Biological Psychology: Stress

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  • Stress
    • Stress as a bodily response
      • Describe the pituitary adrenal system
        • Stressor stimulates the Hypothalamus
          • Hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland
            • Pituitary gland secretes ACTH
              • Stimulates the Adrenal cortex
                • Releases corticosteroids e.g. cortisol
                  • Enabled the body to maintain stable blood sugar levels
                  • Stops bruising
                  • Suppresses immune system
              • Adrenocortico-trophic hormone
      • Sympathetic-adrenomedullary pathway (SAM)
        • Sympathetic branch of ANS (autonomic nervous system)
          • Adrenal medulla
            • Adrenaline and noradrenaline
              • Increased; heart-rate, respiration, muscle tension
                • Fight or flight response
      • Features & Functions of the Immune System
        • Features
          • Memory
        • Functions
          • Protect the host from environmental agents e.g.microbes or chemicals
            • Therefore preserving the integrity of the body
      • Effects of stress on the immune system
        • Stress hormones supress immune system
          • Short term = fine
          • Long term = risk of disease
      • Case Study: Kiecolt-Glaser et al. 1984
        • Blood samples taken before and during exams
          • Findings: Exam stress reduces immune functioning
    • Stress in everyday life
      • Describe what is meant by a life change
        • An event that is powerful enough to change ones life
      • Case Study: Rahe et al. 1970
        • Aims: to find out if scores on the SRRS correlated significantly with the subsequent onset of illness
          • 2500 male American soldiers were given the SRRS scale to measure their LCU over the previous 6 months
            • Findings: positive correlation of +0.118 between life changes and illness
      • Describe what is meant by a daily hassle
        • Relatively minor events arising out of day-to-day living
          • e.g. Losing the car keys or missing the bus
      • Self report methods in psychology
        • A self report is any method that invoves asking a PP their belif's, feelings, etc.
          • e.g. Questionnaires and interviews
            • Think about open and closed questions
    • Workplace stress; Personality factors
      • Define what is meant by workplace stress
        • The reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at the workplace
      • Some factors that contribute to workplace stress
        • Demands
        • No Control
        • Lack of support
        • Relationships
        • Role
        • Change
      • Case Study: Friedman and Rosenman
        • Aims: To investigate the links between type A behaviour patterns and coronary heart disease (CHD)
          • Using interviews 3200 Californian men, aged 39-59 were catagorised as either type A or type B or type X
            • Type A: Obsessed with being on time, want recognision for their work, rarely talk about feelings and very ambitious.
            • Type B: More relaxed, don't mind losing, more creative, very reflective thinking about about different worlds
            • Type X: A combination of both type A and B
            • Findings: By the end of the 8 1/2 year study 257 men had developed CHD, of which 70% were from the type A group
      • Hardiness
        • Low hardiness means you could be badly affected by stress
        • High hardiness means you are good at dealing with stress and are at less risk of a related illness
    • Ways of coping with stress
      • Emotion-focused approaches to coping with stress
        • Take your mind off it
        • Let off steam to others
        • Praying
        • Ignoring it
        • Distract yourself
      • Problem-focused approaches to coping with stress
        • Taking Control
        • Information seeking
        • Evaluating pros and cons
      • Cognitive Behavioural Method
  • Ways of coping with stress
    • Emotion-focused approaches to coping with stress
      • Take your mind off it
      • Let off steam to others
      • Praying
      • Ignoring it
      • Distract yourself
    • Problem-focused approaches to coping with stress
      • Taking Control
      • Information seeking
      • Evaluating pros and cons
    • Cognitive Behavioural Method
  • Fight or flight response
  • Specificity of response
    • Features
      • Memory
  • Case Study: Kiecolt-Glaser et al. 1984
    • Blood samples taken before and during exams
      • Findings: Exam stress reduces immune functioning
  • By Charlie Grace

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