PS102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Conscientiousness, Asthma, Coronary Artery Disease

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
School
WLU
Department
Psychology
Course
PS102
Chapter 13 Stress, Coping and Health
Biopsychosocial Model: physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological
and sociocultural factors
Health Psychology: concerned w/ how psychosocial factors relate to the promotion and maintenance of
health and with the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness
The Nature of Stress
Stress: any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one’s well-being and that thereby
tax one’s coping abilities
Stress as an Everyday Event
-minor nuisances are an important form of stress
-a major stressful event can trigger a cascade of minor stressors
-an individual’s response to a stressor is a function of a number of factors anisman and merali
-including type of stressor, its controllability, biological factors, and previous experience
Appraisal: Stress Lies in the Eye of the Beholder
-feeling stressed depends on what events a person notices and how one chooses to appraise them
-studies have shown that more anxious neurotic people report more stress than others
-the Stress Appraisal Measure can be used to assess individual differences in stress
Major Types of Stress
Acute Stressors: threatening events that have a relatively short duration and a clear endpoint
Chronic Stressors: threatening events that have a relatively long duration and no readily apparent time
limit
Frustration
Frustration: occurs in any situation where the pursuit of some goal is thwarted
-when you want something you can’t have
-ex. traffic jams, difficult daily commutes, annoying drivers
-most frustrations are brief and insignificant
-but failures and losses are two common kinds of frustration that are often highly stressful
Conflict
Conflict: occurs when two or more incompatible motivations or behavioural impulses compete for
expression
-higher levels of inner conflict were associated w/ higher levels of anxiety, depression, and physical
symptoms
-3 types of conflict: approach-approach, avoidance-avoidance, and approach-avoidance
Approach-Approach Conflict: a choice must be made between two attractive goals
-tends to be the least stressful alright with either choice
-but sometimes stressful b/c choosing one represents the loss of the other
Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict: a choice must be made between two unattractive goals
-highly stressful choices
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Approach-Avoidance Conflict: a choice must be made about whether to pursue a single goal that has
both attractive and unattractive aspects
-can be quite stressful
-often produce vacillation you go back and forth, and have indecision
Change
Life Changes: any noticeable alterations in one’s living circumstances that require readjustment
-changes in relationships, at work, in finances etc. can be stressful even when the changes are
welcomed
-the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) measures life change as a form of stress
Pressure
Pressure: expectations or demands that one behave in a certain way
-ex. under pressure to preform
-pressure turned out to be more related to measures of mental health than the SRRS is
-pressure is often self-imposed
Responding to Stress
-stress affects an individual’s emotional, physiological, and behavioural responses to stress
Emotional Responses
-there is a big relationship between stress and mood on a daily basis
Emotions Commonly Elicited
-researchers have begun to uncover some strong links between specific cognitive reactions to stress
(appraisals) and specific emotions
-emotional responses to stress tend to include: a) annoyance, anger and rage, b) apprehension, anxiety
and fear, and c) dejection, sadness and grief
-positive emotions promote resilience in the face of stress
-the broaden and build theory of positive emotions
-positive emotions can alter a person’s mindset, and help build social interactions
-studies have found associations between positive emotion and lower levels of stress hormones
-also, a positive emotional style is associated w/ an enhanced immune response
Effects of Emotional Arousal
-strong emotional arousal can also interfere with efforts to cope with stress
-task performance should improve with increased emotional arousal, up to a point
-after which, further increases in arousal become disruptive and performance decreases
-called inverted U hypothesis
-as a task becomes more complex, the optimal level of arousal tends to decrease
Physiological Responses
The Fight-or-Flight Response
-a physiological reaction to threat in which the autonomic nervous system mobilizes the organism for
fighting or fleeing
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Document Summary

Biopsychosocial model: physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors. Health psychology: concerned w/ how psychosocial factors relate to the promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness. Stress: any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one"s well-being and that thereby tax one"s coping abilities. Minor nuisances are an important form of stress. A major stressful event can trigger a cascade of minor stressors. An individual"s response to a stressor is a function of a number of factors anisman and merali. Including type of stressor, its controllability, biological factors, and previous experience. Appraisal: stress lies in the eye of the beholder. Feeling stressed depends on what events a person notices and how one chooses to appraise them. Studies have shown that more anxious neurotic people report more stress than others. The stress appraisal measure can be used to assess individual differences in stress.

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