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Psych revision SAC 2
Terms in this set (53)
Stress as a psychological process:
Researchers have identified many and varied psychological factors that cause or influence how we respond to stressors. Such as:
- prior experiences
- level of self-esteem
- general outlook on life (e.g. optimism versus pessimism)
- personality characteristics
What is a flight response?
Escape by running away to safety
What is a fight response?
Confront and fight off the threat
What is a freeze response?
Keeping absolutely still and silent, avoiding detection
What is the fight-flight-freeze response?
The fight-flight-freeze response is an involuntary, physical response to a sudden and immediate threat (or stressor) in readiness to: escape by running away (flight), keeping absolutely still and silent, avoiding detection (freeze) or confront and fight off the threat (fight)
How does the sympathetic nervous system --> bodily effects
The physiological changes that occur during the fight-flight-freeze are activated in order to prepare the body for one or more of these reactions. The reactions are initiated by the sympathetic nervous system and involve changes such as:
- increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
- redistribution of blood supply from the skin and intestines to muscles
- increased breathing rate (to increase O2 supply)
- increased glucose secretion by the liver (for energy)
- dilation of the pupils (so the eyes can take in as much light as possible)
- Suppression of functions that are not immediately needed in order to conserve energy (i.e. digestion and sexual drive) and which can be delayed without damage to the organism.
What is a freeze reaction?
A reaction that results in an organism being in a physiological state involving high arousal of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, resulting in a condition characterised by both energy conservation and a mobilised state ready for action, responses include:
- Body movement and vocalisation stops
- The racing heart slows
- Blood pressure drops
These responses occur to conserve energy and prepare the body for quick action.
What is SAM?
SAM- Sympathetic Adrenal Medullary Axis. SAM is the super-fast fight or flight reaction your amygdala sets into action, totally bypassing any conscious thought process. The brain-body pathway that activates fight-flight is called the sympathetic adreno-medullary system. SAM is quick reaction when confronted with a stress with adrenaline as we cannot maintain it. 1 20th of a second. SAM basically reroutes your blood flow to increase your heat rate, feed your brain and the muscles required for action and limits the activities of parts of your body that are not required in the moment. This reaction settles down once the danger has passed. An example may include what happens when driving normally and suddenly a child on the footpath decides to run across the road without looking and you slam on the brakes and swerve to avoid hitting the child.
HPA- hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis. Adrenaline is delivered into your neurobiological system by what is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis or the HPA axis. The HPA axis is named after three components: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands which releases cortisol. HPA on the other hand, is slower in activation and continues to be activated long after the stressor has been removed. It is regulated by hypothalamus that sends a hormone to your pituitary gland, both located in the brain, which then sends a hormone to adrenal glands in the body to increase output of cortisol. This is self-regulated system and relies on increasing levels of cortisol produced in the body to feedback to the glands in the brain to suppress the initial hormone cascade. Example is it's what happens when you go into "what I had hit that child" playing it over and over to the point of being too scared to drive at all.
Main effect of Cortisol on the body (what does it do/how does it help)
Cortisol is a hormone secreted from the adrenal cortex to primarily energise the body in response to a stressor.
The main effect of cortisol is to energise the body by increasing energy supplies such as blood sugar and enhancing metabolism. For example, cortisol acts upon the liver to make it secrete glucose into the bloodstream for the muscles to use as an energy source.
When there is an excessive amount of cortisol immune system functioning can be impaired. Cortisol interferes with this process of the immune system, leaving the body less able to deal with infection. Excess cortisol can also lead to:
- Impaired cognitive performance,
- learning problems
- Impaired memory formation and recall
- Mental disorders
What is GAS?
Seyle's General Adaption Syndrome (GAS) is a three stage physiological response to a stressor involving alarm reaction (shock/counter shock), resistance and exhaustion. This means that the GAS is non-specific and will occur whatever the source of the stressor (internal or external)
What is stage 1 of GAS?
Stage 1: Alarm reaction, this initial stage of the GAS is a general defensive reaction to the stressor, and results in a state of tension and alertness, and a readiness to respond to the stressor. Example blood pressure and body temp drop and a temporary loss of muscle tone is experienced
What is stage 2 of GAS?
Stage 2: Resistance, when the body's resistance to the particular stressor develops and rises above its normal levels and therefore the body is being overloaded to generate resistance, causing all unnecessary physiological processes to shut down. Example digestion growth and sex drive stall, menstruation stops, and the production of testosterone and sperm decrease
What is stage 3 of GAS?
Stage 3: Exhaustion, the third stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome when the body can no longer sustain resistance and the effects of a stressor can no longer be dealt with, resulting in the organism becoming weak and more vulnerable to physical and mental disorders. Example fatigue, high levels of anxiety and symptoms of depression, nightmares and impaired sexual performance
2 strengths of GAS
- identifies biological processes associated with the body's stress response
- been influential through its description and explanation of the potentially detrimental effects of the 3 stage adaptation process following exposure to a persistent stressor.
2 limitations of GAS
- The GAS is a 'one size fits all' model, the GAS does not fully take account of or explain individual differences in physiological responses to a stressor
- Not all people experience the same physiological reactions to chronic stress, eg Hypertension is one of many physiological reactions associated with chronic stress, but not all people who experience chronic stress will develop it.
What is 'approach coping strategies'?
Approach coping strategies refer to an effort to confront a stressor and deal directly with it and its effects. The activity is focused towards the stressor, its causes and a solution that will address the underlying problem, issue or concern and minimise or eliminate its impact.
What is avoidant coping strategies?
Avoidant coping strategies refer to an effort that avoids a stressor and which indirectly deals with the stressor and its effects. The activity is focused away from the stressor and there is no attempt to actively confront the stressor and its causes.
What are daily pressures (hassles)?
Type of stressor involving little problems of everyday living that are irritants; also called hassles. example having an argument with a friend,
What are life events?
A stressor in everyday life involving change that forces an individual to adapt to new circumstances. Example marriage, death of a loved one and parenthood
What are acculturative stress?
The stress people experience in trying to adapt to a new culture when living in it for a considerable period of time. For example language difficulties, loneliness and homesickness due to separation.
What are major stressors?
A stressor involving an event that is extraordinarily stressful or disturbing for almost everyone who experiences it. It may be a single, one-off event or it may be an ongoing unrelenting event. for example act of violence, interpersonal violence
What are Catastrophe?
an unpredictable event that causes widespread damage or suffering. As a stressor, the event is one that the majority of people involved would interpret as being stressful. For example natural disasters, wars and terrorist attacks.
What is stress?
A state of physiological and psychological arousal produced by internal or external stressors that are perceived by the individual as challenging or exceeding their ability or resources to cope; may be acute, episodic acute or chronic
What is a stressor?
A stimuli that cause or produce stress and challenge our ability to cope. A stimulus that causes or produces stress, may be internal or external:
- Internal stressor: a personal problem that causes concern about the potential consequences or the experience of physical pain that may be perceived as signalling an untimely illness
- External stressor: Having too much homework, being nagged by parents, being in on overcrowded train or being threatened by someone outside a nightclub.
What is eustress?
A positive psychological response to a stressor, as indicated by the presence of positive states such as feeling enthusiastic, excited, active and alert. For example, eustress can motivate people and give them the energy to achieve a goal i.e a work promotion, winning a sport competition
What is distress?
A negative psychological response to a stressor, indicated by negative psychological states such as anger, anxiety, nervousness, irritability or tension. For example, injury to illness can cause an individual to experience distress and irritability. Other examples may include trouble at work, death of a friend
Lazarus and Folkmans model --> appraisal
Lazarus and Folkman's Transactional Model of Stress and Coping - proposes that stress involves an encounter ('transaction') between an individual and their external environment, and that a stress response depends upon the individual's interpretation ('appraisal') of the stressor and their ability to cope with it.
They believe that stress is subjective because appraisal is not necessarily a conscious process but subjective and therefore a highly personal process.
The transactional model of stress and coping distinguishes between two different types of appraisal of an event. These are called primary appraisal and secondary appraisal.
Lazarus and Folkmans model --> primary
an evaluation of the significance of a potential stressor resulting in a decision that it is either irrelevant, benign-positive or stressful.
Lazarus and Folkmans model --> secondary
an evaluation of coping options and resources that may be available for dealing with a stressor.
Lazarus and Folkmans model: two strengths
- It emphasises the personal nature and individuality of the human stress response.
- allows for the fact that stressors and the circumstances under which they occur can change over time.
Lazarus and Folkmans model: two limitations
- difficult to test through experimental research because of the subjective nature of individual responses to stress
- the linear approach does not allow for individual variation in progression through the stages
What is a research hypothesis?
A research hypothesis is a testable prediction about the relationship between two or more variables. It typically states the existence of a relationship between the variables of interest, the expected relationship between them and a possible explanation of the results.
A research hypothesis is an educated guess, or prediction, about what will happen between the two variables in the research problem.
What is an IV?
Is an independent variable. An experiment that is systematically manipulated or changed by the researcher in order to test its effects on the dependent variable (I think of it as 'I Vary'. You could also think of it as 'I have control over this variable'.)
What is a DV?
A dependent variable in an experiment expected to change as a result of the manipulation of the independent variable and therefore used to measure the effects if the independent variable. I tend to think the 'D' in 'DV' stands for 'Data', or the outcome, of the experiment.)
What is a population?
The larger group from which a research sample is selected and to which the researcher will seek to generalise the results.
What is sampling?
Process of selecting participants from a population of research interest
How do you design research methods?
This is when the researcher decides on who will take part in the experiment, how many people, and type of research (eg case study? Experiment? Survey?, the type of experimental deign (e.g independent groups? Repeated measures? Matched participants?)
Cause and effect in experiments
Experiments test cause and effect. For example does studying (cause) improve exam performance (effect)? Does eating jelly beans (cause) increase levels of motivation (effect)?
How to write a hypothesis
A hypothesis: includes the operatliationzed IV and DV, includes the population of interest, includes the control and experimental group, is an educated guess, uses clear language, is a single sentence and begins with 'it is hypothesised that..
What is an independent groups design?
Each participant is randomly allocated into either the control group or experimental group, and is in one group only.
What is matched participants design?
Pairs of participants are matched on an important personal characteristic. Then, one person randomly allocated into the control group, and one person randomly allocated into the experimental group.
What is repeated measures?
Each participant takes part in both the control and the experimental conditions
What is an extraneous variable?
Any variable other than the independent variable that could have an influence on the dependent variable
What is a confounding variable?
Any variable other than the independent variable that does have an influence on the dependent variable
What is non-standardised instructions and procedures?
When instructions and procedures in an experiment are not the same for all participants
What is individual participant differences?
Differences in personal characteristics and experiences of participants such as gender, age, mood, intelligence, memory ability, motivation, prior experience etc
What is order effects?
Order effects happen only in repeated measures design. When performance (DV) is influenced by the order in which the conditions are presented, rather than the IV.
What is experimenter effect?
This occurs when there is a change in a participants response due to the experimenter's expectations rather than the effect of the IV
What is placebo effect?
The placebo effect occurs when there is a change in the responses of participants due to their belief that they are receiving some kind of experimental treatment, and this causes them to respond in accordance with the belief, rather than the IV causing the response
What is sampling?
The process of choosing participants for a research project/experiment
What is population?
The larger group of interest
What is sample?
A subgroup of the population of interest
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