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Lecture 11

Lecture 11.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Elizabeth Page- Gould

Lecture 11: Stress & Health Stress  Stress o the response to a demanding situation o Stressors can be Psychological or Physiological  Psychological stress: degree of which people have to change and readjust their lives in response to an external event  both good and bad things can cause significant stress (marriage, graduation, death in the family)  Physiological stress: host of physiological responses in the body caused by physical or psychological stressors  A number of ways the body responds to maintain homeostasis; so when the body comes out of its normal routine in order to maintain normal functioning, it has to actually respond in numerous ways; these responses are referred to as physiological stress o Allostasis: body’s ability to adapt to constantly changing environments to maintain homeostasis  Tight allostatic system: one the moves from high to low levels of arousal flexibly and fluidly depending on demands—all for the purpose of adapting to the current environment an making you live healthfully  Allostatic load: a chronically elevated state of arousal which damages the body and makes it less able to flexibly adapt to the environment  Occurs when you don’t have time to recover in b/w the stressors  Where the system maintains a high level of physiological stress for a long period of time—body is les able to flexibly adapt to new stressors in the environment  Result of chronic stressors o heart disease, diabetes, suppressed immunity, hypertension  Effects of Stress o Stress and Performance  When motivated to perform well, the way your body responds to the stressor can either IMPROVE or INHIBIT your performance  Improving performance: Challenge (good)  Inhibiting performance: Threat (bad)  (See charts)  Extreme stress & memory o In response to extreme stressors, body releases catabolic hormone cortisol  cortisol reduces working memory functioning  Cortisol & Cognitive Performance o Cortisol  Decreases hippocampal mass in rats  Restricts blood flow in the hippocampus  Stress and immunity o Psychological stress decrease immune functioning, making you more susceptible to disease  Stress and long-term health o Revisiting allostatic load… o Chronic stress predicts:  Hypertension  Type ll diabetes  Weakened immune system  Physiological thriving o But sometimes…  Stress: thriving (psychological and physical)  People who have stress but respond with this thriving (positive way), are actually stronger, healthier and more able to deal with future stressors than people who haven’t had any stress in their life at all o 2 aspects of “Positive” stress  Acute stressors (instead of chronic): stressed in the moment  Complete relaxation in between stressors  But, people who do have chronic stressors can still be classified under the physiological thriving umbrella; as soon as they let go and relax fully in b/w, then the chronic stressors become acute stressors and body becomes stronger  Physiologi
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