Chapter 10: Health and Well-being
Well-being = a positive state that includes striving for optimal health and life
Biopsychosocial model “views health and illness as the product of a combination of
factors including biological characteristics, behavioral factors and social conditions.
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.
Stress = a pattern of behavioral, psychological and physiological responses to events
that match or exceed an organism’s abilities to respond.
Stressor = an environmental event or stimulus that threatens an organism.
Coping response = any response an organism make to avoid, escape from, or
minimize an aversive stimulus.
Two types of stress:
1) Eustress – the stress of positive events
2) Distress or duress – the stress of negative events.
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis:
1) Stressful event
3) Hypothalamus – sends a chemical message to the…
4) Pituitary gland – secretes a hormone that travels through the bloodstream
until they reach the…
5) Adrenal gland – in turn secretes cortisol.
Excessive stress disrupts working memory, especially when the demands on
working memory are high. Chronic stress has also been associated with memory
impairments cause when cortisol damages neurons in the brain areas including the
hippocampus. Stress interferes with the ability to recall previously learned
Fight-or-flight response = the physiological preparedness of animals to deal with
Tend-and-befriend response = Females’ tendency to protect and care for their
offspring and form social alliances rather than flee or fight in response to threat.
Possible biological basis: More oxytocin is produced in women than in men during
stressful occurrences; when estrogen levels are high for women (menstruation and
menopause), they have reduced responses to stress. Hans Selye injected rats with sex hormones from other animals. He found enlarged
adrenal glands, decreased levels of lymphocytes and stomach ulcers. He also
restrained them to create stressful situations. He concluded that these three
responses, which reduced the animal’s potential ability to resist additional
stressors, were the hallmark of a non-specific stress response.
General adaptation syndrome = a consistent pattern of responses to stress that
consist of three stages:
1) Alarm – the body prepares itself to fight or flee; boosting of physical abilities
while reducing activities that make the organism vulnerable to infection after
2) Resistance – defenses prepare for a longer, more sustained attack against the
stressor; immunity to infection and disease increase somewhat as the body