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psych 3170

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3170
Professor
Jennifer Mills
Semester
Fall

Description
Exam notes Chapter 6 Tend and befriend Theory  Humans respond to stress with social and nuturant behaviour  When men were responsible for hunting and protection women were responsible for foraging and childcare therefore women’s responses to stress would have evolved to protect not only herself but her offspring- not only in humans but most species  Befriending- affiliation with others, seeking social contact during stress is especially characteristic of females and may help in self-preservation and protection of offspring  The hormone oxytocin is significant to female responses to stress- it is released in response to stressful events and its effects are influenced by estrogen  Oxytocin increases affiliative behaviour (mothering, and warm touching btw couples)  Opioids may also contribute to affiliative responses to stress in females  Women are more likely to respond to stress by turning to others  Theory brings social behaviour into the stress process Primary Appraisal Process  Lazarus  Individuals confront a new/changing environment they engage in this process to determine the meaning of the event  Events perceived as positive, neutral, or negative  Negative/potentially negative events further appraised for threat, harm or challenge  Harm- assessment of damage already done by event (example job loss; embarrassment, self- esteem issues)  Threat- assessment of possible further damage (financial stress for family) Physiological responses include high blood pressure when threat is higher or when threat is high and challenge is low  Challenge- potential to overcome and even profit (unemployment as a chance to try something new)  Illustrated by study by Speisman, Lazarus, Mordkoof on university students (viewed film of tribal initiation rites. One group listened to anthropological account, one heard a lecture deemphasizing the pain, another heard a lecture emphasizing the pain and another group had no intro info given. Conclusion: first two groups experiences less stress then the group that heard emphasis on pain) Secondary Appraisal process  When harm and threat are high and coping ability is low = a lot of stress  When coping ability is high= stress is minimal  Potential responses to stress may be physiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural  Cognitive responses- beliefs about harm or threat, and causes or controllability (also include involuntary responses such as distractibility and inability to concentrate)  Emotional reactions- fear, anxiety, excitement, embarrassment, anger, depression and denial  Behavioural- limitless confrontative (fight) against stressor or withdrawal (flight) Physiology of Stress  Stress causes psychological distress  The sympathetic adrenomedullary (SAM) and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis are involved in the response to stress Sympathetic activation  The cerebral cortex labels events as harmful or threatening  Info from cortex transmitted to the hypothalamus which initiates one of the earliest responses to stress the fight or flight response described by Cannon (sympathetic nervous system arousal)  Sympathetic arousal stimulates the medulla of the adrenal glands which secrete catecholamine’s ; epinephrine and norepinephrine  Leads to increased blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, and constriction of peripheral blood vesicles HPA  Hans Selye  Hypothalamus releases CRF which stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete ACTH which then stimulates the adrenal cortex to release glucocorticoids (cortisol)  Cortisol- conserve stores of carbs to help reduce inflammation in case an injury occurs  Repeated activation of HPA can compromise its functioning Effects of long-term stress  Experience effects of sudden elevations of circulating stress hormones that don’t serve the purpose for which they were originally intended  Excessive discharge of catecholamine’s epinephrine and norepinephrine can supress immune functions (increase blood pressure and HR and produce neurochemical imbalances that lead to the development of psychiatric disorders  Corticosteroids compromise immune functioning and can lead to problems in verbal functioning, memory and concentration bc of its effects on the hippocampus  Chronic HPA activation leads to the storage of fat in the abdominal rather than the hips – marker for chromic stress and associated with depression  Exercise which produces sympathetic arousal but not HPA arousal is protective for health rather the compromising  Stress can impair immune systems response hormonal signals that terminate inflammation  Poor sleep as indicator and consequence of chronic stress  Emotional arousal and neuroendocrine activation due to chronic stress may underline chronic insomnia Individual differences in stress reactivity  Differences in the reactions to stress may be genetic origin  Reactivity to stress can affect vulnerability to illness  People who reacted to lab stressors with high cortisol responses were especially vulnerable to upper respiratory infections  Psychobiological reactivity to stress is important factor that influences the effects that stress has on the body and the likelihood it will lead to disease Physiological Recovery Process  Inability to recover quickly from stress is marker of damage stress has caused  Athletes under stress showed longer cortisol recovery  Stress may widen the window for injury or illness among competitive athletes Allostatic Load  Initial response to stress is arousal but overtime this may give way to exhaustion leading to damage  Long term costs of chronic or repeated stres
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