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BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY ­ STRESS

The term "stress" was introduced into psychology from mechanical engineering-
refers to the tension placed on metal by heavy loads.

SELYE 1956 ­ noticed rats that were given daily injections developed stomach
ulcers. Wondered if cause was injections or stress - realised it was the stress.…

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them: GABA (anti-anxiety), Dopamine (action of anti-psychotic drugs), Serotonin (anti-depressant)
and Noradrenaline (hormone).

ORGANISATION OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). Radiating from the spinal
cord are the spinal nerves (referred to as peripheral nervous system PNS) which contain nerve…

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Cerebral Hemispheres: high level cognitive and emotional processes are controlled from these
centres. There are three major systems: limbic system, basal ganglia and cerebral cortex.

The Limbic System: this includes the hippocampus, amygdala, septum and cingulate gyrus. They are
involved in learning, memory and in particular emotions. The limbic system…

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specific immunity to develop, and it is divided into two components: cellular immunity and humoral
immunity.

Cellular Immunity: this involves a number of different types of cells called T-lymphocytes, produced
in the thymus gland. They include killer T cells, memory T cells and helper T cells. Together these T
cells…

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META-REVIEW OF STRESS RESEARCH

Meta-review: research technique which looks at results from all papers studying a similar problem
and statistically analyses them together. It can employ qualitative or quantitative data.

Upregulation: improvement or increase in immune functioning.

Downregulation: impairment or reduction in immune functioning.

Global immunosuppression: downregulation (inhibition) of all…

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Measuring stress: there are special questionnaires for the workplace and ones for assessing general
life stress. They include self-report questionnaires on frequency of life stress, major life events or
minor stresses, self-report questionnaires on perceived or subjective stress and semi-structured
interviews in which you talk through your life stressors with…

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Methodological issues: sample was culturally specific. They recorded all illness outcomes ­ how do
we know which were stress induced? Correlations only apply to an association not causality. They
are good ethically as no independent variables are manipulated. However other factors may have
affected health ­ people who experience major…

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Workplace stress is now considered one on the major sources of stress. Nursing, police work and
teaching in particular have high levels of stress associated with them. This is an important source of
stress as it not only affects the individual but can lead to poor performance, increased absenteeism
and…

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amount of male and female civil servants so we are unable to generalise results to all workers.
However this study does support others that make a connection between stress and low levels of
control at work. Hohanson et al 1978 found higher levels of stress hormones and stress related
illness…

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1986 general review. Only half the studies find a link between TAB and CHD. Booth-Kewley and
Friedman 1987 found one key characteristic was more important that others, namely hostility and
other negative emotions. Supported by Dembroski et al 1989 found hostility more linked to CHD
than the overall TAB score.…

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