AQA - Stress

Psychology Unit 2, Stress section

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  • Created by: Beth
  • Created on: 26-05-12 19:20

Body Response to Stress - SAM

Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM)

Acute stress
Hypothalamus (sends neurotransmitters to)
Adrenal Medulla (Stimulates release of)
Adrenaline (which prepares the body for)
ight or Flight response (which leads to)
Physiological Changes (Increased heart rate etc) 

Acronym - AHAAFP And Hyper Ants Always Fear Parrots

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Bodily Response to Stress - HPA

       Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal System (HPA)

Chronic stress
Hypothalamus (send CRF to stimulate)
Pituitary Glands (into releasing)
ACTH (that stimulates)
Adrenal Cortex (to produce)
Corticosteroids (that stimulate)
Liver (to produce energy) 

Acronym - CHPAACL -  Children Hate Playing And Always Chase Llamas

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Evaluation of SAM and HPA

Tyrell and Baxter
People who can't produce enough corticosteroids have to be injected with more. Shows that adrenal glands are important, and shows that the description is accurate. 

Ignores individual differences
Ignores individuals' personal view of stressor

People has different reactions to the same stressor.


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Acute Stressors - ANS

  Autonomic Nervous System

Sympathetic Branch 
Heightened emotional state, prepare body for fight/flight 

Parasympathetic Branch
Lower body to normal state/homeostasis
Lower blood pressure/heart rate 

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Natural Immunity - Natural killer cells that attack all pathogens - Phagocytes 

Specific Immunity - recognise pathogens and produce specific antibodies - Lymphocyes and B/T Cells

Corticosteroids affect production of lymphocytes
Immunosuppression - effectiveness of immune system is comprimised by stress levels 

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Stress and Immunity - Cohen

Cohen - Cold Study

394 participants - volunteer sample. 
Rate themselves on stressful life events/degree of stress/negative emotions - Stress Index
Exposed to cold virus - 82% become infected
Stress reduce effectiveness of immune system.  

Support by Evans and Edgington - cold correlated with stress in previous days
Crit - volunteer sample - not generalisable 
        correlation study (correlation not mean causation)  

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Stress and Immunity - Kiecolt-Glaser

Kiecolt-Glaser - Wound Study
Volunteer sample. Matched Participants.

13 Females who cared for dementia suffers
Matched on age and income. Not Marital status.

3.5mm cut below elbow - Puncture Biopsy  

Measure cytokines 
Self report - percieved amount of stress.

Wound took on average 9 days longer to heal in carers than the control group,
Cytokines were lower = more stress

Field experiment - results more generalisable (natural setting). Supported by another Kiecolt-Glaser study which found exam stress impairs the immune system. 
Volunteer sample. All females. Not representative.
Correlational - Not show cause and effect

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