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PSYC 2740 (252)
Lecture 7


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PSYC 2740
Steven Seah

PSYC 2740—LECTURE SEVEN Skin Conductance and self-injury  Nock and mendes study o Main findings:  Ppl with history of self injury have elevated skin conductance and more negative reactivity to stress  ppl who self-injured also quit the game sooner which also might indicate  cardiovascular activity o blood pressure—pressure exerted by blood in artery walls  common measure of stress response  does give researchers sense of who is more reactive to stressful situations o heart rate  expressed in beats per minute  good indicator of stress/anxiety, cognitive effort  heart rate increases with more cognitive effort  cardiac reactivity—the increase in bp and heart rate in times of stress  chronic cardiac linked with type a personality (particular hostility)  hostile reactivity one of main things that defines personality type a and is highly linked to heart issues—could be more prone then, to heart attack  ***not type of personality that causes but rather the hostility that comes with personality type  Brain activity o EEG—measure brain activity (electricity) via electrodes to determine areas of the brain activity o Are certain brain areas deeper in brain that are also important to personality?  fMRI—shows images of areas of brain activity  E.g. MRI and psychopathy o Are manipulative, don’t react to others people/having emotional reaction to others.  Psychopaths have decreased limbic activation when viewing violent images for those high in psychopathy vs. a control group (who had more activity)  Lack of empathy, cruelty  On slide—coloured areas = limbic activation  Studies suggest psychopaths have underdeveloped amygdalas which means decrease in emotional reactivity o Other relevant findings  Neuroticism—correlated with increased frontal brain activation to negative images  Extraversion—correlated with increased frontal brain activation to positive images Physiological  Eysenek’s original theory o Ascending reticular activating system—gateway for nervous stimulation of cortex  Ppl that have more closed/open aras o Suggested more introversion = people have higher resting cortical arousal (ARAS lets into much)  Seek out environments with less stimulation to reach own optimal point o Suggested extraversion = lower resting cortical arousal (ARAS lets in to little)  Theory not supported by research because found that was no difference o His revised theory  Those high in introversion or extraversion do not have different resting states of arousal  BUT was difference in level of arousability, how reactive were in stimulated environments  E.g. lemon juice study—extroverts only created enough saliva to seel HALF as much introverts when reacting to lemon juice  Sensitivity to reward and punishment o Behavioral activation system (BAS)—responsive to rew
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