These are the Key Notes and Chapter Summaries for the AQA Psychology A PSYA2 paper for AS level Psychology.

HideShow resource information
Preview of PSYA2

First 454 words of the document:

Biological Psychology ­ Stress
The body's response to stress
The transactional model of stress sees stress as depending on primary and
secondary appraisal processes. We identify sources of stress in the environment,
and then assess our available coping resources. Stress exists when there is a
discrepancy or imbalance between the two
The body's response to stress involves appraisal processes located in higher brain
centres and the limbic system, and activation of the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal
axis (HPA) and the sympatheticadrenomedullary pathway (SAM)
HPA activation involves release of the hormone ACTH from the pituitary gland this
then travels to the cortex of the adrenal gland and stimulates the release of
corticosteroids into the bloodstream
SAM activation involves never impulses travelling along pathways of the sympathetic
nervous system from the brainstem out to the medulla of the adrenal gland. This
stimulates the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream
Arousal of the HPA and SAM pathways in stressful situations precede the resources
for energy expenditure, i.e. muscle activity. Modern stressors do not usually lead to
`fight or flight', and as we do not burn up the energy resources they may contribute to
stressrelated illnesses
Selye's general adaptation syndrome was an early and influential attempt to provide a
model of the body's response to stress. It consists of three stages, alarm, resistance
and exhaustion
Stressrelated illness and the immune system
An important feature of stressors is how long they last for instance they may be
acute timelimited, brief naturalistic or chronic stressors. Links to illness may depend
on how long stressors last.
There are many possible pathways linking stress to illness. Two major areas are
effects of stress on the cardiovascular system, and effects of stress on the immune
The immune system is extremely complicated, but a basic decision is into natural and
specific immunity
Specific immunity is further divided into cellular and hormonal immunity
Natural immunity acts faster in response to any challenge, while specific immunity is
energyintensive and may take days to develop
Potentially different types and durations of stressor may affect different parts of the
immune system
The studies of Cohen et al (1993) and KiecoltGlaser et al (1984), using different
methods, both demonstrated that life stress could reduce or impair immune function
In a major metareview, Segerstrom and Miller (2004) concluded that acute
shortlasting stressors lead to an upregulation (activation) of natural immunity, while
chronic (longlasting) stressors lead to general suppression or downregulation of
most measures of immune function

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

One important mechanism linking stress to downregulation of the immune system is
the action of corticosteroids in reducing lymphocyte production and shrinking the
thymus gland
Chapter Summary
The transactional model defines a state of stress as occurring when there is an
imbalance between perceived demands on an individual and their perceived coping
In the body's response to stress, appraisal process identifies an imbalance between
demands and coping resources.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Personality Factors
Friedman and Rosenman first introduced the concept of Type A behaviour pattern
(TAB), a pattern that seemed to be vulnerable to stressrelated heart disease. It is
characterised by time pressure, competitiveness and hostility
Although early studies suggested a significant relationship between TAB and heart
disease, later findings were inconsistent.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Chapter Summary
Holmes and Rahe's social readjustment rating scale (SRRS) was the first attempt to
access life event stress.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Rates of conformity differ across time and cultures.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Research into obedience has been criticised for lacking validity and for the ethical
issues it presents
There is some debate as to how far research into obedience can explain reallife
crimes of obedience
Explanations of Independent Behaviour
Psychologists have investigated situational factors in conformity, obedience and
Disobedience is easier when people are in a group and construct alternative group
norms to resist authority
Resistance may take place when people feel their freedom of choice is restricted
Individual difference in independent behaviour
Psychologists have investigated…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

Each in turn has limitations, and all are culturally specific
These definitions do not allow specific syndromes to be identified. This is done using
psychiatric classification systems such as DSMIVR. In DSMIVR the global
assessment of functioning scale includes elements of DSN and FFA
Biological and psychological approaches to psychopathology
The biological approach links psychopathology to changes in the structure and
functioning of the brain, especially the activity of neurotransmitters.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

In addition, some disorders may not prevent people living relatively
normal lives
Deviation from ideal mental health (DIMH) tries to define abnormality as the opposite
of ideal mental health. This definition is subjective and based very much on Western
Values.…read more

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Here's a taster:

Drugs were introduced for the treatment of schizophrenia in 1953. These
antipsychotic drugs reduce the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain
and can supress symptoms of schizophrenia in up to 60% of patients. They do not
`cure' the disorder, and also have serious side effects, especially affecting movement
Antidepressant drugs work by rising levels of the neurotransmitters noradrenalin and
serotonin in the brain.…read more

Page 10

Preview of page 10

Here's a taster:

Each of the approaches to abnormality described lead to a particular form of therapy.
Issues such as effectiveness, cost, availability and side effects and ethical aspects
need to be considered in relation to therapies
Treatments based on the biological approach include drugs, electroconvulsive
therapy (ECT), psychosurgery and drugs
Drugs include the antipsychotics, antidepressants and antianxiety drugs. Drugs often
work through changes in the activity of brain neurotransmitters such as dopamine,
noradrenaline and serotonin
Drug therapy is never effective for all patients.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »