AS Psychology Biological Psychology- Stress full revision notes

AQA AS Psychology Biological Psychology- Stress full revision notes, Inclueds all studies needed and speic ! 

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Biological Psychology- Stress
Stress:
Can be an environmental stimulus that triggers a stress response, for example a giant bear
scaring you.
It can also be the response to a stimulus, our reaction, such as running for the bus.
Scientific explanation is the response that occurs when we think we can't cope with the
pressures in our environment.
Hypothalamus:
Is the part of the brain that responds to stress
The evaluation of whether something is a stressor occurs in the higher brain centres, the
cerebral cortex. Then it sends signals to the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus then triggers two processes in the body.
Sympathomedullary pathway:
In an immediate response to a stressor the hypothalamus triggers the activity of the
sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.
It then stimulates the adrenal medulla, which releases adrenaline and noradrenalin into
the bloodstream
This causes the flight or fight response, which affects the body by...
Increasing the blood pressure and heart rate to get blood quickly to areas of the body where
it's needed
Digestion decreases so the blood can directed to the brain and muscles
Muscles become tense so the body is physically responsive.
Perspiration (sweating) increases so the body can cool down and burn more energy
Breathing rate increases so more oxygen can be sent to the muscles.
The result is the body is ready to use energy to deal with the stressful situation.
Pituitary adrenal system:

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If the stress is long term the pituitary adrenal system is there to help the body adapt to the
long term effect of stress.
First the hypothalamus triggers the release of CRH
CRH then stimulates the anterior pituitary glands
The anterior pituitary glands then releases a hormone called ACTH
ACTH then travels through the blood and stimulates the adrenal cortex
The adrenal cortex then realise corticosteroids which coverts fat and protein into energy.…read more

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Also he found out that the immune system was weaker in those students who reported
feeling most lonely as well as those who experienced stressful life events.
Therefore, in conclusion the stress of the exams reduced the effectiveness of the immune
system.
However, this was a natural experiment so variables were difficult to control. As a result you
can't be certain that stress led to the immune's suppression, other factors such as drugs,
caffeine, and alcohol were not controlled and could have been responsible.…read more

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Kanner 1981 also criticised the SRRS scale by saying life changing events aren't a everyday
event and everyday events affect people more, that's why he produces a hassle scale.
Daily Hassles as a Source of Stress:
Daily hassles are relatively minor events that arise in the course of a normal day, such as bus
being late, computer breaking and so on.
Kanner (1981): Suggested that stress is related to more occurring events than major life events
put forward by Holmes and Rehe.…read more

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The results showed that when the medical history of the employees were followed up 5
years latter those who felt they had less control over their work and less social support were
more likely to suffer stress related illnesses such as cardiovascular disorders. In addition they
were four times more likely to die of a heart attack than their colleagues with more control.
Therefore, in conclusion workers who believe that they have little control over their work
influences work stress and the development of illness.…read more

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However, the study does not prove that personality characteristics can cause stress and
illness, it could be the other way round. For example type A personality may develop as a
response to being under stress from work ect.
Also the sample used is quite limited, it's only mid ages men, this means the result are not
easy to generalise to the rest of the population.…read more

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Turnispseed 1999 did a study into hardy personality and stress and back up Koasa
results. He found that nurses who scored high on hardiness were less likely to feel under
pressure at work than those with low scores.
However much of Kobasa's and other work into hardy personality has been carried out on
white collar works and stressful types of jobs. So the findings may not be generalisable to
other groups.…read more

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It involves 3 steps:
The first is Conceptualisation, this is where a therapists helps a patient identify their fear
and concerns.
The second step is skill acquisition and rehearsal, this is where the patient is trained to
develop skills like positive thinking in order to improve self confidence.
The third step is application and follow through, this is where the patient is encouraged to
practise their newly acquired skills in real life situation, with the support and back up from the
therapist.…read more

Comments

MrsMacLean

this is really detailed and well summarised. thanks

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