PSYA2 Summary Booklet

A summary of all studies and information for Stress, Social Psychology and Individual Differences

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  • Created on: 22-05-14 08:46
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SUMMARY OF STRESS
PATHWAYS
Sympathomedullary Pathway
Stressor
Hypothalamus
Sympathetic Branch of the ANS
Adrenal Medulla
Adrenaline and Noradrenaline
Fight or Flight response
STRESS EFFECTS ON THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Kiecolt-Glaser et al
A: To see how stress of important examinations affects the immune system
P: Used 75 medical student volunteers in their first year in a longitudinal natural study.
Gave students questionnaires to examine personality traits such as loneliness and depression and life events,
as well as taking blood samples to measure t-cell activity in the blood (a cell responsible for the immune
system).
Measurements were took one month before exams (low stress) and during exams (high stress)
F: Blood taken before final exams contained more t-cell activity in the blood than during final examinations.
Immune responses are especially weak in those reporting to feel most lonely and those experiencing life
events or other psychiatric symptoms
C: The stress of examinations has an effect on the functioning of the immune system, as proven by a
decreased level of t-cell activity in the blood.
High ecological validity (natural experiment) however no control over extraneous variables
Questionnaires account for non-biological factors
Ethnocentric ­ all American students from the same university
Demand characteristics ­ may alter their response on questionnaires
Pituitary Adrenal System
Stressor
Hypothalamus
CRF
Pituitary Gland
ACTH
Adrenal Cortex
Corticosteroids
Inhibits the immune system which leads to stress symptoms (sweat/increased heart rate)
LIFE EVENTS AND STRESS RELATED ILLNESS
Holmes and Rahe et al
A: To see if the stress of life events is correlated with illness

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P: Used 2500 US naval servants from the in a longitudinal study of six months.
Measured their life events with a Life Changing Unit (LCU) and compared it with their health records and used
correlational analysis.
F: Found a slight positive correlation of +.…read more

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DAILY HASSLES AND UPLIFTS
Kanner et al
A: To see if daily hassles and uplifts scale was more accurate in predicting stress than a life events scale
P: 100 white, well-educated and financially comfortable participants selected from a previous study of 7000.
Each participant assessed once a month for 10 months in a longitudinal study on a daily hassles and uplifts
scale using questionnaires.
Used a life events scale similar to SRRS, Hopkins symptoms checklist and Bradburn Morale Scale.…read more

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PERSONALITY TYPES AND STRESS
Type A
Competitiveness and achievement striving
Impatience and time urgency
Hostility and aggressiveness
Type B
Patient
Relaxed
Easy-going
Type X
A mix of the A and B personalities
Rosenhan & Friedman
A: To test how different types of personalities affect the likelihood of coronary heart disease (CHD)
P: 3000 30-59 year old American males assessed to determine personality types, and re-evaluated in 8 years
in a longitudinal study
F: Found after 8 years 257 had developed CHD, 70% of which had…read more

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TREATMENTS FOR STRESS
PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENTS
Stress Inoculation Therapy (SIT)
Developed by Michenbaun and Cameron, is a form of CBT as we change the way we think about the stressor
Conceptualisation: The therapist and client establish a relationship, the client is encouraged to talk about
previous stressful situations and how they felt.
Client is also taught about impacts of stress.
Skills acquisition: Client is taught coping skills and gradually rehearsed, encouraged to use in real life.
Skills are tailored to each client.…read more

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SUMMARY OF ABNORMALITY
DEFINITIONS OF ABNORMALITY
Failure to function adequately
A person is considered abnormal if they cannot function in day to day life, e.g. not able to get up and dress
themselves in the morning.…read more

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PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH TO ABNORMALITY
Based on Freud, abnormality is caused by unresolved childhood conflicts and the unconscious mind
Tripartite theory of personality
Ego: the `real' self, develops around age two
Superego: the moral part of self which develops around age 4/5, arises from learning what is right and wrong
Id: present at birth, focuses on pleasure and what we truly want.…read more

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BEHAVIOURAL APPROACH TO ABNORMALITY
Classical conditioning
Learning through association
Little Albert (case study) became fearful of rats by associating the sight of a rat with a loud startling noise
Operant Conditioning
Learning through rewards and consequences
One example is addiction, where someone may become addicted to smoking as they receive the positive
rewards of stress relief, and make a rational choice to continue smoking even though it comes with negative
consequences of health risks.…read more

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TREATMENTS FOR ABNORMALITY
BIOLOGICAL TREATMENTS
Drug Therapy
Antipsychotics: Block the D2 receptor for dopamine, which prevents hallucinations and delusions
Anti-anxiety drugs: Benzodiazepines (BZs) enhance the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, which prevents
other chemicals stimulating neurons and has a sedative effect on the brain causing a fall in anxiety
Patients may become addicted to drugs as they know it helps them to feel better
Side effects ­ drug treatments have side effects such as Parkinson's disease
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Patient is administered a muscle relaxer,…read more

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