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PSYC 3170 Chapter Notes -Role Conflict, Impulsivity, Job Satisfaction

18 pages37 viewsWinter 2014

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 3170
Professor
Joseph Baker

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Part 3 Stress and Coping
Chapter 6 Stress
What is stress?
-Negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, cognitive +
behavioral changes directed either toward altering stressful even or accommodation to its effect
-Mind-body relationship and how individual perceptions, behaviors, predispositions are intertwined
w/social and environmental context to influence health
What is a stressor?
-Stressors are stressful events themselves
-Study of stressor help define conditions that are more likely to produce stress than others but can’t
fully explain experience of stress
Dependent situation, for example if music playing is your favorite rock it may not be stressful
to you but may be noisy to neighbor
Losing a job may be financial burden creating stress to one but on other hand it is
opportunity to try new field for someone else
Person – Environment Fit
-Stress is consequence of person’s appraisal process: assessment of whether personal resource
sufficient to meet demands of environment
-Determined by person – environment fit
When resource are more than adequate person may feel little stress but more sense of
challenge
When resource is probably sufficient they may feel moderate stress
When person feel resource is not enough to meet environment stressor
-Stress results from process of appraising events, assessing potential response, responding to
events
What theories and models are used to study stress?
Fight or flight
-Cannon’s (1932) fight or flight response
When organism perceived threat the body rapidly aroused ad motivated thru SNS and
endocrine system to either attack threat or flee
Before fight/flee was in response to predator, now it is in regards to fighting aggressively in
response to stress or flight in social withdrawal or thru substance use like alcohol/drugs
-Can be adaptive to enable organism to respond to threat
-Can be harmful as it disrupts emotional/physiological functioning
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Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome
-Selye’s (1965, 1976) is considered father of field of stress research
Initially explore effects of sex hormones on physiological functioning then became interested
in stressful impact his interventions had
Exposed rats to extreme conditions like cold or fatigue and found regardless it produced
same pattern of physiological responding
Enlarged adrenal cortex, shrinking of thymus +lymph glands, ulceration of stomach +
duodenum
-Compared to Cannon’s adrenomedullary response to stress, Selye’s style was adrenocortical
response to stress
-General adaptation syndrome
When organism confronts stressor it mobilizes itself for action and is nonspecific w/respect
to stressor regardless of cause, individual will respond with same physiological pattern of
reaction
Over time the repeated/prolonged exposure to stress there will be wear + tear on system
3 phases:
Alarm: organism becomes mobilized to meet threat
Resistance: organism makes effort to cope w/threat thru confrontation
Exhaustion: if organism fails to overcome threat + depletes physiological resources in
process of trying
-Still used today as
It offers general theory of reaction to variety of stress over time
Posits physiological mechanism for stress-illness relationship
Exhaustion was basis for disease
Criticism to General Adaptation Syndrome
-Limited role to psychological factors mainly because research was done on animal not human
-Assumption that response to stress are uniform, but now evidence show otherwise
-Assess stress as outcome whereas people experience many effects of stress while stressful event
is going on and also in anticipation of its occurrence
Tend and Befriend
-Taylor developed theory tend and befriend
In addition to fight or flight, human respond to stress with social + nurturing behavior,
especially true for women
-Befriending is affiliating with others + seeking social contact during stress may be characteristics of
females ad may help in self-preservation + protection of offspring
Men used to be responsible for hunting and gathering leaving women behind to take care of
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offspring thus they were protective of self and offspring (offspring were often immature and
unable to survive without attention)
-May depend on underlying biological mechanism
Oxytocin may have significance for female response to stress
Stress hormone released in response to some stressful events + effects especially
influenced estrogen
Also act as impetus for affiliation: increase mothering, warm touching between couple, leads
to calmer and more relaxed behavior
-Women more likely to turn to others in response to stress than men
-This theory brings social behavior into stress process
Psychological Appraisal and Experience
-Important determinant of whether event is response to as stressful
Primary Appraisal Processes
-Lazarus maintained when individual confront new or changing environment they engage in process
of primary appraisal to determine meaning of event
-Event may be positive, negative, neutral
Negative or potential negative events are further appraised for possible
harm/threat/challenge
Harm is assessment of damage done by event
Threat is possible further damage that may be brought about by event
Primary appraisal have important effect on physiological response like when bp
goes up when threat is high or when challenge is low
Challenge is potential to overcome or profit from event
Associated with more confident expectations of ability to cope w/event, more
favorable emotional reaction to event and lower bp
-Importance of primary appraisal is stress not only intrinsic but depends on viewers appraisal of it
Experiment of viewing gruesome film those who knew of why rituals were done experience
less stress than those who had no info and only saw the pain received
Secondary Appraisal Process
-initiated at same time primary appraisal occurring
-assessment of one’s coping abilities + resources and if they will be sufficient to meet harm, threat,
challenge
-subjective experience of stress is balance btwn primary and secondary appraisal
when harm and threat are high and coping ability is low, substantial stress is felt
when coping ability is high, stress may be minimal
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