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Chapter 15

Psychology Chapter 15 Notes.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000

Psychology Chapter 15 Notes (Stress, Coping, and Health) The Nature of Stress  Stress is a pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological responses, and behavioural tendencies that occur in response to perceive imbalance between situational demands and the resources needed to cope with them or a pattern of physiological, biological, emotional and cognitive response to real or imagined stimuli that are perceived as blocking a goal or endangering our well-being.  Stressors are situations that place demands on organisms that tax or exceed their resources o They are intervening factors that cause stress reactions.  Such include catastrophes, life changes and hassles. o Intervening factors then cause stress reactions  Such include physiological, emotion and behavioural changes. o The synaptic nervous system activates the adrenal medulla which releases epinephrine. o Another signal stimulates the hypothalamus, which activates the anterior pituitary, which in turn activates the adrenal cortex and tells the body to release glucocorticoids.  Stressors can range from microstressors to very severe stressors.  Life event are questionnaires that measure the number (and sometimes, the intensity) of positive and negative life events that have occurred over a specific period of time.  A primary appraisal is the initial appraisal of a situation as benign, irrelevant, or threatening; a perception of the severity of demands  A secondary appraisal is one’s judgement of the adequacy of personal resources needed to cope with a stressor.  General adaptation syndrome is Selye’s description of the body’s responses to a stressor, which include successive phrases of alarm reaction, resistance, and exhaustion.  Cortisol is a hormone produced during a period of stress that triggers an increase in blood sugars, which is then provided to the skeletal muscles along with additional oxygen; also suppresses the immune system. o The effects of cortisol are similar to epinephrine. o Cortisol converts proteins to glucose o It makes fats available for energy o Blood flow is increased o Almost every cell in the body has a surface receptor for glucocorticoids  Stress can supress the immune system, making a person more vulnerable o Results in the release of glucocorticoids  Suppresses action of white blood cells o Support?  Rats faced with inescapable shock showed a decrease in lymphocyte production  Husbands show decreased immune response after wife’s death  People are more likely to get sick a few days after exposure to stressful event  Acute infectious disorders increased during final exams o The reactions are dependent on the appraisal of the stressor  If the situation is one where it is a threat and the individual cannot cope, distress occurs.  Stress may incur psychosomatic disorders, which are disorders that have primary physical symptoms, but are caused or maintained by psychological factors, so example: hypertension.  A gastric ulcer is a painful lesion of the stomach lining, and more than 500 thousand new cases appear per year. o They are linked to living in a stressful environment, but are not linked to stress alone. Stress and Health  Anxiety is defined as ‘negative emotion experiences as an uncomfortable level of apprehension/fear; marked by physiological arousal, doubt concerning the source of threat and self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it. o General symptoms includes:  Subjective distress  Physiological activation  Avoidance/ escape behaviour  Interference/ restriction in daily routine, occupational or social functioning  Anxiety disorders include: o Panic attacks; panic disorders o Phobic disorders o Obsessive compulsive disorders o Post-traumatic stress disorders  Rape trauma syndrome is a pattern of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural responses that occurs in response to the trauma of being ra
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