PSYCH 1200 - CH 15.docx

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31 Mar 2012
Psych 1200 Chapter 15
Stress is/stressors are: stimulus, response, & organism-environment interaction
Stressor-eliciting stimuli psychological or physical demands that endanger well being
- Greater imbalance between demands & resources = more stressful a situation
Micro stressors daily hassles of everyday life
Catastrophic event unexpected w/large groups of people
Major negative events e.g. victim of a crime or sexual abuse
- Life event scales developed to measure stress
Stress Response respond to situations as we perceive them
Stages of initial response:
1. appraisal of demands of the situation (primary appraisal)
2. appraises of resources available to cope w/it (secondary appraisal)
3. judgements of what consequences of the situation could be
4. appraisal of personal meaning; what the outcome might imply about us
General adaption syndrome (Selye) physiological response pattern to strong & prolonged stressors called
3 Phases:
Alarm reaction helps body deal w/source of stress; shift to sympathetic dominance causes increased arousal
Resistance causes adrenal glands to release epinephrine, norepinephrine, & cortisol to maintain increased arousal
Exhaustion causes adrenal glands to lose ability to function normally
- Clearest among people who have experienced catastrophic life events
Neuroticism heightened tendency to experience emotions to get them into stressful situations through maladaptive
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by exposure to traumatic life events
Major groups of stress:
severe anxiety, physiological arousal (stress response), & distress
painful uncontrollable reliving of events in flashbacks, dreams, & fantasies
emotional numbing & avoidance of stimuli associated w/the trauma
intense “survivor guilt” in instances where others were killed but the individual survived
- women more likely to develop PTSD than men (often doubles risk for other disorders & diseases, i.e. alcoholism)
- Stress can play a major role on health and illness having an effect on our immune system
- Secretion of stress hormone by adrenal gland important part of stress response affects activity of the heart &
excessive secretions can damage the lining of the arteries
Vulnerability factors lack of a support network, poor coping skills, tendencies to become anxious or pessimistic;
reduce stress resistance & increase ppl’s susceptibility to stressful events
Protective factors environmental or personal resources that help people cope w/stressful events; social support,
coping skills, & personality factors (i.e. optimism)
Pennebaker suggests importance of having someone to talk to about upsetting experiences
Hardiness 3 c’s: commitment, control and challenge
o Commitment to work, family, & other involvements; believe to have control over outcomes, appraise
demands on the situation less stressful, higher levels of performance in challenge
Coping Self- Efficacy having sufficient resources to cope w/demands; observe others; encouragement better
immune system
Optimism positive affect linked to better health & longer life; pessimists suffer from more illnesses
Personality Factors types of personality:
Type A high levels of competitiveness & ambition, aggressiveness & hostility w/obstacles; constant sense of
time urgency; more likely to develop coronary heart disease
Type B more relaxed & agreeable; far less sense of time urgency
Type C may be at risk for a factor of cancer, almost mirrors type A; highly sociable & nice, very inhibited in
expressing emotions; tendency to bottle up emotions gets in the way of active coping, feel helpless in fear of
active stress
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