eustress—helps focus your attention, improve your performance up to some point of optimal stress (stress performance curve) o Negative stress: distress—when you go past optimal point, performance goes down (too much stress) - Stressors o Extreme, get us to the distress side of stress—produce state of feeling overwhelmed o Produce opposing tendencies—we feel like we want to approach something but want to avoid something else o Perceived as uncontrollable* - Sources of stress o External: environmental, social, interpersonal, organizational, life events, daily hassles  Things in our life o Internal: personality, cognitive factors that exacerbate/contribute to/create stress  Ex. Life choices, activities we engage in, negative self-talk, thought patterns, stressful personality type - External sources o Major life events (getting fired from job—how to get another job, negative stigma)— even positive events cause us stress (graduating from school, getting married, new home) o Following major life event, have big downturn in health (use up our resources) o Effects are cumulative—multiple life events is bad o Research on connection between stress and immune system, particularly how it’s involved in development of cancer o But major life events are supposed to be rare o Other research looks at daily stressors that wear us down—they give us the most stress, because we deal with them every day. Major life events are immensely stressful, but they don’t occur that often. - Stress response—theories o Hans Selye  In terms of what’s going on inside the body, not so much inside the mind o Lazarus and Folkman  Cognitive component to our understanding of stress - Stress response o Startle effect o We don’t know what’s happening, we haven’t made sense of it yet—fight or flight response o Blood pressure rises, heart beats faster, hormones pump o Body is mobilizing resources o Palms and soles of feet sweat—just a little bit helped with grip, cutting through dirt so we could hold better onto stick or rock o Using up the energy of the body o This is all functional and adaptive, but it gets activated all of the time o 3 stages:  Alarm stage: very functional—fight or flight response, ready to fight or flee • Alot of modern-day stressors stay longer than older ones (we have to deal with kids, work, jerky boss, etc. for a long time)  Resistance stage—the various stressors keep going and we adapt to the stress, continue to use body reserves faster than we’re able to replenish them. But body seems to be normal.  Exhaustion stage: run out of resources, stressor has gone on for too long. - Lazarus and Folkman o Added the idea of appraisal (cognitive component) o We make sense of whether or not we can deal with this event—appraisal and coping response impact on the experience of stress o Mediate/change the frequency, intensity, duration, and type of stress (both psychologically and physically o *Subjective feeling o To experience stress, we need to successfully pass through two steps  Primary appraisal: event happens, we ask ourselves if it’s potentially going to be
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