Biological Psychology - Stress Mind Map

A mind map including all of the key ideas, theories and evaluation points in the 'Biological Psychology - Stress' module of Unit 2 AQA A AS Psychology

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  • Biological Psychology - Stress
    • Stress in Everyday Life
      • Life Changes and Daily Hassles
        • Holmes and Rahe: Social Readjustment Rating Scale
          • Formed a list of life events and asked participants to score how stressful they believed them to be
          • They then ranked the events in order of most to least stressful according to the Life Change Units (LCUs)
          • Rahe et al: found a positive correlation between LCUs and physical illness when studying naval men over 6 months
          • However, Michael and Ben-Zur noted that the same life event can have different effects depending on the context (e.g. divorced vs. bereaved loss of spouse)
        • DeLongis et al: Daily Hassles
          • The Hassles and Uplifts scale measures respondent's attitudes towards daily situations
          • Kanner et al: Found that daily hassles had a stronger correlation with stress than daily hassles
          • Evaluation:          - Is the measured effect really due to life changes/dailyhassles? (other extraneous factors)         - Problems with retrospective recall (may not fully rememebr the stress caused if event/hassle was experienced a long time ago)              - Correlation not cause
            • Holmes and Rahe: Social Readjustment Rating Scale
              • Formed a list of life events and asked participants to score how stressful they believed them to be
              • They then ranked the events in order of most to least stressful according to the Life Change Units (LCUs)
              • Rahe et al: found a positive correlation between LCUs and physical illness when studying naval men over 6 months
              • However, Michael and Ben-Zur noted that the same life event can have different effects depending on the context (e.g. divorced vs. bereaved loss of spouse)
      • Workplace Stress
        • Karasek's Model: a high strain job (most stressful) will have low control and high demand. Important factors in determining stress are decision latitude and job demand
        • Marmot et al: Conducted a longitudinal study of civil servants (Whitehall Study)
          • Found that heart disease was 1.5x more likely in the lower paid jobs (that had higher demad and lower control)
          • Found that the most important factor was decision latitude
            • Johansson et al: Studied repetitive and high demand sawyer jobs in a Swedish saw mill
              • Found that blood pressure was higher in the lower paid jobs (with less control and social contact)
        • Johansson et al: Studied repetitive and high demand sawyer jobs in a Swedish saw mill
          • Found that blood pressure was higher in the lower paid jobs (with less control and social contact)
      • Personality Factors
        • Personality Type
          • Friedman and Rosenman identified type A and type B personalities through interviews
          • Type A individuals are:              - Hostile and competitive   - Time Pressured     Type B:        - Relaxed and disinterested
            • Friedman and Rosenman identified type A and type B personalities through interviews
          • Friedman and Rosenman found that Type A individuals were more at risk from heart disease
            • Type A individuals are:              - Hostile and competitive   - Time Pressured     Type B:        - Relaxed and disinterested
            • Type C Individuals are more at risk from cancer:          - Easygoing      - Not good with stress      - Emotionally suppresive
            • Type D Individuals are more at risk from heart attacks:    - Pessimistic    - Worry and lack social skills
          • The Hardy Personality
            • Kobasa identified hardy individuals as being:          Challenged,        Committed and Controlling
            • Kobasa also concluded that these individuals were more able to cope with stress
              • Kobasa identified hardy individuals as being:          Challenged,        Committed and Controlling
            • Maddi et al found that more 'thriving' employees were hardy individuals
          • Rotter: Locus of Control
            • Internal Locus of Control: Blaming oneself and believing that stress is in one's own control (associated with autonomy)
            • External Locus of Control: Blaming others and believing that stress is beyond one's own control
      • Stress
        • Body's Response to Stress
          • Sympathomedullary Pathway for Acute Stress
            • Stressor is detected in higher brain centres which makes the sympathetic branch of the ANS more active
              • This causes the adrenal medulla to release adrenaline and noradrenaline into the blood
                • This leads to increased blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and perspiration and decreased digestion to allow more energy to be available for immediate use (fight or flight)
                  • Higher brain centres detect lowered levels of energy and strain on body's resources
                    • CRH is released by Hypothalamus which stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release ACTH
                      • ACTH stimulates the adrenal cortex to release corticosteroids (including cortisol)
                        • These convert fat and protein to energy to replace energy lost and allow continued fight or flight
          • Pituitary-adrenal System for Chronic Stress
            • Higher brain centres detect lowered levels of energy and strain on body's resources
              • CRH is released by Hypothalamus which stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release ACTH
                • ACTH stimulates the adrenal cortex to release corticosteroids (including cortisol)
                  • These convert fat and protein to energy to replace energy lost and allow continued fight or flight
            • Used to replace energy in times of chronic stress to allow continued response
          • Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome Model
            • 1) Alarm: Stressor is perceived which leads to increased arousal for "fight or flight" response
            • 2) Resistance: the body adapts to stress and becomes able to cope in a normal way (whilst arousal levels remain higher than normal)
            • 3) Exhaustion: the body becomes unable to cope and illness may develop
          • Gender Differences in the Stress Response
            • Taylor et al: Found that oxytocin was released in females which leads to maternal behaviour, or the "tend and befriend" response
            • Caroll: women make more use of social support (this could be due to men not wanting to talk about their feelings)
            • Vogele et al: women respond differently because they are more able to control their anger. This could be the result of biology or the roles we are taught to follow
        • Stress and the immune system
          • Brady et al: Found that monkeys with control over shocks were more likely to develop stomach ulcers
            • This suggests that having limited control may decrease immune functioning
          • Cohen et al: Participants completed questionnaires to determine their "stress index"
            • Found a positive correlation between participants with a high stress index and developing the common cold
          • Evans et al: measurd slgA levels in students during high and low stress
            • Found that short-term stress increased immune functioning while long-term stress reduced it
          • Kiecolt-Glaser et al: Found that Natural Killer cell activity was reduced uring students' examination period (high stress)
            • Concluded that stress weakened immune functioning
          • Segerstrom and Miller
            • Acute Stress -> upregulation of immune system
            • Chronic Stress -> downregulation of immune system
          • Marucha et al: Found that wounds inflicted on students took 40% longer to heal during exam periods
            • Kiecolt-Glaser et al: Found that Natural Killer cell activity was reduced uring students' examination period (high stress)
              • Concluded that stress weakened immune functioning
        • Stress and the cardiovascular system
          • Krantz et al
            • Blood pressure and heart contractions were measured while participants undertook stressful tasks
            • Participants with high heart contractions also had high blood pressure which was concluded to be a direct impact of stress making cardiovascular disorders more likely
        • What is Stress?
          • The Transactional  Model
            • Primary Appraisal: involves perception of the stressor (i.e. is it a threat and how much will it take to be able to cope with it)
            • Secondary Appraisal: involves perception of one's own coping abilities (i.e. can I cope with the stressor?)
            • Lazarus and Folkman: claimed that when perceived capacity to cope is lower than the perceived threat this leads to stress
          • Evolutionary Explanations
            • Canon claimed that when stressed humans exhibit a "fight or flight" response - they are provided with a sudden burst of energy
            • Early humans developed this response to stress as a result of natural selection - those who had the response had an increased chance or survival
      • Coping with Stress
        • Psychological Stress Management
          • Kobasa: Hardiness Training
            • Teaching/Focusing: Identification of stressors and focusing on the physical symptoms of our stress
            • Reconstructing situations: involves considering how past stressors have been dealt with to encourage client towards a more realistic appraisal of life stress
            • Self-Improvement:aims to improve self-efficacy through introduction of skills that should make the client feel more optimistic towards dealing with stress
            • Maddi et al has shown effectiveness of therapy for increasing hardiness and relieving stress stymptoms
          • Meichenbaum: Stress Inoculation Training
            • Meichenbaum believes that altering the way that an individual thinks about stressors can change peoples' behaviour
            • 1) Conceptualisation: appraisal of stressors and how they're being dealt with
            • 2) Skill training and rehearsal: Therapist introduces skills to directly address stress appraisal
            • 3) Application: client uses their new skills and they develop the skills through experience
            • Although effective and long-lasting, this treatment is ethnocentric and requires commitment
        • Biological Stress Management
          • Biofeedback: - Patient's heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension are measured     - They are taught how to control these symptoms through relaxation and breathing techniques      - These techniques are learnt to be used in everyday life
            • Attanasio et al: Biofeedback Useful - found that biofeedback helped children to gain control and develop a positive attitude
            • Masters et al: Biofeedback not useful - may be no more useful than relaxation techniques
          • Benzodiazepines: (e.g. valium) enhance the action of GABA  and reduce the increased seratonin activity associated with anxiety thus making the person more relaxed
          • Beta-Blockers: (e.g. propanolol) reduce symapthetic activity by binding to receptors on body parts usually aroused by adrenaline
          • Drug Treatments: May be more effective for passive stressors as they do not traget the problem and do have side effects and can be addictive
            • Beta-Blockers: (e.g. propanolol) reduce symapthetic activity by binding to receptors on body parts usually aroused by adrenaline
          • Exercise: leads to better overall health and better sleep which reduces the chanc of stree-related illness
            • Throne et al studied fire-fighters and found that exercise lowered stress levels
        • Approaches to Coping with Stress
          • Problem-focused: active method that aims to deal with the problem itself . Taking control over source of stress itself.
          • Emotion-focused: can be positive or negative, deals with the emotions caused by stress. Examples include denial or smoking.
          • Evaluation: often a combination of both approaches is most effective (e.g. Folkman and Lazarus example of students using problem before exams and emotion after)
          • Mullis and Chapman found that people with higher self-esteem use problem-focused
          • Carver et al's COPE Scale:  assesses coping styles from most effective (active coping) to least effective (e.g.humour)

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