AQA - Biological Psychology

These are some notes i made on the revision guide while revising myself, i hope it helps all of you as well :) GoodLuck <3

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Biological Psychology
Stress: when there's an imbalance between perceived demands and perceived
coping resources then a state of stress exists.
-immune system has 2 subdivisions:
Natural immunity:
-white blood in the blood stream
-these attack, ingest any invading pathogens
-eg viruses and bacteria
-fast acting
specific immunity:
-cells called lymphocytes
-have ability to recognize invading pathogens
-and can produce specific antibodies to destroy them
-slower because cells have to recognize first then produce antibodies
Cohen et al 1993
*394 pp
-rated their stress levels
-completed questionnaires
-on stressful events experienced in the previous year & depression
-these 3 = stress index score
-exposed to common cold virus
-82% got infected
-after 7 days, most stressed more likely to get cold, that body cant fight off
-higher stress index, correlated with chances of developing cold
-immune function not measured directly
-cant confirm cause and effect
-other factors were not controlled
Kieser ­ Glaser et al 1984
*75 medical students
*preparing for final exams
*completed questionnaires on negative life events & social isolation
-immune function was measured
-measured via activity of natural killer cells before (low stress) & during
exams (high stress)
-immune function was lower in high stress condition
-reduction was greater in students reporting high levels of isolation
-conc: exam stress weakens immune function
-cant be generalized only medical students
Life events:

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Life changes: are major life events such as marriage, serious illness or death of
a partner.…read more

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Johansson et al 1978
Type A & B Behaviour Patterns
Type A:
-time pressured
always working to deadlines
unhappy doing nothing
high achieving
playing to win
easily angered
Type B:
-easy going
-not competitive
-not easily angered
Rosenman et al 1976
*categorized 3454 pp
*American men
*in 2 types: type a & b
*used structured interviews
*followed for 8.…read more

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Kobasa et al 1985
*used questionnaires to assess 3c's
*also assessed levels of physical exercise & social support
-higher score on 3c's lower levels of stress
-hardiness has greatest protective effect
-studied male executives in white collar jobs = cant generalize
-ecological validity is low
-cause and effect cant be assumed
+supported by other studies
Beasley et al 2003
*study on the effects of life stress
*on students
-students who scored higher on hardiness showed lower levels of
psychological distress
+supports kobasa et al study…read more

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Drugs: Physiological method of stress management
-act in brain on pathways
-use neurotransmitter serotonin
-reduces feelings of anxiety and stress
Beta Blockers:
-have direct action to the heart and circulatory system to the body
-reduces heart rate
-reduces bp
Evaluation of drugs:
-don't work for everyone
-40% people don't respond to it
-withdrawal symptoms
-don't target the causes of stress
-side effects
-not a long term solution
+act quickly…read more


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