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Chapter 14- Stress, Coping, and Well Being

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Health Psychology
the branch of psychology that investigates the physiological factors related to wellness and illness, including the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental problems
Psychoneuroimmunology
the study if the relationship among psychological factors, the immune system and the brain
Stress
a person's response to events that are threatening or challenging
Stressors
events that produce threats to our well being
Cataclysmic Events
strong stessors that occur suddenly, affecting many people at once
Personal Stressors
major life events, such as the death of a family member, that have immediate negative consequences that generally fade with time
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
a phenomenon in which victims of major catastrophes or strong personal stressors feel long-lasting effects that may include re-experiencing the event in vivid flashbacks or dreams
Background Stressors
everyday annoyances, such as being stuck in traffic, that cause minor irritations and may have long term ill effects if they continue or are compounded by other stressful events
Uplifts
minor positive events that make us feel good- even if only temporarily
Stress generates:
a rise in hormone secretions by the adrenal glands, an increase in heart and blood pressure, and changes in how well the skin conducts electrical impulses
Psychophysiological Disorders
medical problems influenced by an interaction of psychological, emotional, and physical difficulties
Ex. Psychophysiological Disorders:
high blood pressure, headaches, backaches, skin rashes, indigestion, fatigue, constipation, and common cold.
General Adaptation Syndrome
theory developed by Selye that suggests that a person's response to a stressor consists of 3 stages: alarm and mobilization, resistances, and exhaustion
Alarm and Mobilization
first stage of G.A.S.; people become aware of the presence of a stressor
Resistance
second stage of G.A.S.; the body prepares to fight the stressor
Exhaustion
third stage of G.A.S.; a persons ability to adapt to the stressor declines to the point where negative consequences of stress appear
Negative Consequences of Stress
physical illness, inability to concentrate, heightened irritability, disorientation, or a loss of touch with reality
Major Consequences from Stress:
-Direct Physiological Effects
-Harmful Behaviors
-Indirect Health-Related Behaviors
Direct Physiological Effects:
increased blood pressure, increase in hormonal activity, overall decline in the functioning of the immune system.
Harmful Behaviors:
increased nicotine, drug and alcohol use; poor eating habits; decreased sleep
Indirect Health-Related Behaviors:
reduction in likelihood if obtaining health care and decreased compliance with medical advice.
Coping
efforts to control, reduce, or learn to tolerate the threats that lead to stress
Emotion-Focused Coping
people try to manage their emotions un face of stress, seeking to change the way they feel about or perceive a problem
Problem-Focused Coping
attempts to modify the stressful problems or source of stress
Avoidant Coping
a person may use wishful thinking to reduce stress or use a more direct escape route, such as drug use, alcohol use, or overreacting
Defense Mechanisms
unconscious strategies that people use to reduce anxiety by concealing the source from themselves and others
Emotional Insulation
defense mechanism in which a person stops experiencing any emotions at all
Learned Helplessness
a state in which people conclude that unpleasant or aversive stimuli cannot be controlled- a view of the world that becomes so ingrained that they cease trying to remedy the aversive circumstances, even if they actually can exert some influence
Hardiness
a personality characteristic associated with a lower rate of stress-related illness, consisting of the components: commitment, challenge, and control
Resilience
the ability to withstand, overcome, and actually thrive after profound adversity
Social Support
a mutual network of caring, mutually interested others
Reactance
a disagreeable emotional and cognitive reaction that results from the restriction of one's freedom
Subjective Well-Being
people's own evaluation of their lives in terms of both their thoughts and their emotions
Memory
the process by which we encode, store, and retrieve information
Sensory Memory
the initial, momentary storage of information, lasting only an instant
Short-term Memory
memory that holds information for 15 to 25 seconds
Long-term Memory
memory that stores information on a relatively permanent basis, although it may be difficult to retrieve
Chunk
a meaningful grouping of stimuli that can be stored as a unit in short-term memory
Rehearsal
the repetition of information that has entered short-term memory
Working Memory
a set of active, temporary memory stores that actively manipulate and rehearse information
Declarative Memory
memory for factual information: names, faces, dates, and the like
Procedural Memory
memory for skills and habits, such as riding a bike or hitting a baseball, sometimes referred to as non-declarative memory
Semantic Memory
memory for general knowledge and facts about the world, as well as memory for the rules of logic that as used to deduce other facts
Episodic Memory
memory for events that occur in a particular time, place, or context
Semantic Networks
mental representations of clusters of interconnected information
Recall
memory task in which specific information must be retrieved
Recognition
memory task in which individuals are presented with a stimulus and asked whether they have been exposed to it in the past or to identify it from a list of alternatives
Levels-of-processing Theory
the theory of memory that emphasizes the degree to which new material is mentally analyzed
Explicit Memory
intentional on conscious recollection of information
Implicit Memory
memories of which people are not consciously aware, but which can affect subsequent performance and behavior
Priming
a phenomenon in which exposure to a word or concept later makes it easier to recall related information, even when there is no conscious memory of the word or concept
Flashbulb Memories
memories centered on a specific, important, or surprising event that are so vivid it is as if they a represented as a snapshot of the event
Constructive Proceses
processes in which memories are influenced by the meaning we give to events
Schemas
organized bodies of information stored in memory that bias the way new information is interpreted, stored, and recalled
Autobiographical memories
our recollections of circumstances and episodes for our own lives
Decay
the loss of information in memory through its nonuse
Interference
the phenomenon by which information in memory disrupts the recall of other information
Cue-dependent memory
forgetting that occurs when there are insufficient retrieval cues to rekindle information that is in memory
Proactive interference
interference in which information learned earlier disrupts the recall of newer material
Retroactive interference
interference in which there is difficulty in the recall of information learned earlier because of later exposure to different material
Alzheimer's Disease
an illness characterized in part by severe memory problems
Amnesia
memory loss that occurs without other mental difficulties
Retrograde amnesia
amnesia in which memory is lost for occurrences prior to a certain event
Anterograde Amnesia
amnesia in which memory is lost for events thats follow an injury
Korsakoff's syndrome
a disease that afflicts long-term alcoholics, leaving some abilities intact but including hallucinations and a tendency to repeat the same story
Approach/Approach Conflict
conflict in which the individual must choose between two attractive stimuli or circumstances
Avoidance/Avoidance Conflict
conflict in which the individual must choose between two unattractive stimuli or circumstances
Approach/Avoidance Conflict
conflict involving a single stimulus or circumstances that has both positive and negative characteristics
Type A personality
excessively competitive, hard driven, impatient, hostile (increased heart attack)
Type B personality
relaxed and easy going personality
Type C personality
keep emotions inside, higher increase of cancer
Behavioral Medicine
try to treat illness