Biological Psychology - Stress

Flashcards by otaku96, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by otaku96 almost 6 years ago


AQA A AS Syllabus - If you can answer all the questions here, consider yourself set for the stress part of the exam!

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Question Answer
What is the order of the sympthomedullary pathway? Hypothalamus => Autonomic nervous system => Adrenal Medulla (release adrenaline and noradrenaline) => fight or flight response
Which stress system deals with acute stressors? Sympathomedullary pathway
What is the order of the pituitary-adrenal system? Hypothalamus => Pituitary gland (releases ACTH) => Adrenal cortex (releases corticosteroids) => Glucose produced
What are the immediate effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline on the circulatory system? Speed up heart rate and constrict blood vessels
What hormone is directly responsible for raising glucose levels in the blood and why? Corticosteroids - they cause glycogen reserves to be broken down into glucose
What are the long term effects of raised levels of corticosteroids? The suppression of the immune system
What are the three stages of the General Adaptation Syndrome model of stress? 1) Alarm 2) Resistance 3) Exhaustion
What happens in the Alarm stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome model? Stressor perceived HPA and SAM systems activated Stress hormone levels rise Energy reserves mobilised
What happens in the Resistance stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome model? Stressor persists Body's response systems struggle to maintain activation and continue circling stress hormones
What happens in the Exhaustion stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome model? Chronic stress exhaust the body's resources Body cannot maintain stress system activation or the circulation of stress hormones Stress related illnesses develop in this stage
Why is the General Adaptation Syndrome model of stress pretty rubbish? Based on animal research - cannot extrapolate animals to humans Individual differences - different people's perception and appraisal of stress Newer research suggests stress related illnesses are caused by the effects of the high levels of stress hormones, not because the body is tired
Outline a study into stress and the immune system Cohen et al - Participants completed questionnaire on their degree of stress, negative emotions and life events and then were exposed to the common cold virus. Chance of catching a cold significantly correlated with their stress index score Kiecolt-Glaser et al. - NK cell activity measured in students 1 month before and during exam period. Students completed questionnaire on negative life events and social isolation. The higher their stress, the lower their NK cell activity Segerstrom and Miller - meta review of 293 studies. Concluded that short term stressors upregulate immunity but long term stressors downregulate immunity
Evaluate the study you just chose to outline. Cohen et al. - (+) Medical considerations well considered - participants closely monitored. (-) Studied immunity indirectly - results unscientific. (-) Correlational research - cause and effect cannot be established Kiecolt-Glaser et al. (+) Measured immune function directly - scientific and falsifiable. (-) Only studied one part of immunity - cannot extrapolate results to all of immunity Segerstrom and Miller (+) Meta review - high population validity so very representative
What is the Social Readjustment Rating Scale? Compare 43 life events with marriage, giving them a numerical score of how stressful they are where marriage = 500. Final score divided by 100. Over 150 life change units = life crisis - 30% more likely to become ill. Over 350 = major crisis - 50% more likely to get ill
Outline the Rahe et al. (1970) study that supports the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. 2500 US navy personnel did SRRS. They were followed up for 7 months and the frequency and severity of their illness was recorded. Positive correlation of 0.118 between LCUs and illness. Apparently, this is statistically significant.
Evaluate the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. (-) No objective measurement of the degree of adjustment necessary for life events (-) Retrospective - memories can easily be distorted (-) Many studies have found no correlation between LCUs and illness (-) Cause and effect cannot be established as it is correlational research (-) Life events often specialist to American culture - cultural relativism
Evaluate the Rahe et al. (1970) study supporting the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (-) All-male sample - population validity (+) Prospective - followed up for 7 months
Discuss research into daily hassles and uplifts. (+) Scores on Kanner et al's hassles scale correlate with stress related problems, especially depression and anxiety (+) Bouteyre et al. - first year students completed hassles scale and depression inventory. Positive correlation between hassles and incidence of depressive symptoms (+) Gevais - nurses kept diaries of hassles and uplifts for a month. Findings: hassles increased job strain and decreased performance. Uplifts counteracted hassles and improved performance (-) Research into hassles and uplifts is generally correlational - cannot establish cause and effect (-) Research into hassles and uplifts is often retrospective
What were the findings of the Whitehall 1 study? Lower pay grade workers had a higher workload that higher pay grade workers. Workers in low pay grades had twice the illness rate of higher pay grade workers. Differences in risk factors accounted for about 25% of this difference
What were the findings of the Whitehall 2 study? Lowest pay grade workers were 1.5 times more likely to get coronary heart disease. Biggest factor in increased risk was lack of control over their job
What is the effort-reward imbalance? Severe workplace stress can be created when the rewards provided at work are low considering the efforts that are required
What are the characteristics of a type A personality? Hostile, competitive, ambitious, impatient, time-pressured, restless, irritable
Outline research into the type A personality and stress. Rosenman et al. - 3200 healthy participants assessed over 8.5 years. 257 developed coronary heart disease; 70% of these had a type A personality. This percentage remained even after accounting for other risk factors
What are the three "C"s of a hardy personality? Control, Commitment, Challenge
Outline research into the hardy personality and stress Kobasa - 2 groups of male business executives, 1 that had got ill after experiencing negative life events, the other which hadn't. The latter were found to be more hardy. Beasley et al - students who scored highly on hardiness tests showed reduced levels of psychological distress to life events
Evaluate the concept of a hardy personality (-) Challenge has been found to be much less influential than the other two factors. (-) The research is correlational, which means cause and effect cannot be established
How does Stress Inoculation Training work? Stress levels before and after treatment are assessed by self-report. The therapist and patient discuss the problem and how to reduce it. Then, stress reduction techniques such as relaxation, meditation and coping self statements are taught to the patient. Finally, the patient should actively use the stress reduction techniques in different situations and finally in real life.
Evaluate Stress Inoculation Training. (-) Foa et al compared SIT and prolonged exposure - prolonged exposure proved to be more effective (-) Measuring success by self-report is a problem as some patients may exaggerate the effects of the treatment. (+) Meichenbaum used SIT and systematic desensitisation on people who had both a snake and a rat phobia. Both effective, but SIT better as also reduces the non-treated phobia. (+) Antoni et al found that HIV positive men had reduced cortisol levels and less distress symptoms after being treated with SIT
How do benzodiazapines work? Increase GABA activity which reduces serotonin levels, because serotonin is linked to arousal and alertness.
Evaluate benzodiazapines. (+) Useful for anxiety, fast acting have benefitted millions of people worldwide. (-) Side effects include drowsiness, depression, dependency and drug escalation. Newer anxiolytics do not have such bad side effects. (-) Drugs treat the symptoms of stress but not the cause.
How do beta blockers work? They reduce sympathetic nervous system activity, decreasing heart rate and lowering blood pressure
Evaluate beta blockers. (-) Unreliable - do not work in all cases. (+) Do not cause any mental impairments as they act directly on the body.
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