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Chapter 40

PSYC 1010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 40: Infant Mortality, Information Overload, Birth Weight

Course Code
PSYC 1010

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Health and coping:
Coping with stress:
Learn to cope with stress
o Alleviating stress using emotional, cognitive or behavioural methods (cope)
Problem- focused coping
o Changing the stressor or the way we interact with that stressor
o Use problem-focused strategies when we feel a sense of control over a situation and think
we can change the circumstance
Emotion- focused coping
o When we believe we cannot change a situation
o Alleviate stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to emotional needs related
to our stress reaction
o Sometimes this can harm our health, such responding by eating fattening food because of
the comfort
Perceived loss of control:
Uncontrollable stress triggers the strongest stress responses
Personal control
o Our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling helpless
o Feel helpless after experiencing bad events that are beyond our personal control
Learned hopelessness
o The hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or person learns when unable to avoid
repeated aversive events
o When experiencing something with no way out you learn the hopelessness and when put
into a situation with an escape the learned hopelessness follows, and instead of escaping
one cowers without hope
o Uncontrollable bad events -> perceived lack of control -> generalized helpless behaviour
More vulnerable to ill health
People who have been able to control their surroundings had less stress
o More control workers have, the longer they live
Control also explains a link between economic status and longevity
o American presidents who are wealthy and well-educated have above- average life spans
o High economic status predicts a lower risk of heart and respiratory diseases
o Higher economic status comes with reduced risks of low birth weight, infant mortality,
smoking and violence
o Those who are at the bottom of the social pecking order have been more likely to get sick
when exposed to a cold-like virus
Losing control provokes an outpouring of stress hormones
o When someone cannot control their environment, stress hormone levels rise, blood
pressure increases and immune responses drop
o Stress increases when we lack control
Allowing prisoners to control their living environment has improved their health and morale
People thrive better when they live in an environment they are able to control and have personal
freedom and empowerment
Tyranny of choice
o Information overload and greater likelihood of regret over things left behind because of the
great number of choices given
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