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Chapter 10

11. January 15 -Chapter 10 --Health and Well-Being.docx

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Psychology 1000
Lynn Jackson

Chapter 10: Health and Well-Being January 15, 2013  Story of Gary Stocklaufer –too fat to adopt? CAN PSYCHPSOCIAL FACTORS AFFECT HEALTH?  Health psychology –the field of psychology concerned with the events that affect physical well- being ; apply their knowledge of psychological principles to promote health and well-being, instead of thinking about health as merely the absence of disease  Well-Being –a positive state that includes striving for optimal health and life satisfaction  Psychologists who study health and well-being rely on the experiemental and statistical methods of psychology to understand the interrelationship among thoughts, actions and physical and mental health 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 (page 441, fig 10.2) o Central to understanding the difference between the traditional medical model and the approach taken by health psychologists  Regression to the Mean –an extreme event will most likely be followed by a less extreme event o Being aware of this principle makes you less likely to believe an unrelated factor is responsible for the return to a more normal state Placebos Can Be Powerful Medicine  Placebo Effect –a drug or treatment, unrelated to the particular problem of the person who receives it, may ,ake the recipient feel better because the person believes the drug or treatment is effective  For a placebo to improve health, the patient must believe it will make them better  The study of placebo effects reveals a great deal about the power of the brain and body to produce healing effects  Example of the biopsychosocial model at work HOW DO PEOPLE COPE WITH STRESS?  Stress –a pattern of behavioural, psychological, and physiological responses to events that match or exceed an organism’s abilities to respond; the greater the number of changes, the more stress is involved  Stressor –an environmental event or stimulus that threatens an organism  Coping Response –any response that an organism makes to avoid, escape from, or minimalize an aversive stimulus  Two Types of Stress: o Eustress –the stress of positive events (ie. getting ready for a party you’re excited for) o Distress (or duress) –the stress of negative events (ie. traffic jam when you’re already late)  Two Categories of Stressors: o Major Life Stressors –changes or disruptions that strain central areas of people’s lives (can be positive or negative) o Daily Hassles –small, day-to-day irritations ie. Traffic. Stress has Physiological Components  Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis –the biological system responsible for the stress response o Stress begins in the brain with the perception of some stressful event. o HPA Axis –Stressful Event  Brain  Hypothalamus  Chemical Message to the Pituitary Gland  Hormones to the Adrenal Glands  Cortisol o The hypothalamus sends a chemical message to the pituitary gland, which in turn secretes hormones that travel through the bloodstream until they reach the adrenal glands which in turn secrete cortisol o Cortisol –secreted by the adrenal glands, responsible for many of the feelings we have when we are stressed o Results in increased energy  Because hormones have long-lasting effects, stress affects organs after the stressor has been removed  Stress interferes with the brain’s ability to recall previously learned information There are Sex Differences in Responses to Stressors  Fight or Flight Response –the physiological preparedness of animals to deal with danger; Walter Cannon (males)  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 an attack (females) o Theory by Shelley Taylor  Neither of these can be applied universally to all males or females  Oxytocin –a hormone that is important in mothers bonding with newborns; produces in the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland  When estrogen levels are high, women have reduced responses to stress The General Adaptation Syndrome is a Bodily Response to Stress  Hans Selye –studied the physiological effects of sex hormones by injecting rats with hormones from other animals o He found enlarged adrenal glands, decreased levels of lymphocytes in the blood, and stomach ulcers. These responses reduce the organism’s potential ability to resist additional stressors and are the hallmakrs of non-specific stress response  Lymphocytes –specialized white blood cells known as B cells, T cells, and natural killer cells that make up the immune system  Immune System –the body’s mechanisms for dealing with invading micro-organisms such as allergens, bacteria and viruses  General Adaptation Syndrome –a consistent pattern of responses to stress that consists of three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion o Occurs in addition
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