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 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
- 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
residents. - Group 1 – had the control on when the undergrads could come in to visit
- Group 2 – the students decided when they wanted to come in to visit
- after 2 months, residents in group 1 were happier, took fewer medication
than group 2.
- Aftermath results?!
- After several months and the cessation of student visits , group 1 – did worse
than group 2 and there was an increase in deaths.
Disease, control, and well-being
- perceived control and stress is stronger in western cultures than Asian
- In western culture, individualism and personal achievement is priced and hat
is why many ppl feel stressed when they cannot control their destinies.
- Asian culture - are collectivist and put their social group ahead of them.
- the belief in one’s ability to carry out specific actions that produce desired
- Increases the likelihood of a desired behavior
- Ppl will high efficacy experience less stress while working on difficult task
and their immune system functions at optimal level.
Self-efficacy and smoking cessation
- Self-efficacy group – smokers were told that they were choosen b/c they had
a greater chance of quiting.
- Treatment alone – smokers were told that they were randomly selected
- No treatment group – researcher never got back with the no treatment
Results – 67% of self-efficacy group had quit smoking, higher than all the
- all the ppl were randomly selected.
Study on students visualization and new year’s resolution
- to increase self-efficacy is to visualize or picture success
- Self efficacy – participants were asked to think about past tasks that they had
mastered or think of someone who had pursued a similar goal.
- Other participants were asked to write out an implementation plan – step by
- The greatest success was seen among those who had received th self-effcacy
intervention and who had spelled out their plan for achieving their goal.
- pessismism that results from attributing a negative event to stable, internal
and global factors. Chapter 4 : Sport psychology
Why do atheletes approach applied sport psych?
1. to seek help for their anxiety and lack of self-esteem
2. to work on their sport mental abilities, such as imagery and attention control
Psychological skills training intervention – entails a structured and consistent
practice of psychological skills – education ( learning the importance of mental skills
in sports), acquisition ( learn how to apply these skills) and practice ( continualy
practice them to become efficient).
- most commonly used performance enhancement strategy in sport
psychology, but most athletes rate goal setting as being only moderately
effective in enhancing their performance.
Types of goal setting