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Lecture 10

PSYC 342 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Third Order, Autonomic Nervous System, Parotid Gland


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 342
Professor
Jens C Pruessner
Lecture
10

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PSYC 342 Lecture 10 - Feb. 14
Lazarus: Stress and Emotion
Demand > Resources: stress (threat)
Resources > Demand: challenge (challenged, but not threatened)
Two factors: demand of the situation and the resources available towards the situation
The Two Physiological Stress Systems:
Sympathetic Nervous system (SNS)
Hypothalamus-Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPA)
Theories About the Activation of These Systems:
Blascovich & Mendes: Biophysical model
Dickerson & Kemeney: Social self-preservation system
James P Herman: Anticipatory vs. Reactive
Biophysical Model of Stress:
Extension to the concept of ‘physiological toughness
Individuals appraise events as challenge or threat
Challenge: blood pressure stable (adrenaline), heart rate accelerates (SNS), cortisol stable (HPA is
not activated)
Threat: blood pressure rises (adrenal medulla is inhibited), heart rate accelerates (SNS), cortisol in-
creases (HPA is activate)
There is no strong evidence to support this model of stress
Social Self-Preservation Model of Stress:
Psychological stress involves a social threat
Fear involves a physical threat
Social threat: HPA
Physical threat: SNS
Types of Stressors: James P Herman’s Work
Limbic system of stress; differentiated two types of stress
Reactive: pain, homeostatic signals, inflammation - induce stress that is already there
Anticipatory: predators, unfamiliar environments, social challenges, classically conditioned stimuli
Different Stressors Act via Different CNS Regions:
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For reactive stress, input comes from the brain stem which deals with all the sensory pains
For anticipatory stress, the limbic system; specifically the amygdala (fear emotion), hippocampus
(psychological stress for social), and prefrontal cortex (planning ahead) helps convey the potential
psychological stress
Proposed Combination of Models:
Scientific Evidence for the Models:
More studies tend to support social self-preservation model and anticipatory/reactive over the bio-
physical model of stress
However, evidence so far is inconclusive
Layman Evidence:
Experience of both stressors first hand
Embarrassment will result in social threat because we are social creatures and want to feel be-
longed. When we are embarrassed, we may feel potentially being rejected by our peers
Necessary Measures to Include:
Measures of HPA activity: CRH (hypothalamus), ACTH (pituitary), Cortisol (Corticosterone)
Need to measure cerebral spinal fluid to measure stress
Measures of SNS activity: Adrenaline (Epinephrine), Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine), Heart rate,
blood pressure…
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