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
Canadian population
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
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Percievd control
- 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
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
recommend it)
- 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
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