AS Psychology revision - unit 2

For my unit 2 revision, I decided to type up questions on everything I needed to know so that I could get others to test me on it. This includes everything on stress (biological psychology), social influence, and abnormality (individual differences). It may not be very pretty, but I figured I might as well upload it as it is so you can do whatever you like with the text. :)

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 06-07-12 14:55
Preview of AS Psychology revision - unit 2

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The body's response to stress
Q: What is stress?
A: The subjective experience of the perceived demands of a situation being greater than a person's
perceived ability to cope.
Q: What is the fight or flight response?
A: The reaction of the nervous system in response to a stressful situation that produces energy to
prepare the body for extended and demanding amounts of effort.
Q: What does SAM stand for?
A: The Sympathomedullary axis
Q: Describe what SAM does.
A: A situation is interpreted by the brain as a stressor and sends a message to the hypothalamus,
which sends a message via the nervous system to the adrenal medulla. This releases adrenaline and
noradrenaline. Adrenaline increases heart rate, blood pressure, pupil size, breathing rate and muscle
activity. Noradrenaline reduces digestion, saliva production and the size of blood vessels.
Q: What does PAS stand for?
A: Pituitary Adrenal System.
Q: What does PAS do?
A: In response to chronic stress, the hypothalamus releases CRF, which signals to the pituitary gland
to release ACTH into the bloodstream. This is picked up by the adrenal cortex, which releases
cortisol. This reduces the activity of the immune system by muting white blood cell production. At
the same time, fats, proteins and carbohydrates are broken down to provide blood sugar for energy.
Q: What is oxytocin?
A: A hormone which makes people feel less anxious and more sociable.

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Stress-related illness: the immune system
Q: What is the immune system?
A: A network of cells and chemicals in the body which seek out and destroy invading particles.
Q: What are white blood cells also called?
A: Leucocytes.
Q: What are the two types of white blood cells?
A: Phagocytes and lymphocytes.
Q: What do phagocytes do?
A: Surround and ingest invading particles.
Q: What do lymphocytes do?
A: Produce antibodies which attach to foreign particles and slow them down.…read more

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Conclusions that can be drawn from the study are that exam stress reduced immune functioning,
and that immune functioning is affected by psychological factors.
Q: Evaluate this study.
A: It is a natural experiment, so can be applied to real life. However, there are potentially
uncontrolled extraneous variables, and there was sample bias because only medical students were
used. This leads to a reduced validity.…read more

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­ group 1 were rotated for 10 minutes every hour for three
days, group 2 were not rotated. Group 1 developed large tumours and some died, whilst group 2
showed little to no tumour growth. Therefore, the drop in the T cell count due to stress allows the
cancer to develop.
Lab study ­ high level of control but low ecological validity
Independent groups design ­ the experiment couldn't have been repeated because there were two
conditions, but this doesn't detect individual differences.…read more

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Doesn't take into account individual differences.
SRRS includes positive and negative events, and doesn't distinguish between the two.
People may perceive events differently.
It uses retrospective data.
Doesn't demonstrate the effect of other factors.
Daily hassles
Q: What are daily hassles?
A: The minor but frustrating demands of everyday life.
Q: What are daily uplifts?
A: Everyday events which people find pleasurable and uplifting.
Q: What did Ruffin find?
A: Ruffin wanted to find if daily hassles or life changes correlated with health the most.…read more

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Workplace stress
Q: What are the factors contributing to workplace stress?
A: The work environment, workload, work/life balance, job control/decision latitude (how much
control you have over different aspects of your job.
Q: Describe a study into job demand, job control and job strain.
A: Karasek investigated the relationship between job demand, job control and job strain.…read more

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Individual differences haven't been taken into account. The
samples were biased.
Personality factors and stress
Q: What three behaviour patterns are parts of a type A personality?
A: Time pressured, competitive and hostile.
Q: Describe a study investigating the link between coronary heart disease and type A personalities.
A: Friedman and Rosenman (the Western Collaborative Group Study) wanted to find if CHD was
associated with a type A personality.…read more

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Q: Describe three studies into hardiness.
A: Kobasa produced a questionnaire into hardiness. Managers of large companies who were
assessed as hardy were less likely to suffer from stress-related illness. Beasley found that students
scoring highly on hardiness had reduced stress levels. Lifton et al found that US students with high
scores were more likely to finish their degree, and those with low scores were more likely to drop
Q: Evaluate these studies.
A: +Useful applications e.g.…read more

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Time-consuming and requires high motivation
-Unnecessarily complex ­ may be equally as effective to relax more or talk more positively?
Q: How does hardiness training work?
A: The first stage is focusing, where the client is taught to recognise physiological signs of stress, and
to identify sources of stress. The next stage is reliving stress encounters, where the client relives
stress encounters and is helped to analyse these situations and their response to them.…read more

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BZs have side-effects (tiredness, memory impairment, increased aggression and sedation).
-Treats symptoms, not causes.…read more


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