PSY100 Chapter 10.docx

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15 Apr 2012
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Chapter 10 Health and Well-Being
INTRODUCTION
Gary Stocklaufer
o Adopted cousin’s baby
o Went to file legal adoptive paperwork, judge refused due to his weight saying he would
most likely develop a serious disease and die
o Advance Fat Acceptance established a legal defense fund for Stocklaufer
o Fat = poor parenting
CAN PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS AFFECT HEALTH
Health psychology is an area of study that integrates research on health and on psychology
o apply knowledge of psychological principles to promote health and well-being, instead
of thinking about health merely as the absence of disease
Well-being is a positive state in which we feel our best
To achieve optimal health, we need to actively participate in maintaining wellness through
health-enhancing behaviours
THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL OF HEALTH INCORPORATES MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES FOR IMPROVING
HEALTH
Biopsychosicial model a model of health that integrates the effects of biological, behavioural,
and social factors on health and illness (figure 10.2 on page 441)
BEHAVIOUR CONTRIBUTES TO THE LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH
People are most likely to die from causes that stem from their own behaviours (smoking,
obesity)
PLACEBOS CAN BE POWERFUL MEDICINE
Believing the pills will work because the doctor said they would, quickly feel better
o Placebo effect a drug or treatment, unrelated to the particular problem of the person
who receives it, may make the recipient feel better because the person believes the
drug or treatment is effective
HOW DO PEOPLE COPE WITH STRESS?
Stress is a basic component of our daily lives
o Stress is a pattern of behavioural and physiological responses to events that match or
exceed an organism’s ability to respond in a healthy way
o A stressor is an environmental event or stimulus that threatens an organism by seeming
overwhelming; it elicits a coping response, which is any response an organism makes to
avoid, escape from, or minimize an aversive stimulus
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Stress is divided into two types
o Eustress, the stress of positive events
o Distress, the stress of negative events
Psychologists think of stressors as falling into two categories
o Major life stressors are changes or disruptions that strain central areas of people’s lives
(giving birth, earthquakes)
o Daily hassles are small day-to-day irritations and annoyances, such as driving in heavy
traffic, waiting in line
STRESS HAS PHYSIOLOGICAL COMPONENTS
A stressor activates a complex chain of events, in what is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-
adrenal (HPA) axis, stress begins in the brain with the perception of some stressful event,
hypothalamus sends a chemical message to the pituitary gland which in turn secretes hormones
that travel through the bloodstream until they reach the adrenal glands, which in turn secrete
cortisol
o Cortisol is responsible for many of the feelings we have when we are stressed
o Results in increased energy
THERE ARE SEX DIFFERENCES IN RESPONSES TO STRESSORS
Fight-or-flight response to describe the physiological preparation of animals to deal with an
attack
Females respond to stress by protecting and caring for their offspring, as well as by forming
alliances with social groups to reduce risks to individuals, including themselves
o Tend-and-befriend response to describe this pattern
o Oxytocin a hormone important for mothers in bonding to newborns, is produced in the
hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland
Levels high in stressful situations
THE GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME IS A BODILY RESPONSE TO STRESS
Studying the physiological effects of sex hormones by injecting rats with hormones from other
animals
o When he examined the rats, he found enlarged adrenal glands, decreased levels of
lymphocytes (specialized white blood cells) in the blood, and stomach ulcers
Non-specific stress response
o General adaptation syndrome consists of three stages: alarm, resistance, and
exhaustion
In the alarm stage an emergency reaction that prepares the body to fight or
flee
Resistance stage the defences prepare for a longer, sustained attack against the
stressor
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