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PSYCH253 Lecture Notes - Learned Helplessness, Precognition, Shy People

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Steve Spencer

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Alcohol- barenaked ladies
1. Health and Control greater sense of control, healthier
Executive Rats
*C1: Executive rat can stop the shock
*C2: Subordinate Rat - can’t do anything to stop the shock
*C3: Control Rat
*Control gets more
*Subordinate gets the disease more often
*Executive, as long as it can stop the shot, he can’t get diseases
Singer and Glass Studies
*Had people experience blasts of noise
*C1: sit and listen to the noise
*C2: gave the Ps switch on the wall; they were told that they can stop the noise when they
can shut it properly
*C2, when they believed that they can control the noise, they could have less disease
Learned Helplessness and Depression when people learned that they don’t have control
in their environment, they’ll get depressed
-Original Model
*dogs couldn’t do anything to escape the shots
-Reformulated Model
*whenever you have negative things in your life, it will lead to depression when you
have an internal attribution and make it stable, then make it global; e.g.: I failed the test
because I’m stupid, I’m a moron and I can’t do anything right and this will ruin everything in
my life.
Control and health Outcomes
-Rodin and Langer Control in the Nursing Home (old people)
*C1: give them a greater sense of control; brought them a plant and they got to be in
charge to take care of the plant (treatment)
*C2: vote on what activity they must do on a daily basis (control condition)
*How happy people were with this sense of control?
*Those people who received the sense of control make them even happier.
*Rs went back to the nursing home yrs after. How many people died and lived longer
after the experiment?
*Treatment: 15% of people died, Control: 30% died; in average treatment lives 1.2 yrs
longer than control.
*You could be happier if you have a better sense of control.
Optimism and Health
-Taylor and Brown
*Optimism has a significant correlation with health*
Importance of Value Systems and meaning
-McIntosh, Silver, and Wortman , 1992
*Parents that have a child that died (sudden death syndrome)
*Some people recovered very quickly
-gained sense of meaning from the event quickly
*Others took those couple of years
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-hoe you make sense of meaning in the event and able to understand it and put
it to perspective
*Others never got over
-aren’t able to gain sense of meaning
2. Health and Stress
Seyles’s General Adaptation Syndrome
*Change in the environment is what makes us stressful.
What makes something stressful? How we appraise or perceive a situation is critical.
Major crises is change bad or does it has to be negative?
*Early Theories any change is bad
*Social Readjustment Scale
*Leading stress: Marriage, New Job (they could lead to positive aspects too)*
*Recent research in cognitive appraisals suggests that negative change is what is bad
*How you view it as threat or a challenge is what matters. If you can’t handle it, it’s
*When you perceive something that you can handle, perceive it as a challenge, your
blood vessels opens up and lets the flow of blood on the body. Challenge reaction is
*When you perceive something that you can’t handle (perceive it as a threat), you blood
vessels conscript, it’s harder for the blood to pass through the organs, bad reaction;
heart blood; heart disease.
Daily Hassles leads to more effect to illness
*Dorm and illness
*put more people in the same room, they got sick more than studnets who has their
own rooms.
*Interpersonal Conflict
*e.g.: conflicts with the roommates who don’t do dishes.
*bring up stress more in people’s life.
3. Models of Depression
Pennebaker’s Theory of Inhibition and Confrontation
*When people write about their struggles, they did better in life.
*Inhibition can create stress -If you’re not thinking of your problems, it could lead to stress.
Means you can’t handle it
*Inhibition inhibits finding meaning in the event
*Confrontation reverses this pattern- when Ps write about problems, they won’t inhibit it and
lead to better coping up.
Nolen-Hoeksma’s Self-Focus Model of Depression when people have negative moods, the
more they focus on themselves.
*Negative mood leads to self-focus
*Self-focus increases negative mood
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