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GCE ­ AQA PSYCHOLOGY A ­ AS Award 1181

UNIT 2 ­ PSYA2 ­ 1 hour 30 minutes
Biological Psychology, Social Psychology and Individual Differences


UNIT 1 - Contents

BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY ­ STRESS

Stress as a Bodily Response

1. The body's response to stress
(a) The Fight or Flight Response…

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Social influence in everyday life

1. How can people resist pressures to conform and pressures to obey? 21
2. Conformist, anti-conformist, or independent? 21 - 22
3. What are the main ethical principles in social research? 23 - 24
4. Would research into social influence as carried out by Hofling,…

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BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY ­ STRESS

Stress as a bodily response
The body's response to stress, including the pituitary-adrenal system
and the sympathomedullary pathway in outline
Stress-related illness and the immune system


1. The body's response to stress

(a) The Fight or Flight Response

When people feel in danger or under threat,…

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(b) Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

Hans Selye (1956) defined stress as the non-specific response of the body to any demand
made upon it. This response reflects the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS), the body's
defence against stress. The body responds in the same way to any stressor, whether it's
environmental…

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Like the pituitary gland, the adrenal glands are made up of two parts: the adrenal cortex
(the outer part), and the adrenal medulla (the centre or inner part). When an individual is
aroused, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) speeds up
bodily activity. This involves increasing heart…

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demonstrate that different stressors, including exams, death of a spouse, caring for
relatives with Alzheimer's disease, are all involved in reduced immune function.

Glaser (1986) assessed 40 medical students 6 weeks before they took important
examinations. He asked the students to complete a questionnaire and also took blood
samples. He…

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Stress in everyday life
Life changes and daily hassles
Workplace stress
Personality factors, including Type A behaviour
Distinction between emotion-focused and problem-focused approaches
to coping with stress
Psychological and physiological methods of stress management, including
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and drugs


1. Life Changes and Daily Hassles

Life events include changes…

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2. Workplace Stress

Social isolation. In some work situations, workers are isolated from each other for long
periods of time. This often happens on production lines where machines control the work
operations. Workers have few opportunities to communicate socially with each other.
Social isolation is related to various indicators of…

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3. Personality factors, including Type A behaviour

Psychologists investigating stress have focussed on two personality types: Type A and
Type B.

Characteristics of Type A include an overriding need to achieve, a highly competitive
nature and a tendency to show anger and hostility. In contrast, Type B individuals tend to…

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4. Emotion-focused and Problem-focused Approaches to Coping with Stress

David has unexpectedly been made redundant. David sits down and considers the options
open to him and their likely outcomes. He decides on his priorities and acts directly to
deal with the stressful situation. David has adopted a problem-focused approach to…

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