Psychology 2990A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 3&4: Smoking Cessation, Sport Psychology, Culture Of Asia
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Chapter 3: Psychology and health
Stress and human health
- when ppl go major upheavals in their lives, their chances of dying increases.
- Holocaust survivors who were teens at the end of the WW2, still continue to
experience depression and paranoia.
- Psychological distress is highest among students than of the general
Negative effects of negative life events
- Hans Seyle defined stress as the body’s physiological response to threatening
- Homes and Rahe – Stress is the degree to which people have to CHANGE and
readjust their lives.
- Holmes and Rahe made the social readjustment scale – respondent get a list
of life events and each of which is assigned to certain points depending on
stressful it is (eg: being raped compared to an exam).
- Higher the score, the worst their mental and physical health.
1. the study was correlational not experimental
2. focused on stressors experienced by only the middle class and under-
represented stressors of low-income and poor people.
Perceived stress and health
- adding up the numbers does not give us an accurate picture of stress and
- situations can be subjective – meaning that everyone values stress
differently. Eg: a person graduating from university might be the most
happiest time of their life, while someone else might be stressed about their
1. Study of gay and bisexual men
- found that greater the number of stressful events, the greater the risk of HIV
infections – therefore, stress causes unsafe sexual behaviors.
2. Study on students at Waterloo
- students with levels of interpersonal stress are more likely to report health
problems – missing class
- students with low self-esttem have high interpersonal stress.
3. Study on stress and common cold
- Group 1 – high stress participants
- Group 2 – least stress
- Group 1 and 2 were given nasal drops with the virus
- Results? – ppl experiencing greater deal of stress were more likely to catch a
cold from the virus, even after things like age, sex, weight was controlled.
- High stress = low immune function
- Even mild stress can suppress immune system
- the belief that we can influence our environment in ways that determine
whether we experience positive or negative outcomes.
Study at University of Manitoba
- First year students who felt that they had control over their academic
performance reported less anxiety, stress, boredom and depression anch
achieved better grades.
Study – Canada wide survey on elderly
- Older (85 years) ppl perceived a decrease in perceived control after a fall
compared to young-old ppl.
Study by Canadian Aging research network
- found that those who precived o have control over housework and outdoor
work were more likely to have goo health
- ALL OF THESE STUDIES ARE CORRELATIONAL – there could the opposite
factor were elderly who believe to have good health show great percievd
Study by David Glass and Jerome Singer
- participants were given several problems to solve while they heard loud
burst of sound
Condition 1 – bursts of noise occurred at unpredictable lengths
Condition 2 – People heard the bursts of noise, but were given the option to
turn it off if they wanted by pressing a button ( though reserachers didn’t
- all participants in condition 2 DID NOT turn off the noise!!
- They had control over the burst of noises
- For easy tasks, the noise didn’t affect any of the groups
- For complex tasks, condition 1 participants made way MORE errors than the
control group and condition 2 participants.
Increasing perceived control in nursing homes
Study on benefiting residents of a nursing home
- Group 1 resident – were given a speech by the director on how much
responsibility and control they had over their decisions.
- Were given the decision to attend movie night on one of the two nights
- Given a plant to take care of and told them it was upto them to care for it.
- Group 2 resident - gave a similar speech, but own decision making and
responsibility was deleted
- Given a plant, but told them that the nurse will take care of them
- Assigned movie nights
- Group 1 were happier and more active than group 2. Showed improvement
in health and decreased death
Similar study by Schulz and Hanusa
- started a program in nursing homes were undergrads came to visit the