Textbook Notes (363,065)
Canada (158,171)
Psychology (2,948)
PSY100H1 (1,804)
Chapter 10

PSY100- Chapter 10.docx

13 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

Health and Well-Being [Chapter 10] Gary Stocklaufer:  Was a healthy and happy man, lived a good life  Was denied acceptance to adopt because he was obese (nearly 500-600 pounds) and was said to be likely to develop a serious disease and die at a young age  Is it his fault if genetics plays a role?  Is it a medical disability requiring legal protection? Like giving them extra seats on air travel Can psychosocial factors affect health?  The traditional medical model emphasizes disease states and the treatments, including drugs, designed to rid us of disease o Idea is that health professionals know best and thus maintain control over what happens to the patient  Healthy lifestyle goes long way toward promoting health and preventing disease  Health psychology: the field of psychological science concerned with the events that affect physical wellbeing  Well-being: a positive state that includes striving for optimal health and life satisfaction  Studying this field involves relying on the experimental and statistical methods of psyc to understand interrelationships  Can also study inverse; how health behaviours and outcomes affect behaviour, cognition, and emotions The biopsychosocial model of health incorporates multiple perspectives for understanding and improving health  Biopsychosocial model: a model of health that integrates the effects of biological, behavioural, and social factors on health and illness  Our thoughts and actions affect the environments we choose to interact with, and those environments in turn, affect the biological underpinnings of our thoughts and actions  Difference between two models is that the traditional medical model is where the individual is passive, and biopsychosocial is taken by health psychologists where the individuals thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are central to understanding and improving health Behaviour contributes to the leading causes of death  People are most likely to die from causes that stem from their own behaviours, which they can learn to modify o Leading cause of death was heart disease; whether through smoking, obesity, lack of exercise etc o We can change our behaviours in ways to reduce the likelihood of heart disease or postpone it  Behaviours can kill us – accidents (car through speeding or not wearing seat belt), firearms, illegal drugs, AIDS, etc  Lifestyle behaviours that begin in childhood and teen years may decrease health or even lead to death o Eg eating junk food leads to heart disease in future  As biopsychosocial model indicates, good and bad biological bases environments, and environments in turn influence the good and bad biological bases of behaviours Placebos can be powerful medicine  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 o For it to improve health, the patient must believe it is o Some effect may include decreased anxiety which can reduce pain and help recovery from an illness (when you are told you are fine, you feel better and therefore less anxious) o “all in the head”, but the effect is real- all of our thoughts and feelings are in our head  How much pain people feel depends on the context (where you are), expectations, and thoughts about the pain  When patients have positive expectations about a placebo, the neural processes involved in responding to it are the same ones activated in response to biologically active treatment  Reveals the great deal of power that the brain and body can produce healing effects  Placebo effect is a good biopsychosocial model example (the belief that a medication will work affects the body in similar to those of medications or treatment with known biological effects) How do people cope with stress?  Stress results directly from the ways we think about events in our lives  Stress: a pattern of behavioural, psychological, and psychological responses to events that match or exceed an organisms abilities to respond  Stressor: an environmental event or stimulus that threatens an organism  Coping response: any response an organism makes to avoid, escape from, or minimize an aversive stimulus  The greater the number of changes, the greater the stress which is more likely to have an impact on our physiological state  Stress divided into: o Eustress: the stress of positive events (preparing for party you are looking forward to) o Distress (duress): the stress of negative events (illness of loved one)  Major life stressors are changes or disruptions that strain central areas of people’s lives  Daily hassles: small, day to day irritations and annoyances (waiting in line) o Their combined effects can be comparable to major life changes  Interpersonal difficulties seem to have a cumulative effect on health Stress has physiological components  Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA): the biological system responsible for the stress response  Stressful event  brain  hypothalamus  (chemical message) pituitary gland  (hormones)  adrenal glands  cortisol  Stress begins in the brain with the perception of some stressful event; in HPA axis the hypothalamus send a chemical message to the pituitary gland which in turn secretes hormones that travel through the bloodstream until they reach the adrenal glands; in turn secrete cortisol  Cortisol is responsible for the many of the feelings we have when we are stressed  HPA axis was an efficient system because it resulted in increase energy, and energy is necessary for either outrunning a predator or standing your ground and fighting it (either response will cause you stress)  Stress affects organs even after the stressor has been removed (because hormones have a long lasting effect)  Excessive stress disrupts working memory especially when the demands on working memory are high  Chronic stress has been associated with memory impairments caused when cortisol damages neurons in the brain areas including the hippocampus, which is a primary structure for memory  Stress interferes with the ability to recall previously learned info There are sex differences in responses to stressors  Fight or flight response: the physiological preparedness of animals to deal with danger  Stressor allows animal to direct all energy on that and less critical automatic activities to things such as food digestion are postponed  We don’t have as much info about females because they are avoided n researches since their responses can be influenced by fluctuations in circulating hormones that vary over the menstrual cycle (results in sex inequality)  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 o This has a selective advantage over those who fight or flee, and thus these behaviours would pass to future generations o Oxytocin: a hormone that is important for mother in bonding to newborns—produced in hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland o These levels tend to be higher during socially stressful levels o Oxytocin exists in both but especially important for females stress response which provides a biological basis for the tend and befriend response to stress The general adaptation syndrome is a bodily response to stress - When injecting animals with hormones from other animals, the foreign hormones caused changes in which there was enlarged adrenal glands, decreased levels of lymphocytes (specialized white blood cells known as B cells, T cells, and natural killer cells that make up the immune system), and stomach ulcers o Found that these 3 responses, which reduced the organisms potential ability to resist additional stressors, were the hallmarks of a non specific stress response - General adaptation syndrome: a consistent pattern of responses to stress that consist of 3 stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion o This syndrome occurs in addition to specific responses to particular stressors o In alarm stage, an emergency reaction that prepares the body to fight or flee; responses aimed at boosting physical abilities and reducing activities that make an organism vulnerable to infection after injury o During resistance stage the defenses prepare for a longer, sustained attack against the stressor o When body reaches exhaustion stage a variety of physiological and immune systems fail Stress affects health  Prolonged actions of stress hormones, such as cortisol, negatively affects health  Associated with problems like increased blood pressure, cardiac disease, diabetes etc  Chronic stress is associated with the initiation and progression of a wide variety of diseases from cancer to AIDS  Stress leads to physiological responses that affect health, and many people cope with stress by engaging in damaging behaviours The immune system  Stress alters the functions of the immune system  Stress interferes with the natural process of the immune system that destroy invaders that enter the body o Body becomes less able to deal with infection  The effects of immediate and long term stress on physical health are due partly to decreased lymphocyte production, which renders the body less capable of warding off foreign substances o When the stress response is activated too often or too intensely, the probability and severity of ill health increases  When stress is associated with changes in social roles or identity, it has the biggest impact on the immune system  Research done where people that reported to having more desirable events, had a stronger immune system to fight off an antigen that they took Heart disease  Leading cause of death in adults  Two important determinants are health behaviours and a small number of personality traits related to the way people respond to stress  Major risk factors of heart disease: lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking  Blood vessels get narrow due to buildup of fatty deposits (known as plaque) and this makes it more difficult to pump blood to heart which forms a blood clot and causes a heart attack because the clot blocks the blood vessel feeding the heart  When it blocks a vessel that feeds the brain, it causes a stroke  Stress and negative emotions increase this o Because people cope with stress through damaging behaviours o Overtime stress causes wear and tear on the heart, making the heart more likely to fail  Research done of 3500 males that were healthy with different personalities o Type A behaviour pattern: a pattern of behaviour characterized by competitiveness, achievement orientation, aggressiveness, hostility, restlessness, inability to relax, and impatience with others o Type B behaviour pattern: a pattern of behaviour characterized by relaxed, non competitive, easygoing, and accommodating behaviour  Study found that type A personality was a strong predictor of heart disease as was high blood pressure, cholesterol, or smoking  More research found that the most toxic factor is hostility; hot tempered people who are frequently angry, cynical, and combative are much more likely to die at early age from heart disease o Because people usually cope with stress in bad ways and negative personality traits also can produce problems  Can also produce direct physiological effects on the heart (when you get mad, you get increase in heart rate, shut down digestion, moving blood to muscles etc) o Over time this causes wears and tears on the heart which make it more likely to fail  Allostatic load theory of illness: when people are continually stressed, they are unable to return to bodily states that characterize normal stress levels o Regulate the bodys response to excessive stress o Body needs to return to steady state o When people continually stressed, the Allostatic loads on their bodies are far too great for the bodies to return to their normal resting states and recover form effects of stress o Therefore people who have more positive emotions should return to their normal resting states more quickly and frequently Coping is a process  To deal with stress we use cognitive appraisals that link feelings with thoughts, so we can think about and manage our feelings more objectively  Two part appraisal process: o People use primary appraisals: part of the coping process that involves making decisions about whether a stimulus is stressful, benign, or irrelevant o Secondary appraisal: part of coping process during which people evaluate their emotions and choose coping behaviours o Anticipatory coping: coping that occurs before the onset of a future stressor (eg. planning to tell the kids you’re getting a divorce) Types of coping Two general categories of coping  Emotion focused coping: a type of coping in which people try to prevent having an emotional response to a stressor, adopting strategies, often passive to numb the pain o Strategies include avoidance, trying to distance oneself from the outcomes of the problem o These ways do not solve the problem or prevent it from reoccurring in the future o Behaviour may enable people to continue functioning in the face of uncontrollable stressors or high levels of stress  Problem focused coping: a type of coping in which people take direct steps to confront or minimize a stressor o Generating alternative solutions, weighing their costs and benefits, and choosing between them o People adopt this way when they perceive stressors as controllable and are experiencing only moderate levels of stress o Can only work if the person can do something about the situation  Best way to cope depends on personal resour
More Less

Related notes for PSY100H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.