January 2013 Psychology

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Mouth is very dry, your breathing is very fast and your heart is thumping.

Using your knowledge of the body’s response to stress, explain why you are likely to have experienced these changes.

The stem refers to the body responding to a short-term stressor, the release of adrenaline is responsible for increased heart rate and faster breathing and the dry mouth is linked to the digestive system “shutting down”. Students can refer to the pituitary adrenal system and/or the sympathomedullary pathway. They can also refer to the fight-or-flight response. For full marks there must be explicit engagement with the stem.

What does Figure 1 tell you about the relationship between stress and illness?

The graph indicates a fairly strong, positive correlation between scores on a stress questionnaire and days off through illness. The following can all receive a mark: direction, strength and a description of their relationship. Credit can also be given for mentioning the flattening of the graph at higher stress levels.

Outline one strength and one weakness of using correlations in stress research.

Strength: can study relationship between variables that occur naturally. Can measure things that cannot be manipulated experimentally. Can suggest trends that can lead to experiments.

Weakness: It is not possible to say that one thing causes another. Just because there is a correlation between stress scores and days off it does not mean that stress caused people to take days off work, or there may be another variable connecting them.

Which personality type is each person likely to have?

Roy= Type B/ B / Personality Type B

Mick = Type A / A / Personality Type A

Explain whether Roy or Mick is more likely to suffer from a stress-related illness. Use research in your explanation.

It is people with Type A behaviour who are more likely to suffer the negative effects of stress. So in the stem it is Mick (competitive and angry when loses) who is more likely to suffer from CHD. Friedman and Rosenman research indicated that it is those with Type A who become ill as a consequence of their stress. Type B people such as Roy who doesnt get physically aroused at losing, are much less likely to experience the “fight or flight” response and so less likely to have raised blood pressure etc.

Outline drug therapy as a method of stress management.

The two main groups of drugs used to manage stress are Benzodiazepines and Beta-blockers. BZs act on the brain by increasing the action of GABA. This neurotransmitter reduces the activity of other neurotransmitters in the brain.

Beta-blockers act directly on the cardiovascular system. They reduce any increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may arise as a result of stress. 

Outline stress inoculation therapy as a method of stress management.

Stress Inoculation therapy (SIT) involves three stages.

The first is conceptualization, where the client and therapist identify the source of the

stress. This could include keeping a diary of when and where the


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