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PSYC 1002 Study Guide - Final Guide: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Coronary Artery Disease, Aids

Course Code
PSYC 1002
Chris Motz
Study Guide

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Chapter 13 - Stress, coping, and health
Biopsychosocial model: holds that physical illness is caused by a complex
interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors
Health psychology: concerned with how psychosocial factors relate to the
promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation, prevention, and
treatment of illness
The nature of stress
oStress: any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten
one's well-being and that thereby tax one's coping abilities
oStress as an everyday event
Elevated rates of psychological problems and physical illness in
the communities affected by natural disasters
Everyday hassles are predictive of impaired mental and physical
Stress is cumulative (adds up)
oAppraisal: stress lies in the eye of the beholder
Primary appraisal: an initial evaluation of whether an event is (1)
irrelevant to you (2) relevant but not threatening or (3) stressful
Secondary appraisal: an evaluation of your coping resources and
option for dealing with the stress (made when event is viewed as stressful)
Major types of stress
oAcute stressors: threatening events that have a relatively short duration
and a clear endpoint
oChronic stressors: threatening events that have a relatively long duration
and no readily apparent time limit
o4 major types of stress: frustration, conflict, change, and pressure
Frustration: occurs in any situation in which the pursuit of some
goal is thwarted
When you want something and can't have it
Most are brief and insignificant
Failures and losses are highly stressful
Conflict: occurs when 2 or more incompatible motivations or
behavioural impulses compete for expression
3 types: approach-approach, avoidance-avoidance, and
Approach-approach conflict: a choice must be made b/w 2
attractive goals - least stressful
Avoidance-avoidance conflict: choice must be made b/w 2
unattractive goals - highly stressful
Approach-avoidance conflict: choice must be made about
whether to pursue a single goal that has both attractive and
unattractive aspects - highly stressful
Often produces vacillation; go back and forth beset
by indecision
Rats do this too

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Life changes: any noticeable alterations in one's living
circumstances that require readjustment
Positive events produce stress b/c of change
Social readjustment rating scale (SRRS): measures life change as
a form of stress
People w/ higher scores on SRRS are more prone to
physical/psychological illnesses
Criticisms: SRRS doesn't measure change exclusively and list of
changes are mostly negative
Canadian adults are spending more time working than with their
families - time pressure
Pressure: involves expectations or demands that one behave a
certain way
Pressure to conform to other people's expectations
Strong correlation b/w pressures and variety of psychological
Responding to stress
oEmotional responses
Relationship b/w stress and mood
oEmotions commonly elicited
Links b/w specific cognitive reactions to stress (appraisals) and
specific emotions
Figure 13.4 pg. 603
Emotional responses to stress: a. Annoyance, anger, rage. B.
Apprehension, anxiety, fear. C. Dejection, sadness, grief
People also experience positive emotions during stress
Frequency of pleasant emotions correlated positively w/ a
measure of subjects' resilience and vice versa
Broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions: positive emotions
alter people's mindsets, can undo effects of negative emotions, can
promote rewarding social interactions that help build social support
Positive emotions correlate w/ lower levels of stress hormones,
reduced mortality, enhanced immune response, and protection against
heart disease
oEffects of emotional arousal
High emotional arousal can interfere w/ attention and memory
retrieval and can impair judgement and decision making
Inverted-U hypothesis: task performance should improve w/
increased emotional arousal- up to a point, after which further increases in
arousal become disruptive and performance deteriorates
Optimal level of arousal: the level of arousal at which
performance peaks
As a task becomes more complex, the optimal level of
arousal tends to decrease
oFight-or-flight response
Fight-or-flight response: a physiological reaction to threat in which
the autonomic nervous system mobilizes the organism for attacking (fight)
or fleeing (flight) an enemy

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Mediated by the sympathetic division of the ANS
Most human stresses nowadays can't be handles through fight or
Females use "tend and befriend" to protect offspring
oThe general adaptation syndrome
Stress reactions are nonspecific; the reactions do not vary
according to the specific type of stress encountered
General adaptation syndrome: a model of the body's stress
response, consisting of 3 stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion
Alarm reaction occurs when organism first recognizes threat (fight
or flight response)
Resistance occurs when physiological changes stabilize as coping
efforts get under way - prolonged stress
Exhaustion occurs when the body's resources may be depleted -
stress over substantial period
Diseases of adaptation: what harmful physiological effects can
lead to
oBrain-body pathways
Hypothalamus appears to initiate action along two pathways
Pathway through ANS: controls the release of catecholamine
hormones that help mobilize the body for action
Pathway through pituitary gland and endocrine system: controls
the release of corticosteroid hormones that increase energy and ward off
tissue inflammation in case of injury
Females' stress responses tend to be milder than males' stress
reactions from puberty - menopause
Suggests that females' higher levels of estrogen may play
a key role in toning down women's physiological reactivity to stress
Higher prevalence of cardiovascular disorders in men
Stress can interfere w/ neurogenesis (formation of new neurons)
oBehavioural responses
Coping: refers to active efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the
demands created by stress
May be adaptive or maladaptive
Coping is a key aspect of personality; it is stable and dispositional
Coping inventory for stressful situations (CISS): measures: task-
oriented coping, emotion-oriented coping, and avoidance-oriented coping
oGiving up and blaming oneself
Learned helplessness: passive behaviour produced by exposure
to unavoidable aversive events
Occurs when individuals believe that events are beyond
their control
Also referred to as behavioural disengagement
Associated w/ increased distress
Can contribute to depression
Negative self-talk can contribute to depressive disorders
oStriking out at others
Aggression: any behaviour that is intended to hurt someone,
either physically or verbally
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