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Chapter 16

Chapter 16 Notes

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Queen's University
PSYC 100

Chapter 16: Cultural Evolution: Lifestyle Choices and Consequences • Psychology helps us understand the interactions humans make and the consequences they have on our lifestyle. • Personal behaviors can have serious implication on long term physical health and psychological well being • Particular behaviors have drastic consequences on a person’s quality of life • Cultural Evolution: the adaptive change of a culture to recurrent environmental pressures • Driven mainly by psychological forces • Product of human intellect and physical capacity— strong genetic components • Primary agent in shaping lifestyle—the way one leads his or her life • Consequences of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors have negative biological implications • Behaviors come from both biological and psychological factors • Law and effect plays a big role in lifestyle choices • Healthy behaviors have a long term positive effect on a person’s life • Unhealthy behaviors have a short term positive effect and a negative long term affect • Law and effect can work against us sometimes Healthy and Unhealthy Lifestyles • Nutrition: • Nutrition is very important • Diets too high in saturated fats and too low in fiber are unhealthy • Linked to coronary heart diseases (CDH) , cancer • Eating foods that are low in fat and high in fiber can reduce the chances of CDH • Physical Fitness: • Decreases the risk of death • Reduces the chance of diabetes, mellitus, CDH and cystic fibrosis • Reduces high blood pressure • Activates dopamine—endorphin that makes us happy • Aerobic exercise: expends considerable energy and works the heart and lungs o Reduces heart response to mental stress • Smoking: • Doubles the chance of premature death compared to people who don’t smoke • Increases the risk of bronchitis, emphysema and strokes • Risks directly related to the carbon monoxide and tar in the cigarette smoke • Passive smoking—inhalation of smoke from others cigarettes— just as bad as actually smoking • The body build a tolerance—neurons in the CNS respond progressively less to the presence of the drug making it necessary for larger doses of the drug to have the same effect as before • Physical dependence: neurons in the CNS require the drug to function normally— without withdrawal— uncomfortable physical conditions i.e. sweating, tremors, anxietry — will be experienced • Psychological dependence: craving for the drug for pleasurable effects—becomes focal point in person life • Alcohol: • Abused drug—poses threat to both individual and society • Alcoholism is an addiction to Ethanol, the psychoactive agent in alcohol beverages. • Neuronal activity of the brain is suppressed and reduces inhibitory controls in behavior when moderate to heavy levels of alcohol are consumed. • Becoming more relaxed, outgoing impaired motor control, difficulty thinking clearly are all effects of alcohol in the system/. • The more alcohol consumed the more depressed neural activity in the brain becomes. • Distortions of perceptions, slurred speech, memory loss, impaired judgment, and poor control of movement are results. • Unconsciousness and death may result from ingesting large amounts of alcohol over a short period of time. • Rapidly absorbed by the stomach and intestines • Blood alcohol levels are affected by body mass and muscularity. • Heavy drinkers can suffer from delirium tremens—a pattern if withdrawal symptoms that include trembling, irritability, hallucinations, sleeplessness, and confusion when trying to quit drinking • Alcohol and smoking can be caused by many of the same reason—imitation and peer pressure. • STDs and AIDS • AIDS is the most life threatening disease that can be transmitted sexually • AIDS— acquired immune deficiency syndrome • Can spread through unsafe sex, tainted blood transfusions, and sharing of hypodermic needles among intravenous drug users • Aids is the last stage of the illness triggered by HIV— human immunodeficiency virus Self Control • Not all parts of our lives are adaptive, some aspects are detrimental to both our longevity and our quality of life • unhealthy lifestyles can be avoided by self control • Self control— behavior that produces a larger , long term reward when people are faced with the choice between it and a smaller, short term reward • Self control is a prior commitment to a course of action that precludes making a decision •
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