Ch16 Psychology Notes.docx

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16 Apr 2012
Drinking Alcoholic Beverages
To abuse a substance means to use it in a way that poses a threat to the safety & well-being of
the user/society/both
Alcoholism = An addiction to ethanol, the psychoactive agent in alcoholic beverages
o Psychoactive Substance = any substance that affects the brain & CNS functioning
5:1 ratio of men to women of alcohol consumption
Strong correlation w/ alcohol consumption & violent relationships
Neuronal activity of the brain becomes suppressed & reduces inhibitory controls on beh when
moderate to heavy lvls of alcohol is consumed, individuals become:
o More relaxed & outgoing
o Impaired motor coordination
o Difficulty thinking clearly
Even more alcohol is consumer:
o Producing distortions in perception
o Slurred speech
o Memory loss
o Impaired judgement
o Poor control of movement
Alcohol (b/c small fat & water soluble molecules) is rapidly absorbed from stomach to intestinal
tract & is quickly n evenly distributed throughout the body via the circulatory system
Blood alcohol lvls are affected by body mass and muscularity Larger person = more alcohol
Muscular person = more alcohol
Alcohol is metabolized by the liver in a constant rate (regardless of amount) metabolize
0.3%-0.4% blood alcohol level = lose consciousness
0.5% blood alcohol level = neurons in the brain lose control of respiratory & circulatory system
stop functioning causing death
Delirium Tremens (DTs) pattern of withdrawal symptoms that includes trembling, irritability,
hallucinations, sleeplessness, & confusion when attempt to quit drinking
o Some alcoholics become some dependent that stopping drinking produces convulsion &
sometimes death
Refer to page 521, Table 16.4 “Effects of Mixing Alcohol with Other Drugs”
Alcohol (like cigarettes) is prompted from 1. Imitation 2. Peer Pressure
Treatments: aversion therapy or extensive counselling
psychologists/counsellors aim to teach ind.s:
1. Identify environmental cues/circumstances that may cause addictive beh to occur/recur
2. Learn to behave in ways that are compatible w/ the undesirable beh
3. Have confidence that he/she can overcome addiction
4. View setbacks in overcoming the addiction as a temp & as learning experiences in which
new coping skills are acquired
Prevention programs for addictive beh is only moderately successful
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Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) = Last stage of the illness triggered by Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
spread through tainted blood or sharing needles
Safe sex practices can reduce contracting STD:
o Limiting # of sexual partners
o Sexual history of sexual partners b4 engaging in sexual relations
o Using a condom
o Abstinence
4 main goals of prevention programs:
1. Teach ppl the relationship b/w beh & contracting STDs & AIDS
2. Familiarize ppl w/ safe se behs (proper use of condom)
3. Break down barriers to using safe sex practices (refusal to inquire about a partner’s
sexual history, idea that one is vulnerable to STD/HIV infection
4. Provide encouragement & support in order to motivate behs that reduce STDS & HIV
Young ppl feel that they misfortune of STDs won’t happen to them (false sense of safety)
Decrease masculinity when using a condom
Falsely feel that they can tell if someone has STDs
Reactions to Contagious Diseases
Many ppl don’t feel comfortable sitting next to a person w/ AIDS for fear of catching it
Fear of Contagion =Negative beh of this sort occurs especially in a collective widespread of
social basis
o Fear of contagion occurs under 4 conditions
1. Disease is deadly
2. Disease appears suddenly
3. No apparent explanation
4. Ppl believe that many ppl are at risk contracting it
Self-Control = Behaviour that produces a larger, long-term reward (produced by another, necessarily
incompatible action) when ppl are faced w/ the choice b/w it and a smaller, short-term reward
= “prior commitment of action that precludes making this decision
Howard Rachlin & George Ainslie created a model of self-control:
o When there is a choice b/w the small, short-term reward & larger, long-term reward
you will most likely chose the small, short term reward b/c at the moment it exceeds
the larger, long-term reward *avoid choice in 1st place
o Move the moment of decision to time before the choice = long-term reward has a
higher value
Ex. Forms of prior commitment: setting alarm the night before
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Other self-control strategies: coping w/ situations of such temptation
Lack of success in effective commitment strategies that encourage ppl to make choices that
benefit their health
Health Psychology = The branch of psychology involved in the promotion and maintenance of sound
health practices
Stress = A pattern of physiological, behavioural, & cognitive responses to stimuli (real/imagined) that are
perceived as endangering one’s well-being
Stressors = Stimuli that are perceived as endangering one’s well-being
Stress is a product of natural selection
Behavioural adaptation that helped our ancestors flight or flee from wild animals & enemies
Biological Basis of Stress
Physical response to stressors is governed by autonomic nervous system, which is controlled by
the hypothalamus
When an ind senses a stressor, the hypothalamus sends signals to the pituitary gland, both
which respond by stimulating body organs to change their normal activities:
1. Heart rate Increases, blood pressure rises, blood vessels constrict, blood sugar levels rise,
& blood flow is directed away from extremities & toward major organs
2. Breathing becomes deeper & faster and air passages dilate, which permits more air to
enter the lungs
3. Digestion stops and perspiration increases
4. The adrenal glands secrete adrenaline (epinephrine) which stimulates the heart & other
2 cases where these responses are maladaptive:
o Stress produces anxiety, which impairs one`s ability to perform tasks
o Effects of prolonged & severe stress
Selye`s General Adaptation Syndrome
General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) = The model proposed by Selye to describe the body’s adaptation
to chronic exposure to severe stressors. The body passes through an orderly sequence of 3 physiological
stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion
1. Alarm Reaction (1st confronted w/ the stressor)
Arousal of the autonomic nervous system
Resistance of stressor temporary drops below normal
Shock impairment of normal functioning
2. Resistance (cont’d exposure to stressor)
Autonomic nervous system returns to normal
Resistance of stressor increases & plateaus @ above normal levels
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