PSYChapter 13.doc

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Feb/17/2004, Tuesday CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 13: STRESS, COPING, AND HEALTH
I. The Nature of Stress
A. Introduction
1. Biopsychosocial Model – holds that physical illness is caused by a complex
interaction of biological, psychological and socio-cultural factors.
2. Health Psychology – concerned with how psychosocial factors relate to the
promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation, prevention and
treatment of illness.
B. Stress As An Everyday Event
1. Stress – any circumstances that threaten or are perceived o threaten one’s well
being and thereby tax one’s coping abilities.
2. Stress is cumulative – it adds up.
C. Appraisal: Stress Lies in the Eye of the Beholder
1. People’s appraisal of stressful events are highly subjective i.e. Depends on a
person.
2. Anxious, neurotic, and unhappy people report more stress.
II. Major Types of Stress
A. Frustration
1. Frustration – occurs in any situation in which the pursuit of some good is
thwarted.
2. Failure and loss are 2 common kinds of frustration which are highly stressful.
B. Conflict
1. Conflict – occurs when 2 or more incompatible motivations on behavioral
impulses compete for expression.
2. King and Emmons – used questionnaire to measure overall amount of internal
conflict.
a. High Levels – anxiety, depression and physical symptoms.
3. Approach-Approach Conflict – choice must be made between 2 attractive goals.
a. Tend to be least stressful.
b. Generally happy ending.
4. Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict – choice must be made between 2 unattractive
goals.
a. Usually unpleasant and highly stressful
5. Approach-Approach Conflict – choice must be made about whether to pursue a
single goal that has both attractive and unattractive aspects.
a. Common and can be quite stressful
b. Vacillation – indecision.
C. Change
1. Life Changes – any noticeable alterations in one’s living that require
readjustment.
a. Changes in personal relationship, work, finances, etc., can be stressful
even when welcomes (Holmes and Rahe)
b. Developed Social Readjustment Rating Scale to measure life changes as a
form of stress.
c. People with higher social scores tend to be more vulnerable to many kinds
of physical illness and to many types of psychological problems.
D. Pressure
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Feb/17/2004, Tuesday CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 13: STRESS, COPING, AND HEALTH
1. Pressure – involves expectations or demands that make one behave in a certain
way.
a. Pressure to perform – when expected to execute tasks and responsibilities
quickly, efficiently, and successfully.
b. Pressure to conform.
2. Strong relationship between pressure and psychological symptoms and
problems.
3. Pressure has a negative effect on task performance.
III. Responding To Stress
A. Introduction
1. A Person’s reaction to stress can be analyzed at 3 levels – emotional,
physiological and behavioral.
B. Emotional Response
1. Stress tends to elicit unpleasant emotions
2. As stress increases, mood becomes more negative.
3. Emotions Commonly elicited –
a. Strong link between specific cognitive reactions to stress (appraisals) and
specific emotions
b. Common emotional responses to stress include
i. Annoyance, anger, rage
ii. Apprehension, anxiety, fear
iii. Dejection, sadness, and grief.
c. Others emotions incl. guilt, shame, envy, jealousy, and disgust.
4. Effects of Emotional Arousal
a. Invented U-hypothesis – task performance should improve with increased
emotional arousal until a point, after which further increases in arousal
become disruptive and performance deteriorates.
i. The level of arousal at which performance peaks is called “optimal
level of arousal” for a task.
ii. Depends on complexity of task at hand i.e. as a task becomes more
complex, the optimal level of arousal (for peak performance) tends to
decrease.
C. Physiological Responses
1. The Fight or Flight Response – a physiological reaction threat in which the
autonomic nervous system mobilizes the organism for attacking (fight) or
fleeing (flight) an enemy.
a. Mediated by the ANS (which controls blood vessels, smooth muscles, and
glands)
2. The General Adaptation Syndrome – model of the body’s stress response,
consisting of 3 stages – alarm, resistance, and exhaustion (Selye)
a. Alarm reaction – 1st stage, occurs when organism realizes the existence of
a threat i.e. Flight or Fight Response.
b. As stress continues, reach 2nd Stage – Stage of resistance, physiological
changes stabilize as coping efforts get under way.
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