Psychology AS - PYA2 - Stress: Exam Answer

A great way of revising is to mark somebody else's essay - attached is an answer that I wrote, but, looking at the mark scheme, my answers are terrible! Lol!! However, I am tired... and I don't have to heart to mark myself so low, so you guys can do it for me :] pretty please?

I answered question 2 - the link for the AQA mark scheme is below - thank youuu :]]]

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  • Created on: 28-12-08 02:27
Preview of Psychology AS - PYA2 - Stress: Exam Answer

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(a) Outline findings of research into workplace stressors. (6 marks)
Marmot et al.'s study of stressors in the workplace found that, out of their sample of over
7000 civil servants, those who were higher grade (and consequently had high demand in their
job) were least likely to suffer from cardiovascular disorders, whereas those who were of a
lower grade (and had low control in their job) had much higher levels of cardiovascular
disorders. Cardiovascular disorders are caused by high levels of stress. The SNS releases
stress hormones which increase the amount of fat content in the blood, but also kicks in with
the "fight or flight" response of the nervous system, increasing the heart rate, causing sweats
and increasing the blood pressure. Over time, the stress response can cause narrowing of
the arteries (fat and glucose buildup and the wearandtear caused by the increase in blood
pressure), with a higher likelihood of a cardiovascular disease.
(b) Describe the procedures of one study of the relationship between stress and
cardiovascular disorders. Give one criticism of this study. (3 marks + 3 marks)
Krantz et al. studied the relationship between stress and cardiovascular disorders in their
study of 1991. He put participants under mental stress in order to see the effects on their
cardiovascular wellbeing. He got them to perform 3 mildly stressful mental tasks (maths
sums, a stroop test and public speaking). Measurements were then taken of particpants'
blood pressure and the contraction of blood vessels in order to measure ischemia. Although
the study actually showed a direct link between cardiovascular disorders and stress, like
many other studies hadn't, the study made no record of patients' responses to tasks involving
no stress (as a control) and there was no increase in mental strain, just 3 tests under a very
similar amount of mental strain, which shows no clues as to which particular tasks different
people get more stressed with.
(c) Describe and evaluate one or more psychological approaches to stress
(e.g. stressinoculation, increasing hardiness). (18 marks)
Meichanbaum's cognitive therapy aims to inoculate individuals against stress. His "Stress
Inoculation Training" aimed to do this in three stages conceptualisation phase, skills
acquisition phase and application phase. Step one included breaking stressors up into
various components in order to help analyse the situation better. Step two consisted of
learning and rehearsal of skills, such as positive thinking, relaxation and time management.
The third phase was basically to apply these skills to real life by reenacting the stressor and
the new response through roleplay, etc. His methods were highly effective (as shown
through a study done by himself, and others, such as Fontana et al.) and, unlike the
physiological methods, it treated the causes, not the symptoms, so that it will help much

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However, the process was very timeconsuming, and he was criticised
for his stepbystep method, in that it could've been just as effective to tell clients to simply
practice positive thinking and to relax more.…read more


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