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Biological psychology

Stress is a `mismatch between the perceived demands of the environment and one's perceived
ability to cope with those demands'

Stressor= `Any internal or external factors that are threatening and have the potential to produce a
stress response'

The nervous system can be divided into the central and…

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Sympathomedullary pathway- The hypothalamus stimulates the sANS nervous system, which affects
the adrenal medulla to release the hormone adrenaline and the neurotransmitter noradrenaline into
the bloodstream. These produce physiological reactions linked with the flight or fight response, such
as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Evaluation of the body's response…

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-Relapse of cancer more common (Palesh et al '09)

Other Negative Effects

-Poor exam performance (De Meuse '85)
-Inability to cope with new stressors (Bonanno et al '07)
-Unhealthy life habits like smoking and drinking (Simantov '00, Courtois, and Erlandsson et al)

Holmes and Rahe stress scale
The Holmes and…

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Type A personality- Friedman and Rosenman described the Type A personality as possessing three
major characteristics:

Competitiveness and achievement striving
Impatience and time urgency
Hostility and aggressiveness

These are believed to lead to raised blood pressure and an increase in levels of stress hormone.
Therefore they are more likely to…

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-Sheehy and Horan found that sessions of SIT reduced anxiety and stress among students over time,
as well as improving their academic performance
-Preparation for future stressors- SIT gives the client the necessary skills so they are less adversely
affected by stressors in the future.

Cons- Time consuming and requires…

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Illness and the immune system
-Kiegolt-Glaser `84
-Kiegolt-Glaser `95
-Cohen `93
-Marucha `98

Stress and everyday life
-Rahe et al `70
-Newman et al `07
-Bonnano `07
-Kanner `81
-De Longis `88

Stress and personality
-Rosenman and Friedman `58
-Marmot et al `97
-Lee and Watanuki `07



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