Chapter Three-Psychology and Health
Stress and Human Health
Effects of Negative Life Events
Stress is the negative feelings and beliefs that occur whenever people feel
unable to cope with demands from their environment.
The more an external event makes someone’s life different, the more stress it
Social readjustment rating scale divorce is 73 points, trouble with boss is
23, the higher your score the worse your mental and physical health is.
Perceived Stress and Health
Subjective situations have more of an impact on people then objective
The more stress people experience, the lower the immunity to diseases.
Perceived control the belief that we can influence our environment in ways
that determine whether we experience positive or negative outcomes
Perceived control is associated with good mental and physical health
Perceived Control in Nursing Homes
Old people loose control over their lives when they enter nursing homes,
increasing their sense of control results in better health and longer lives
Self efficacy the belief in ones ability to carry out specific actions that
produce desired outcomes
It is not a general sense of control that predicts engaging in healthier
behaviour, but the confidence that once can perform the specific
behaviour in question.
Self-efficacy influences people’s persistence and effort at a task.
Self-efficacy influences the way our bodies react while we are working
towards a goal.
Ex. in a study to get people to quit smoking, there were more likely too if
they were told that they were chosen because they had a lot of control
compared to people that were told they were chosen at random
Explaining Negative Events: Learned Helplessness
Learned helplessness the state of pessimism that results from explaining a
negative event as stemming from stable, internal and global factors. Stable attribution the belief that the cause of an event is as result of factors
that will not change over time, as opposed to unstable factors that will
change over time (e.g. our intelligence)