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Psychology 1000- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 235 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Professor
Derek Quinlan
Study Guide
Final

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Western
Psychology 1000
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Chapter 15 Psych 1000
Stress, Coping, & Health
The Nature of Stress
View stress in three different ways:
(1) A stimulus
(2) A response
(3) An organism-environment interaction
Stressors: eliciting stimuli; events that place strong demands on us
Stress (as stimulus): “I have 3 exams next week and lost my backpack”
Stress (as response): “I’m tensed up and can’t concentrate because I’m worried”
Stress (as interaction): fig. 15.1 (p. 563)
Stress: pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological responses, and behavioral
tendencies that occurs in a response to a perceived imbalance between situational
demands and the resources needed to cope with them
Stressors
= Specific kinds of eliciting stimuli (can be physical or psychological)
Greater the imbalance between demands and resources, more stressful situation
Microstressors: daily hassles and everyday annoyances we encounter at school,
job, family relations, etc.
Catastrophic stressors: occur unexpectedly and typically affect larger numbers of
people (e.g., tsunami)
Major negative events: e.g., being victim of major crime/sexual abuse, death of
loved one, academic/career failure, major illness, etc.
Events occurring unpredictable/sudden affect person long term and take greatest
toll on wellbeing
Measuring Stressful Life Events
Sometimes researchers must rely on self-report
Life event scales: quantify amount of life stress that a person has experienced
over a given pd. of time (e.g., last 6 mos.); see table 15.1 (p. 565)
Some theorists believed any life event requires adaptation, whether negative or
positive in nature, is a stress; however, today’s research only defines it as negative
only
The Stress Response
We respond to situations as we perceive them; fig. 15.1 (p. 563)
Four aspects of appraisal process are of particular significance:
(1) Appraisal of the demands of the situation (primary appraisal)
(2) Appraisal of the resources available to cope (secondary appraisal)
(3) Judgments of what the consequences of the situations could be
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Chapter 15 Psych 1000
(4) Appraisal of personal meaning, i.e., what outcome implies about us
Lazarus:
About to have important job interview…
First engage in primary appraisal of the situation as being either benign,
neutral, or threatening in terms of its demands and its significance to your
well-being
At same time, you will be appraising your perceived ability to cope (i.e.,
secondary appraisal)
Coping = knowledge, abilities, verbal skills, social resources, etc.
Will also take into account potential consequences of failing to cope
successfully
Appraising consequences of failing as very costly and very likely to occur
increases the perceived stressfulness of the situation
The psychological meaning of the consequences may be related to your
basic beliefs about yourself or the world
Distortions and mistaken appraisals can occur at any of the four points in the
appraisal process, causing inappropriate stress responses
May exaggerate seriousness of consequences and likelihood that they will occur,
or they may have irrational self-beliefs that confer inappropriate meaning on the
consequences
As soon as we make appraisals, the body responds to them (physiologically); e.g.,
if you find yourself trembling as you enter the interview room, you may appraise
the situation as even more threatening as you did initially
Chronic Stress & the GAS
Hans Selye, general adaptation syndrome (GAS) 3 phases:
(1) Alarm reaction
o Sudden activation of SNS; release of cortisol
o Activating effect on smooth muscles, organs, and glands
o Helps body deal with source of stress
o Hypothalamus pituitary adrenal gland cortisol
o Cortisol triggers increase in BSL acting on liver (in part)
o Cortisol also suppresses immune system
o Cannot last indefinitely
(2) Resistance
o Body’s resources continue to be mobilized so person can function
o How long resistance lasts depends on severity of stress, the
individual’s general health, available support, etc.
o Cannot continue indefinitely w/o exhausting body
(3) Exhaustion
o If stressor is intense and persists for too long
o Increased vulnerability to disease and even death
o Whichever body system is the weakest will be the first to be
attacked during this stage
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