PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Cortisol, Phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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24 May 2018
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Behaviour is determined by Multiple Factors II:
Can Psychology Factors Affect Health:
Health Psychology: area of study that focuses on health and psychology
o Importance of lifestyle factors to physical health
Well-being: when we feel our best and want to strive for optimal health
Psychologists who study well-being rely on the experimental and statistical methods of
psychology to see the interrelations between thoughts, actions, physical and mental
health
Biopsychosocial Model:
Psychological factors, social conditions and biological characteristics are all related
Placebo effect:
o A drug that is not real is given to a patient and he or she feels better because they
believe that the drug is real
o This works because it reduces anxiety which can then reduce pain and make
you feel better
STRESS:
It is both behavioural and physiological that exceed an organism’s abilities to respond in
a health way
Coping response: anything that the person does to avoid/escape from stress
Eustress: positive stress short lived but it is a motivating factor
Distress: negative short/long term and is opposite of motivation
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis
STRESSFUL EVENT BRAIN HYPOTHALAMUS sends chemical message
PITUATARY GLAND Hormones (oxytocin) ADRENAL GLAND Cortisol
(positive and negative effects)
stress begins in the brain as a result of some stressful event, the hypothalamus sends a
chemical message to the pituitary gland which in turn secretes hormones that travel
through the bloodstream until they reach the adrenal glands, which in turn secretes
cortisol, which is responsible for many of the feelings we have when stressed
RESULTS in increased energy
Sex Differences:
Fight or Flight
Tend and befriend response:
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o In stressful situations females tend to respond by protecting their offspring and by
forming alliances and social groups
o Has more of a selective advantage than fight or flight natural selection
o Oxytocin is higher in women than men which could also cause the tend and
befriend response
Stages of stress: General Adaptation Syndrome
o 1st (Alarm) initial reaction to things
o 2nd (Resistance stage) the body maximizes its resistance to immunity in general
increase
o 3rd (Exhaustion) immune system starts to weaken and other systems start to fail
Health Effects:
Colds stress weakens the immune system
Long term problems include:
o Increased blood pressure, cardiac disease, diabetes, declining sexual interest,
dwarfism
Types of behavioural patterns:
o Type A: Competitive, very stressed, aggressive
o Type B: Relaxed, not competitive,
o Type A was more prone to heart disease
Coping with Stress:
Primary appraisal: basically deciding whether the situation is stressful or not
Secondary appraisal: ppl evaluate their options and choosing the best coping method
Emotional-Focused: not dealing with the stress but you are dealing with your emotions
and adjusting your response
o Passive avoid the problem
o Usually occurs when stress levels are too high
Problem Focused: Dealing with the actual problem head on
o Active - occurs when stressors are controllable
Hardiness is important! being in control of the situation
Resiliency: ability to cope with stress and return to normal conditions
Allosatic theory of illness: when ppl don’t return to their normal state
Social Support: 4 types
o Tangible Support when someone provides help by actually taking on some of
the responsibilities
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PSY100H1 Full Course Notes
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PSY100H1 Full Course Notes
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Document Summary

Health psychology: area of study that focuses on health and psychology: importance of lifestyle factors to physical health. Well-being: when we feel our best and want to strive for optimal health. Psychologists who study well-being rely on the experimental and statistical methods of psychology to see the interrelations between thoughts, actions, physical and mental health. Psychological factors, social conditions and biological characteristics are all related. It is both behavioural and physiological that exceed an organism"s abilities to respond in a health way. Coping response: anything that the person does to avoid/escape from stress. Eustress: positive stress short lived but it is a motivating factor. Distress: negative short/long term and is opposite of motivation. Stressful event brain hypothalamus sends chemical message . Pituatary gland hormones (oxytocin) adrenal gland cortisol (positive and negative effects) Colds stress weakens the immune system. Long term problems include: increased blood pressure, cardiac disease, diabetes, declining sexual interest, dwarfism.

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