psychology: stress in everyday life

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Created by m.siddika98 almost 5 years ago


aqa as psychology stress in everyday life- life changes and daily hassles.

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psychology: stress in everyday life
1 life changes and daily hassles:
1.1 life changes= events in a persons life that require significant adjustment in various aspects of a persons life. therefore a significant source of stress as it disrupts normal routine of everyday life.
1.1.1 why does it cause stress= disrupts normal routine so we have to think of how to do things on 'auto pilot' which means to use much more mental energy- called psychic energy (holmes and rahe). constantly using energy to think leaves us exhausted and less able to cope with our lives. stress is caused by our perceived ability to cope with the demands of a situation so therefore it will create stress as the bigger the change, the more adjustment needed so more energy. Holmes and Rahe- theorised a link between major life events and illnesses. developed a questionnaire called the social readjustment scale as a way to measure life changes. 43 life events were taken from 5000 patient life records. 400 participants scored the life events in terms of the readjustment needed; e.g. marriage=50. scores were then totalled and averaged to produce a life change unit for each life event. procedure- 2500 members of the US navy sampled. they were given the SRRS to assess how many life events they had experienced in the last 6 months and total scored were recorded. results: found a positive correlation between the hypothesis that life changes causes stress related illness. conclusion- experiencing more life changes increases chances of stress related illnesses evaluation of SRRS: members of the navy do not represent the population as they may have a different life style so we cannot generalise data is retrospective- validity of peoples memories of past events correlational analysis so it cannot predict a causal relationship. individual differences- what is stressful for one person may not be as stressful for the other person. questionnaire may lack accuracy due to social desirability- P's may not want to reveal everything.
1.2 daily hassles- minor events that arise throughout the day which can cause stress.
1.2.1 HASSLES: Bouteyre et al: investigate relationship between daily hassles and mental health of French students during transition from school to uni. procedure: first year psychology students completed a hassles and uplift scale and depression was recorded. results: found a positive correlation between students suffering from depression and scores on the daily hassles scale conclusion- transitions has frequent daily hassles which is a risk factor for developing depression EVALUATION of daily hassles and uplifts amplification affect- alternative explanation that due to major life events, people may become more vulnerable to daily hassles as they will find higher levels of distress in small irritations accumulation affect- daily hassles cause more stress for people than major life events. persistent irritations that accumulate over the day can cause more stress retrospective data- participants may not remember the hassles they experience. self report questionnaires means participants may be influenced by social desirability. research is correlational so it does not show a causal relationship between the two factors- other variables may have influenced the results. explains how daily events affect health and can accumulate and cause significant source of stress.
1.3 daily uplifts: small positive experiences that counteract the stress.
1.3.1 Gervais et al asked nurses to keep a diary for a month recording daily hassles and daily uplifts related to their job and were asked to rate their performance over the same period. results- found that increase in daily hassles decreased job performance whereas uplifts they experients counteracted the stress.
2 work place and stress:
2.1 work place stressors are aspects of a work place environment which elicit a stress response- therefore we experience as stressful. Demands of the work situation competes with our ability to cope.
2.1.1 Johansson et al= to find out if high levels of responsibilities in work place impacted stress related illnesses. procedure= 14 finishers in a Swedish sawmill were compared with 10 cleaners. Finishers work is isolated, repetitiveness but highly skilled and their production determines the wages of all the sawmill workers whereas cleaners had a less stressful and demanding role. urine samples were taken on work and the rest days and records of illnesses. findings= the finishers secreted more adrenaline on working days that cleaners and also had more stress related illnesses than the cleaners. conclusion= a combination of work stressors such as responsibility, repetitiveness led to stress related illnesses- to reduce this stress they should allow workers to have more control over their work. evaluation= strengths= is has provided information on how to reduce stress in workplace and so more practical implications for companies to reduce stress and likelihood of the workers developing illnesses. strength= measured urine so it was scientific, objective and therefore reliable. strength= natural study so high ecological validity. however, low control of extraneous variables. sample is culturally bias as it was in Sweden and lacks population validity and gender bias.
3 personality factors, type A and B, Hardiness.
3.1 type A behaviour pattern is characterised by constant time pressure, competiveness, and getting easily frustrated.
3.1.1 type B personality is someone who is patient, relaxed, and easy going. research on type A personality= Freidman and Rosenman who wanted to test whether type A will lead to raise blood pressure and raised stress hormones. which could lead to coronary heart disease. procedure= 3000 Californian men were interviewed- those who had not developed CHD but had type A personality. after 8.5 years, twice as many Type A personality had developed CHD compared to type B. this could be due to high levels of stress leading to higher cholstrol, to smoke or family history of CHD. evaluation= large sample however used only male participants so cannot be generalised to females. it was culturally biased as it only used Californians so findings cannot be representative. it was a longitudinal study which means they were able to identify long term effects. however, hardy personality provides defences against negative effects of stress. theres control over their lives and challenges life changes as opportunities rather than threats. kobasa found that American business executives had high stress levels but low level of illness as they had hardy personality which encourages resilience.
4 psychological and biological methods of stress management=
4.1 biological methods= drugs- aim to reduce the way brain and body respond to work.
4.1.1 BZ'S= benzodiazepines- enhance actions of natural brain chemical, known as GABA (the body's natural form of anxiety relief). GABA tells the neurons to slow down so brain exciters are reduced and the person feels calmer. beta blockers= when acute stress response occurs, it produces adrenaline which is transported to the heart to increase heart pressure by stimulating beta receptors. however beta blockers are used to block the receptor which prevents increase in heart rate. evaluation= strengths= are effective and quick and easy to use as it requires little effort from the user. weaknesses= patients may become addicted. there may be side effects including memory impairment or aggression (bz/s) treats the symptoms not the problem so as soon as they stop taking drugs, symptoms are likely to reappear.
4.2 psychological therapies= CBT= stress inoculation therapy.
4.2.1 stress is caused by maladaptive and unwanted thoughts. cognitive therapy aims to change these unwanted and beliefs and reverse the learning process to produce more desirable behaviours. SIT- 1. conceptualisation phase= client is educated about the nature and impact of stress. clients are encouraged to relive the stressful event and analyse different features of the situation. 2. skill training= clients are taught specific skills and strategies for coping with stressful situation. for example relaxation and social skills. 3. real life application= client applies their training in real world situations. evaluation= strengths: holcom found STI was better at reducing stress and anxiety than drugs. doesn't just deal with current stressors but gives them opportunity to deal with later problems. however, weaknesses: time consuming and requires high motivation and is also expensive.
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