Terms in this set (88)
What is stress?
-the process of appraising and responding to events which we consider threatening or challenges
What is a stressor?
-an event or condition viewed as threatening, challenging, or overwhelming
What is an example of a stressor?
-poverty, an explosion, a psychology test, feeling cold, being on a plane, loud noises
What is an appraisal?
-refers to deciding whether to view something as a stressor
What is a stress reaction?
-refers to any emotional and physical response to the stressor
What is an example of a stress reaction?
-rapid heartbeat, elevated cortisol levels, crying, etc.
What is stress?
What is the process of stress?
1) the stressor (event or condition)
4) coping strategies
What is cognitive appraisal?
-choosing to view a situation as either a threat or a challenge
What does your response depend on?
-how you choose to view a situation
What is your stress response more determined by?
-your cognitive appraisal than the stressful situation
Are certain situations universally stressful?
What are examples of situations that are universally stressful?
poverty and starvation
How can a brief experience of stress be beneficial?
-feeling engaged, energized
-providing challenges that encourage growth, knowledge, and self-esteem
How can extreme or prolonged stress cause problems?
-mental and physical coping systems become overwhelmed
-immune functioning and other health factors decline because of damage
What are stressors?
-are events or conditions that trigger our stress response, because they are perceives/appraised as overwhelmingly challenging, threatening, or harmful
What is unique about stressors?
-they vary in intensity and persistence
What are the 4 stressor categories?
2) significant life changes
3) chronic daily hassles
4) low social status/ power
What is an example of a catastrophe?
-huricane, war, etc.
What is an example of a significant life change?
-loss of significant other or the birth of a child, etc.
What is an example of a chronic daily hassle?
-traffic, noise, etc.
What is an example of low social status/power?
-poverty, political oppression, etc.
Is appraisal essential in a catastrophic event?
What are the short-term effects of catastrophic events/conditions?
-increased heart attacks on the day of the event
What are the long-term effects of catastrophic events/conditions?
-depression, nightmares, anxiety, and flashbacks
What is interesting about "happy" life changes such as marriage, starting college, or a new job, or the birth of a child?
-these changes can bring increase challenge and stress
Change is often..?
What can put a strain on coping resources?
-new roles, new priorities, and new tasks
When does the challenge and the negative impact on health increase?
-when the changes are painful, such as a death in a family, loss of job, or illness
-the changes are in a cluster and there are too many at once
Are daily stressors associated with adverse health outcomes?
What does cognitive appraisal lead to?
What are the two types of stressors?
-chronic, low-intensity stressors (daily hassles)
-chronic, high-intensity stressors (poverty)
Are daily hassles the same as chronic stressors?
Do we have evidence that stress effects the health of humans?
-no but we have correlative data
-there is evidence of stress and health in animals
What happens when we encounter a stressor?
-our body acts to increase our resistance to threat and harm
What are the three phases of our body's stress response system?
-phase 1: the fight or flight or alarm reaction
-phase 2: the resistance phase of the stress response
-phase 3: exhaustion
What is phase one of the stress response system?
-the fight or flight or "alarm" reactions
What does phase one do?
-gives us energy to act
What is involved in phase one of the body's stress response system?
-the sympathetic nervous system
What does the sympathetic nervous system do during the first phase?
-responds by producing norepinephrine and epinephrin (adrenaline)
-shuts down systems not essential for withstanding the stressor (digestion, immune response)
-mobilizes resources for quick action (increased heart rate, increases blood flow to muscles, increases attention/alertness)
What is phase two of the body's stress response system?
the resistance phase
What happens during the resistance phase of the stress response?
-endocrine system produces cortisol and other stress hormones
What does cortisol and the other stress hormones help do?
-they focus on planning adaptive coping strategies and resisting defeat by the stressor
What is phase three of the body's stress response system?
What happens during phase three of the body's stress response system?
-stress resistance decreases as resources are depleted
What is general adaption syndrome?
-our stress response system, defends, then fatigues
-the body's resistance to stress can only last so long before exhaustion sets in
What does the General adaption syndrome work well for?
-single exposures to stress
What happens when there is too much repeated and prolonged stress?
-there is too much phase three time which leads to various signs of physical deterioration and premature aging
-the production of new neurons declines
-neural circuits in the brain break down
-DNA telomeres shorten, cells lose the ability to divide, cells die, tissue stops regenerating, early aging and death
What does stress response do?
-affects the digestive system
-increases strain upon circulatory system due to increased heart rate
How does stress response affect the digestive system?
-during stress, digestion is inhibited. After stress, digestive activity increases
-this effects the health of the digestive system and may lead to gastric ulcers
-adrenaline released during stress response may also contribute to gastric ulcers
How does stress response increase strain upon circulatory system die to increased heart rate?
-hypertension is a major risk factor in heart disease
-adrenaline increases blood cholesterol levels, which contributes to clogged arteries
What is hypertension?
-consistently raised blood pressure over several weeks
What does stress do to immune function?
-stress reduces immune functioning
-cortisol increases inflammation in the long term
-chronically high levels of cortisol boost the production of proteins that trigger inflammation
-chronic inflammation is linked to depression, heart disease, and cancer
How does cortisol increase inflammation in the long term?
-cortisol suppresses inflammation in the an acute stressor (lowered immune response)
What does stress do with the immune system's ability to function properly?
-stress reduces the immune system;s ability to function optimally
What is an example of overactive immune function?
What is an example of underactive immune function?
-flare ups of asthma, eczema
-cancer cells multiply
What is the link between depression and heart disease?
-depression and heart disease are highly comorbid
What is evidence that depression and heart disease are highly comorbid?
-otherwise healthy individuals with depression are twice as likely to develop heart disease
What do depressed individuals show an increase of?
What does successful treatment of depression do?
-reduces inflammatory markers and reduces risk of heart disease
What is the process of chronic stressors and cardiac disease?
-chronic stressors lead to excessive inflammation which leads to depressive symptoms which leads to cardiac disease
What are characteristics of people with type a personalities?
-hostile and aggressive
What are characteristics of people with a type b personality?
-one thing at a time
Which type of people are more likely to develop heart disease?
-people with type A personality
Why are people with type A personality more likely to develop heart disease?
-they are more likely to have their fight or flight response set off by things in their environment
What is the confound variable in the heart disease study?
-study conducted in males only
How do females respond to a stressor?
-women "tend and befriend"
-women nurture themselves and others and bond together
-women show more behavioral and neurological signs of becoming more empathetic under stress
What might play a role in this bonding?
-the bonding hormone oxytocin may play a role in this bonding
How do men respond to a stressor?
-men under stress are more likely to socially withdraw and numb themselves with alchohol
-men are also more likely to become aggressive under stress
-men's behavior and brains show LESS empathy and less turning to others under stress
What are the two different ways of coping with stress?
What is problem-focused coping?
-reducing the stressors by working out a conflict, or tackling a difficult project
What is problem focused coping linked to?
-an internal locus of control
What is the risk with problem-focused coping?
-magnifying emotional distress
What is emotion-focused coping?
-reducing the emotional impact of stress by getting support, comfort, and perspective from others
What is emotion-focused coping linked to?
-an external locus of control
What is the risk with emotion focused coping?
-ignoring the problem
What is learned helplessness?
-declining to help oneself after repeated attempts to do so have failed
What is the process of learned helplessness?
1. uncontrollable bad events
2. perceived lack of control
3. generalized helpless behavior
What is the experiment by Martin Seligman?
-an experiment about learned helplessness
-gave a dog no chance of escape from repeated shocks
-result: it will give up on trying to escape pain, even when it later has the option to do so
What are the benefits of social support?
-having close relationships is associated with improved health, immune functioning, and longevity
-provides a calming effect that reduces blood pressure and stress hormones
-confiding in others helps manage painful feelings
What does confiding in others help manage?
What might social support help explain?
-why people who attend religious services are "healthier"
What are some ways to combat stress?
-meditation and relaxation
-having a positive outlook
What does aerobic exercise involve?
-sustained activity that increases heart and lung fitness
What does aerobic exercise reduce?
-stress, depression, and anxiety
What does meditation and relaxation do?
-relaxation procedures can provide relief from headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia
What is optimism correlated with?
-a longer life span
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