PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Disorganized Schizophrenia, Startle Response, Antisocial Personality Disorder

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9 Aug 2016
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PSY 100 Week 4
Behaviour is Determined by Multiple Factors: Nature vs. Nurture Interactions
Genes vs. Environment
- Nature and nurture are inextricably entwined
- Impossible to separate genetic influences from environmental influences
- Can work together to determine human behaviour (Caspi’s study examining
violent behaviour)
- Epigenetics: changes in gene expression that are due to non-genetic (“epi” –
“outer”) influences
Heredity vs. Heritability
-Heredity: the genetic transmission of characteristics and traits from parents to
offspring
-Heritability: in reference to a particular population not individuals. An estimate
of the genetic portion of the variation in some specific trait
- How much does height/weight/intelligence vary within the population? Do related
individuals show less variation than unrelated individuals? Estimate of heritability
- % of the variation that is explained by genetic differences
Twin & Adoption Studies
- Help researchers study the impact of genetic versus environmental influences
- Monozygotic – identical twins share the same egg, Dizygotic – fraternal twins.
Monozygotic twins raised together vs. apart
- Those raised together (shared genes and shared environment) less similar than
those raised apart. Raises issues about the complexity of shared environment
Health Psychology: focuses on the events that affect physical well being and applies
psychological principles to the understanding of health and well being
The Biopsychosocial Model
Can thoughts and beliefs really affect physical health?
- Placebo effect: a drug/treatment, unrelated to the particular problem of the person
who receives it, may make the person feel better because the person believes the
drug/treatment is effective
- Role of anxiety, experience of pain
Stress & Coping
- Stress: a pattern of behavioural, psychological, and physiological responses to
events that match or exceed an organism’s abilities to respond.
- Eustress: stress caused by positive events
- Distress: stress caused by negative events
- Stressor: an environmental event or stimulus that threatens an organism. Major
life stressors vs. daily hassles
- Coping response: any response an organism makes to avoid, escape from, or
minimize an aversive stimulus
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PSY 100 Week 4
Physiology of Stress: The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Hypothalamus
sends messages to pituitary gland releases stress hormone to adrenal gland
- The general adaptation syndrome: general stress response
1. Alarm stage: seeing the stressor
2. Resistance stage: defenses are maximized, prepared to deal with stressful event
3. Exhaustion stage: immune system starts weakening and fail
- Hallmarks of a non-specific stress response: bloated adrenal glands, damaged
lymphatic structures, stomach ulcers.
- Everyone has this same three stage process
Sex Differences
- Flight or flight response
- Tend and befriend response
- Females’ tendency to respond to stress by protecting and caring for their
offspring, as well as by forming alliances with social groups. Oxytocin: forming
bonds
Health Effects
- Colds: tress weakens the immune system
- Heart disease: stress and negative emotions (hostility) can lead to unhealthy
behaviours (smoking, overeating), and direct wear and tear on the heart
Coping
Emotion focused coping: attempts to prevent an emotional response to the stressor
- More passive coping strategy. Ex: avoidance, minimizing the problem, emotional
eating
- More likely when stressors are perceived as uncontrollable and when stress levels
are high. Deal with emotional reaction to the stressful situation
Problem focused coping: attempts to deal directly with the stressor to solve the
problem
- More active coping strategy. Ex: generating alternative solutions and choosing
from among them. More likely when stressors are perceived as controllable and
when stress levels are moderate
- Individual differences in hardiness
- People who are high in hardiness are committed to their daily activities, view
threats as challenges or opportunities for growth, and see themselves as being in
control
- Hardiness is closely related to resiliency (ability to cope in stress, return to normal
state of functioning)
Social Support
Four basic types of social support:
1. Tangible Support: providing help, taking on some of the responsibilities of the
person
2. Informational Support: telling the person what to do, offering advice
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