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Chapter 13

PSY100Y5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Coronary Circulation, Adrenal Medulla, Jargon

Course Code
Ayesha Khan

of 8
Chapter 13
1:41 AM
Biopsychosocial model = physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological, &
sociocultural factors
Stress major stressful event leading to minor stressors
Has a cumulative nature
Lies in the eyes/ mind of the beholder
Stressors can be acute stressors or chronic stressors
Major types of stress:
1. Frustration
2. Conflict
Approach-approach least stressful
Avoidance-avoidance most unpleasant and highly stressful
Approach-avoidance produce vacillation
3. Change can be stressful even when changes are welcomed
Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) the higher scores, the more vulnerable to many
kinds of illness and psychological problems
4. Pressure to perform, conform
More strongly related to measures of mental health
Is often self-imposed
Other forms of stress can be self-generated too
Responding to stress
Stress affects individual's:
1. Emotional responses
Emotions commonly elicited
Link between appraisals (specific cognitive reactions to stress) and specific emotions
Annoyance, anger, rage
Apprehesion, anxiety, fear
Dejection, sadness, grief
Positive emotions could also occur (they do not vanish in times of stress and also help
people in bouncing back from difficulties associated w/ stress)
Frederickson's broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions
a. Positive emotions alter people's mindsets/ broaden scope of attention/
increase creativity and flexibility in problem solving
b. ...can undo effects of negative emotions thus shortening the damaging
physiological responses to stress
c. ...can promote rewarding social interactions
a. Positive emotions widen people's scope of attention
b. ...promote healthy coping responses
c. ...initiate upward spirals in emotional well-being
d. ...facilitate flourishing mental health
e. ...lower levels of stress hormones
f. ...reduce mortality in some populations
g. ...enhance immune response
Effects of emotional arousal
Inverted U-hypothesis - task performance should improve with increased emotional
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
(harder task = decrease level of arousal)
2. Physiological responses
The fight-or-flight response
Mediated by the sympathetic division of autonomic nervous system (ANS)
A "leftover" from humanity's evolutionary past
In females, they have fostered more of a "tend and befriend" response
"basic neuroendocrine core of stress responses" is largely the same for both genders
The general adaptation syndrome
Hans Selye - identified and named the concept of stress/ formulated the theory
It is a model of the body's stress response, consisting of three stages:
1. Alarm reaction = fight-or-flight response
2. Stage of resistance - when exposed to prolonged stress (chronic stress),
physiological changes stabilize as coping efforts get under way
3. Stage of exhaustion - if stress can't be overcome, the body's resources may be
Harmful physiological effects can lead to "diseases of adaptation"
Strain may be a more appropriate word instead of stress
Brain-body pathways
1st pathway - hypothalamus --> activation of sympathetic division of ANS --> stimulation
of adrenal medulla (the center of adrenal glands) --> release of catecholamines into
bloodstream --> physiological changes seen in fight-or-flight response and body is
mobilized for action
Increased cardiovascular responses, respiration, perspiration, blood flow to
active muscles, muscle strength, mental activity
2nd pathway - hypothalamus --> signal to pituitary gland (master gland of endocrine
system) --> secretion of ACTH --> stimulation of adrenal cortex (outer part of adrenal
glands) --> release of corticosteroids --> increase energy/ inhibit tissue inflammation
in case of injury
Increased protein & fat mobilization, access to energy storage
Decreased inflammation
During stress, there is interference in neurogenesis - formation of new neurons
primarily in key areas of hypothalamus
3. Behavioral responses
Involves coping (active efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the demands of stress)
...may be adaptive or maladaptive
It is key aspect of personality (it is a stable, dispositional attribute)
Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) - measures 3 stable coping dimensions:
i. Task-oriented coping
ii. Emotion-oriented coping
iii. Avoidance-oriented coping
Giving up and blaming oneself
Learned helplessness - passive behaviour produced by exposure to unavoidable
aversive events
...behavioral disengagement that is associated with increased distress & contributes to
"giving up" = "goal adjustment"
Blaming oneself = "catastrophic thinking" accdg to Ellis
Striking out at others
Agression - any behaviour that is intended to hurt someone, either physically or
Frustration-aggression hypothesis - aggression is always caused by frustration
Displacement - when people are provoked, displaced aggression is common
Aggressive catharsis = release of emotional tension
Indulging oneself
...unwise pattern of eating, drinking, smoking, using drugs, spending money,
Severe gamblers were found to use less task-oriented coping and more avoidance
oriented coping strategies
Internet addiction = spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet and
inability to control online use
Defensive coping
Defensive mechanism - largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from
unpleasant emotions (like anxiety, anger, guilt, dejection) that's so often elicited by
...works through self-deception (use of denial, resort to fantasy, bend reality in self-
serving ways)
...operate at various levels of awareness although largely unconscious
...definitely normal
...not really healthy (an avoidance strategy that rarely provides a solution to
problems/ it relates to poor health/ defences represent wishful thinking which is likely
to accomplish little)
"positive illusions" may be adaptive
Examples of defense mechanisms
Denial of reality
Intellectualization (isolation)
Constructive coping
...relatively healthful efforts that people make to deal w/ stressful events
...involves confronting problems directly
...based in reasonably realistic appraisals of your stress and coping resources
...involves learning to recognize/ inhibit potentially disruptive emotional reactions to
...includes making efforts to ensure body is not especially vulnerable to the possibly
damaging effects of stress
Effects of stress on psychological functioning
Impaired task performance
Many people tend to "choke" under pressure