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PSY 402 (75)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Longevity, Health and Functioning

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PSY 402
Sohail Rashid

Chapter 3 Longevity Health and FunctioningDecember0210842 AMHow Long Will We LiveAverage Life Expectancy and Maximum Life SpanThe number of years one lives as jointly determined by genetic and environmental factors is called longevityResearchers distinguish between two types of longevity average life expectancy and maximum life spanAverage life expectancy refers to the age at which a particular age cohort can expect to lifeIt is affected by both genetic and environmental factorsAdvances in medical technology and improvements in health care mean that more people survive to old age thereby increasing average longevity in the general populationMaximum longevity or lifespan is the oldest age to which any individual of a species livesIf all diseases were eliminated researchers believe that the body would still only live up to 120 yearsResearchers are differentiating active life expectancy from dependent life expectancy It is the difference between living to a healthy old age active life expectancy and simply living a long time dependent life expectancyHow many active and dependent years one has later in life depends a great deal on the interaction of genetic and environmental factorsGeneric Factors vs Environmental FactorsGenetic FactorsA good way to increase ones chances of a long life is to come from a family with a history of longlived individualsExample if your mother lives to at least age 80 roughly 4 years are added to your longevityGenetic factors also play a major role in determining how well older people cope with diseaseEnvironmental FactorsEnvironmental factors also affect the life spanSome environmental factors are more obvious diseases toxins lifestyle and social class are among the most importantEnvironmental toxins encountered mainly as air and water pollutionGender Differences in Average Life ExpectancyFemales have nearly a 7year edge over malesSocioeconomic factors such as access to health care work and educational opportunities and athletics also help account for the emergence of the female advantage in industrialized societiesIn developing countries women have more risks during childbirthMen are more susceptible to infectious diseasesHealth and IllnessDefining Health and IllnessHealth is the absence of acute and chronic physical or mental disease and impairments How people view their own health is predicative of illness and mortalityIllnessis the presence of acute and chronic physical or mental disease and impairmentsChanges in the Immune SystemA growing body of evidence is pointing to key connections between our immune system and psychological stateOur psychological state or a characteristic such as our attitude can begin a series of neurological hormonal and behavioural responses that directly change the immune system and makes us more likely to become illPsychoneuroimmunology is the of the relations between psychological neurological and immunological systems that raise or lower our susceptibility to and ability to recover from disease The placebo effect people think the drug is going to help them and they do get better Psychology Page 1
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