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A response of the whole organism, involving (1) physiological arousal, (2) expressive behaviors, and (3) conscious experience.

James-Lange Theory

The theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli.

Cannon-Bard Theory

The theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers (1) physiological responses and (2) the subjective experience of emotion.

Two-Factor Theory

The Shachter-Singer theory that to experience emotion one must (1) be physically aroused and (2) cognitively label the arousal.

Spillover Effect

When one emotion continues from one situation to another; more happy about getting job after running as opposed to just waking up.


A machine, commonly used in attempts to detect lies, that measures several of the physiological responses accompanying emotion.

Feel-good, Do-good Phenomenon

People's tendency to be helpful when they're already in a good mood.

Subjective Well-Being

Self-perceived happiness or satisfaction with life. Used along with measures of objective well-being (for example, physical and economic indicators) to evaluate people's quality of life.

Adaptation-Level Phenomenon

Our tendency to form judgments (of sounds, of light, of income) relative to a neutral level are defined by our prior experience.

Relative Deprivation

The perception that one is worse off relative to those with whom one compares oneself.

Behavioral Medicine

An interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies that knowledge to health and disease.

Health Psychology

A subfield of psychology that provides psychology's contribution behavioral medicine.


The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging.

General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

Selye's concept of the body's adaptive response to stress in three phases--alarm, resistance, exhaustion.


Emotional release. In psychology, the catharsis hypothese maintains that "releasing" aggressive energy (through action or fantasy) relieves aggressive urges.

Coronary Heart Disease

The clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle; the leading cause of death in many developed countries.

Type A

Friedman and Rosenman's term for competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, and anger-prone people.

Type B

Friedman and Rosenman's term for easygoing, relaxed people.

Psychophysiological Illness

Any stress-related physical illness, such as hypertension and some headaches

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)

The study of how psychological, neural, and endocrine processes together affect the immune system and resulting health.


The two types of white blood cells that are part of the body's immune systems. The b version form in the bone marrow and release antibodies that fight bacterial infection. The t versions form in the thymus and other lymphatic tissue and attack cancer cells, viruses, and foreign substances.


Identify, pursue, and ingest harmful invaders and worn-out cells.

Natural Killer Cells

Pursue diseased cells (such as those infected by viruses or cancer).


Alleviating stress using emotional, cognitive, or behavioral methods.

Problem-Focused Coping

Attempting to alleviate stress directly--by changing the stressor or the way we interact with that stressor.

Emotion-Focused Coping

Attempting to alleviate stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to emotional needs related to one's stress reaction.

Aerobic Exercise

Sustained exercise that increases heart and lung fitness; may also alleviate depression and anxiety.


A system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological state, such as blood pressure or muscle tension.

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