Ch 10 Health and Wellbeing.doc

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16 Mar 2012

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Ch 10 Health and Well Being
I. Can Psychological Factors Affect Health?
The traditional medical model emphasizes disease states and the
treatments and drugs designed to rid us of a disease-people are
passive recipients of disease and the medical treatments designed
to return them to health after illness
Premise, health professionals know best and thus maintain control
over what happens to the patient
Health psychology: area that integrates research on health and
on psychology, came to appreciate the importance of lifestyle
factors to physical health, apply knowledge of psychological
principles to promost health and well being
Well being: positive state in which we feel our best; it includes
striving for optimal health
Psychologists who study health and well being rely on the
experimental and statistically methods of psychology to
understand the interrelationships among thoughts, actions,
physical and mental health
Address issues such as ways to help people lead healthier lives,
study the ways in which our behavior and social systems affect
our health, and how ethnic and gender differences in health
behaviors influence health outcomes
Also study the inverse of these relationships how health behaviors
and health outcomes affect behavior, cognition, and emotions
Combines theories and research from various areas of health
studies and of psychology
A. Biophysical Model of Health Incorporates Multiple
Perspectives for Understanding and Improving Health
Biopsychosocial model: a model of health that
integrates the effects of biological, behavioral, and
social factors on health and illness
Our thoughts and actions affect the environments we
choose to interact with, and those environments, in
turn, affect the biological underpinnings of our
thoughts and actions
B. Behavior Contributes to Leading Causes of Death
People are most likely to die from causes that stem
from their own behaviors
Accidents are another leading cause of death , risky
sexual behaviors, homicides, lifestyle behaviors that
begin in childhood and teen years
C. Placebos Can Be Powerful Medicine
Placebo effect: a drug or treatment unrelated to the
particular problem of the person who receives it, may
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make the recipient feel better because the person
believes the drug or treatment is effective
Placebo effect is an experimental control that some
researchers see as a nuisance when they want to
determine if a new drug or other treatment is effective
These effects occur within a contest that determines
when, if, and how much the body will respond to the
II. How Do People Cope With Stress
Stress: is a pattern of behavioral and physiological responses toe
evnts that match or exceed an organism’s ability to respond in a
healthy way
Stressor: an environmental event or stimulus that threatens an
organism by seeming overwhelming
Coping response: which is a response an organism makes to
avoid, escape from, or minimize an aversive stimulus
Stress divided into (1) eustress-the stress of positive events (2)
distress-stress of negative events
Daily hassles: small day to day irritations and annoyances, low
level irritations are ubiquitous, pose a threat to keep coping
responses by slowly wearing down personal resources
A. Stress has Physiological Components
A stressor activates a complex chain of events called
the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA)
Stress beings in the brain with the perception of
stressful event, the hypothalamus sends a chemical
message to the pituitary gland which in turn secretes
hormones that travel through the bloodstream until
they reach the adrenal glands (located near the
kidneys) which inturn secretes cortisol
Because hormones travel slowly through the
bloodstream, stress affects organs much longer than
stressors do
Excessive stress disrupts working memory, chronic
stress associated with memory impairments caused
when cortisol damages neurons in the brain areas
including the hippocampus
B. There Are Sex Differences in Response to Stress
Walter Cannon coined fight or flight response: the
physiological preparedness of animals to deal with
Physical reaction includes increased heart rate,
redistribution of the blood supply from skin to viscera
to muscles and brain, deepening of respiration,
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dilation of pupils, inhibition of gastric secretions, and
an increase in glucose released from the liver
Generalizability of the fight or flight response has
been questioned by Shelley Taylor and her colleagues
Similarly most researchers have avoided using women
in their studies or responses to stress because female
menstrual patterns make women more difficult to
study-their responses could be mediated by
fluctuations in circulating hormones that vary over the
menstrual cycle
Sex inequality in lab stress studies, research bias that
can blind us to the fact that women and men often
respond differently to social or biological stressors
Taylor and her colleagues argue that females respond
to stress by protecting and caring for their offspring,
as well as by forming alliances with social groups to
reduce risks to individuals including themselves-tend
and befriend response (evolutionary significance)
Oxytocin: a hormone that is important for mothers in
boding to newborne, produced in hypothalamus and
released into the bloodstream through the pituitary
C. The General Adaptation Syndrome is A Bodily Response
to Stress
Selye-enlarged adrenal glands, decreased levels of
lymphocytes (specialized white blood cells known as
B cells, T cells, and natural killer cells that make up
the immune system) in the blood. And stomach ulcers
Found slight variations in some physiological effects,
but each manipulation produced a pattern of bloated
adrenal glands, damaged lymphatic structures
(pattern of immune system), and stomach ulcers
These three responses, were the hallmarks of a
nonspecific stress response
General adaption syndrome: alarm, resistance,
in the alarm stage, an emergency reaction that
prepares the body to fight or flee, physiological
responses aimed at boosting physical abilities while
reducing activities that make the organisms
vulnerable to infection after injury
resistance stage: ,the defenses prepare for a longer,
sustained attack against the stressor; immunity to
infection and disease increases somewhat as the body
maximizes its defenses
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