Stress: AS Psychology Unit 2, AQA

Jasmine Ali
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Flash cards on Unit 2 AS Psychology- Stress.

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Jasmine Ali
Created by Jasmine Ali over 4 years ago
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Question Answer
What is 'stress'? The subjective experience of a lack of fit between a person and their environment (where the perceived demands of a situation are greater than a person's perceived ability to cope).
What does stress do? It prepared you for FIGHT or FLIGHT (the Fight Or Flight response) of a situation that your body interprets as 'life threatening'.
What are the types of stress(s)? Acute: Short term; intense, immediate stress. For example: someone scaring you; public speaking. Chronic: Long term stress; could last days, weeks, months. For example, a difficult relationship.
Name the two types of that the way the body responds to stress. The Sympathomedullary Pathway (acute) and the Pituitary-Adrenal System (chronic)
Discuss the body's response to acute stress. The Sympathomedullary Pathway: 1. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS- such as heart-beating and breathing) is aroused by a stressor. 2. ANS is divided into Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Branch. 3. The SNS arouses an animal ready for FIGHT or FLIGHT. 4. The SNS releases a neurotransmitter called 'noradrenaline' to activate bodily organs- this results in body changes, for example: an increased heart rate; faster breathing; and increased blood pressure, which leads to a temperature rise in the body, and therefore causing the animal to sweat. 5. The SNS sends a message to the adrenal medulla whcih causes it to release adrenaline into the blood stream. (PS, 2,3,4, and 5 make up the S.A.M system: Sympathetic Adrenal Medulla System) 6. This boosts the supply of oxygen and glucose (they provide energy) to the brain and muscles and stops non urgent processes, such as digestion. 7. The parasympathetic branch returns the animal to state of relaxation.
Discuss the body's response to chronic stress. Pituitary-Adrenal System 1. The stressor activates the hypothalamus (deals with emotional changes) 2. This activation leads to production of Cortictrophin-releasing factor (CRF) 3. CRF causes the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) 4. ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands (in the kidney- the adrenal cortex is activated, which increases in size to cope with the increased cortisol) to produce the hormone, cortisol. 5. Cortisol enables the body to maintain steady supplies of blood sugar. 6. Adequate and steady blood sugar levels helps person to cope with prolonged stressor, and helps the body to return to normal.
Evaluation points for the body's response to stress? Individual differences- There are gender differences. Taylor et al (2000) found that men use the 'fight or flight' response and women use the 'tend or befriend response', due to the fact that women have more oxytocin. This hormone makes less anxious, and more calm and sociable. Consequences of the stress response- negative effect on cardiovascular system because SNS can lead to psychically wearing out the blood vessels, causing them to have delicate lining. Also, Kiecolt-Glaser (1995) found in their experiment that complete wound healing took significantly longer in carers with more levels of chronic stress. It tok an average of 9 days (24% longer) for chronically stressed ppts to heal.
Kiecolt-Glaser et al (1984)? Aim: To investigate if short term stress (exams) had as effect on immune system function in medical students. Procedure- Took blood sample one month before and during exam period Findings: Natural killer (NK) activity significantly reduced during exam period. Conclusion: Short term stressors reduce immune system functioning.
Define 'Life Change'? Events in a person's life (such as divorce or bereavement) that require a significant adjustment in various aspects of a person's life. As such, they are significant sources of stress.
The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) is... A list of life changes that appear to be stressful. The scores are added up to determine a person's life change unit score. The more life changs you go through, the more ill you are likely to be.
Problems with using SRRS? 1. It ignores individual differences. For instance, the death of a spouse may be devastating, but a death of an elderly spouse who was very ill may not have the same amount of hard hitting impact. 2. Lazaurs (1990) stated that life changes are relatively rare- minor daily stressors are the most significant form of stress. 3. Critics suggest that the quality of the event is crucial, not just how many life changes you go through. 4. Brown (1974) suggests that people with high levels of anxiety would be more likely to report negative life events and would also be more prone to illness (Anxiety is a third variable.)
LIFE CHANGES CASE STUDY: Rahe et al (1970) - Study of relationship between life change and general health in 2700 Naval officers. - Life Change Unit scores obtained using SRRS and Health scores from doctors' records. - Correlation between SRRS and illness scores was +0.118. - This is a very small, positive correlation, showing that as the amount of life changes increases, the chance of illness does too.
LIFE CHANGES CASE STUDY: Micheal and Ben-Zur (2007) - Study of relationship between life changes and life satisfaction in 130 men and women. - \hakf of the sample had been recently divorced and half recently widowed. - Looked at levels of 'life satisfaction'. - Found that the widowed group had higher life satisfaction BEFORE bereavement than AFTER. - Found that the divorced group has high levels of satisfaction AFTER the separation than BEFORE. - Tis may be because the life change was more positive for the divorced group.
Define 'Daily Hassles'? "irritating, frustrating, distressing demands that to some degree charasterise everyday transactions with the environment." - Kanner et al, 1981.
Define 'Daily Uplifts'? Minor positive experiences of everyday life, for example, receiving a compliment at school/work, or feeling good about one's appearance.
Key study: Bouteyre et al (2007) Aim: To investigate the relationship between daily hassles and mental health of students during the initial period from school to university. Procedure: First-year psychology students at a French university completed the hassles part of the HUSP and the Beck Depression Inventory as a measure of any symptoms of depression that might be attributable ti the hassles of the transaction. Findings: 41% of students studied suffered from depression symptoms and there was a positive correlation between scores on the hassles scale and the incidence of depressive symptoms. Conclusion: The transition to university is frequently thought with daily hassles, and that these can be considered a significant risk factor for depression.
The Hassles And Uplifts Scale (HSUP), Delongis et al (1982) The HSUP measures respondent's attitudes about daily situations defined as 'hassles' and 'uplifts'. There is a correlation between the number of daily hassles and uplifts.
Gervais (2005) - Nurses were asked to keep diaries for a month, recording daily hassles and uplifts connected with their job. They were also asked to rate their own performance over this period. - It was found that the nurses often found that the uplifts counteracted the negative effects of their daily hassles, and helped improve their performance and lower their stress level.
Daily Hassles evaluation points? The accumulation effect: Build up of minor daily hassles and stresses creating persistent irritations, frustrations and overloads which then result in more serious stress reactions, such as anxiety and depression. The amplification effect: Chronic stress is due to major life changes that may make people more vulnerable to daily hassles. For example, a husband who has gone through a divroce (high on SRRS scale) may find it majorly irritaiting to hear constant arguing from his children. Retrospective recall: Ppts are asked to rate hassles experienced over the previous months. Some researchers have overcome this by using a diary method, where ppts rate minor stressors and feeling of well-being on a daily basis. Corrolational research: We cannot draw casual conclusions about relationship between daily hassles and well-being because most data research is correlational.
Define 'Workplace Stressors'? Aspects of our working environment (such as work overload or impending deadlines) that w experience as stressful, and which cause a stress reaction in the body.
Marmot et al (1997)? Investigated the job-strain model of workplace stress. (This model proposes that the workplace creates stress and illness in two ways, high workload and low job control.) Marmot et al suggested that in civil services, higher-grade employees would experience high workloads, but lower-grade employees would experience lack of control. Both groups shall experience stress for different reasons. 7372 civil servants, who worked in London, answered a questionnaire