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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Health Psychology.docx

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PSYC 3170
Gerry Goldberg

Health Psych Ch. 6 Stress o Is a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical physiological cognitive and behavioural changes that are directed either towards the altering the stressful situation or accommodating it o One of the best illustrations of the mind-body relationships Stressors: o Stressful events themselves o Noise crowds etc... o Studying them has helped to avoid the stressors r to cope o How to perceive them helps as well Person environment fit o Determines stress; the self assessment of whether personal resources are sufficient enough of the demands of the environment o When one had more than adequate levels of situation; they may perceive it as challenging not stressful o When one feels they could deal with it with effort they may feel moderate stress o When one feels they may be insufficient to meet up to the demands; they may feel great stress Theories is stress: Cannons Fight to flight: o Focused on adrenomedulary responses to stress ; cateclhomines o Organism perceives a threat; body aroused and motivated via the sympathetic and endocrine systems o This physiological response causes an attack to the threat or to flee it o Fight- aggressive response to stress o Flight-social withdrawal from the stressor; such as drugs/alc o Adaptive ; enables organism to respond o While it Could be harmful by the physiological responses elicited and lays groundwork for health problems Selyes general adaptation syndrome: General adaptation syndrome stressful impact his interventions seemed to have o Focused on adreno-cortical responses to stress o Observed rats in different situations(cold, dark)and their physiological responses o All led to an enlarged adrenal cortex, shrinking of thymus, and lymph glands and ulceration of the stomach o When an organism confronts a tressor it mobilizes for action action is nonspecific o With time there will be wear and tear on the system o 3 phases of syndrome: 1.alram- mobilized to meet threat 2. Resistance- makes effort to cope with the threat 3. Exhaustion- if the organism fails to overcome the threat and depletes its physiological resources o Provides interplay b.w. physiological/environmental o Physiological mechanism for stress illness relationship Criticisms of the model: o 1. Very limited role in psychological factors; most believe appraisal of events psychologically is vital to stress o 2. The assumption that responses to stress are uniform is challenged o 3. Assessed stress as an outcome; while ppl feel it while anticipating a stressor Tend and befriend: o In addition to fight/flight humans respond to stress with social and nurturing behaviour o I.e. males and females face different adaptive behaviours to different situations depending on nurture and social influences o Befriending-usually a female, in need of help socially to save young from stressors o Hormone oxytoxin may be significant for females Higher levels are calmer parents Women are more likely to turn to others Psychological appraisal and experience of stress o Primary appraisal: Determine meaning of event by processing it A stressor come; one perceives as -/+/neutral Harm-already damage; threat-potential damage Blood pressure higher Challenge more confident ways to deal with stressor Test: tribal gruesome video to pre-viewed students non previewed: Autonomic arousal greater in non-previewed students obviously I.e. it is affected by appraisal based on own self knowledge of past o Secondary appraisal: Assessment of ones coping abilities and resources and whether they will be sufficient to meet the harm, threat, challenge Subjective experience of stress is a balance between primary/secondary Harm and threat high/coping low; great stress If coping high; may be less stress Involuntary/voluntary responses Cognitive responses include beliefs abt the harm or threat an event poses and beliefs abt its controllability Emotional Reponses can be quite insistent Behavioural responses are limitless o Physiology of stress: Since we are always physiologically evolving to responses to different stressors Causes psychological distress; changes in body SAM-sympathetic/HPA-hypothalamus pituary Sympathetic activation: o Cerebral cortex signals off a chain of reactions mediated by these appraisals o These go to the hypothalamus; stimulation sympathetic reactions o Sympathetic arousal stimulates medulla of the adrenal glands; epi/nonepi o Cranked of feeling; high blood pressure; heart rate; sweating HPA activation: o Selye provided basis for it o Hypothalamus-releases CRF, stimulates pit, secretes ACTH, stimulates glucorosoids(cortisol being significant) o Cortisol conserves carbs, reduces inflammation, return to normal stress Flatter levels o HPA produces prolactin the growth hormone o Repeated can compromise its functioning o Daily cortisol high upon awakening may even have high at night Effects of long term stress: o Epi/non epi can lead to suppression of cellular immune functions; blood pressure, heart rhythms, heart attacks, also have effects on lipid levels and free fatty acids which may produce arthecslsoris o Cortisteroids have immunosuppressive effects; compromise immune system o Too much cortisol can ruin neurons in hippocampus
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