Psychology Unit 2 - Stress
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Psychology Unit 2 - Stress
What are the bodily symptoms to stress?
If a threat/
is detected the
Describe what happens in the SAM (sympathomedullary) pathway.
Responsible for the body's
response to stress.
When the hypothalamus is alerted,
signals are sent down the
branch (ANS) of the
Activity in the
branch of the ANS causes various things:
Fight or flight
- Stimulates the
released which prolong stress response.
Describe what happens in the pituitary adrenal system.
Slower than SAM pathway.
When hypothalamus is alerted hormones are released ⇒
corticotrophin releasing hormone
CTR causes the release of ACTH (
) from pituitary gland.
Release of ACTH stimulates
Adrenal cortex releases corticosteroids (
Cortisol causes increased
and hydrolysis of glycogen for
Prolonged cortisol release causes chronic stress, CVD, suppressed immune system.
How does the body return to normal?
nervous branch shuts down the production of adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline.
How is stress related to the immune system?
Immune system consists of
(natural killer) cells, T cells.
Corticosteroids reduce size of
gland ⇒ produces T cells.
ACTH inhibits immune cell function.
How is the link investigated?
Describe Kiecolt and Glaser's study.
: To determine the impact of real life stressors on immune function.
75 1st year medical students
taken 1 month before exams and right after 1st exam.
to asses life events, loneliness and psychiatric symptoms.
activity declined between two samples.
Immune system most weak in students who felt
: Stress is associated with lowered immune response.
There are different sources of stress factors.
Evaluate Kiecolt and Glaser's study.
☑Natural experiment ⇒
☑Less ethical issues
☒Not a true experiment
☒Can only assume that there exists a
☒NK cells only one aspect of immune system
☒Only medical students used
☑Directly measured immune function.
☑Supported by Kiecolt-Glaser's wound-healing study.
Describe Cohen et al's study.
: To investigate the effect of general life stress on vulnerability to the common cold virus.
on stressful life events in past year.
They rated the degree of stress and their levels of anxiety /depression.
to common cold virus.
% became infected. Tested again 7 days later to see if symptoms developed.
between about of stress and developing cold.
: Life stress reduces effect of immune system.
Evaluate Cohen et al.
not directly measure
immune function. Assumed from symptoms.
No direct manipulation
of IV - only a correlation.
problems with exposing people to viruses even if they have given informed consent.
What are life events? And how are they measured?
Life events are major events that dramatically change your life.
A scale was created by
Holmes and Rahe
It is the
Social Readjustment Rating Scale
The scores are measured in
Life Changing Units
SRRS scale was created by making a list of 43 events that caused patients illness.
Scale was given to participants to rate stressfulness of each in LCU's.
Outline Rahe et al's study.
: To investigate whether scores on the Holmes and Rahe SRRS were correlated with illness.
2500 male US navy personnel
given SRRS scale to measure life events in past
records in last 6 months also accessed.
correlation between high LCU and illness.
: Experiencing stressful events leads to weak immune system.
Evaluate Rahe at al's study.
☑Large sample =
☒Naval personnel is
of general population. Only males =
☒Finding is only
not causational.Weak relationship shows that other factors are involved.
= Unreliable. Exaggeration, some events may not have been on scale.
What is a daily hassle and how are they measured?
Daily hassles are small stressors encountered in daily life which cause irritation and stress.
They are measured using
Hassles and Uplifts
This scale is a
Can lead to
answers due to different perceptions of daily hassles.
Outline Delongis' study.
: To see if life changes or daily hassles are more strongly correlated with health problems.
middle aged participants given
throughout a months.
Daily hassles and uplifts scale, life events and health questionnaire.
: Daily hassles show significant correlation with health score.
Life changes had no dramatic impact on health, unless they occurred in 2.5 years before the study.
: Daily hassles
related to stress symptoms.
Evaluate Delongis' study.
☑Supported by other evidence e.g.
Assessment of Daily Experience scale
☒Sample is not
. Does not have population validity.
☒Rating scale didn't take into account
What are the sources of stress in the workplace?
Outline Johansson et al's study.
: To investigate weather machine-paced work, repetitiveness and responsibility increases stress.
: Research done on Swedish
Analysed 14 '
' whose job has
high risk of stress
Compared them to
low risk job
(stress hormones) and
responses (illness and absenteeism).
: Finishers secreted higher levels of
and experienced more
stress related illnesses
compared to cleaners.
: Work stressors can lead to chronic stress.
Evaluate Johansson's study.
☑Includes many different measures of stress; objective, physiological (hormones) =
☒Not clear what stressor is most important. Many differences between jobs.
☒Type A personalities might do finisher job, whereas type B might do cleaner =
for the real world. Finishers offered less pressured work.
Outline Marmot et al's study.
: Investigate relationship between job control and stress-related illness.
male and female civil servants answered
and asked for signs of
study. 5 years.
, presence of CHD
Low job control
= 4x more likely to die from heart attack.
of job = less CVD problems.
Lower grade workers more likely to
due to stress.
factors increase chance of CVD.
= risk of CVD, stress and illness.
not linked to stress. and illness.
Evaluate Marmot et al's study.
☑Huge sample with men and women.
☒Only civil servants -
☒Socio-economic status was a
= less stress.
What is the difference between Type A and Type B personality?
High stress levels
Low stress levels
Poor sense of time schedule
Outline Friedman & Rosenman's study.
: To test if Type A are more likely to develop CHD than type B.
healthy men, aged 39 to 59.
Categorised as type A(1/2) or type B based on responses in
: After 8.5 years, 257 developed CHD.
of CHD developers were
(twice as many as Type B).
Effect still held if there were other risk factors.
: Type A = more chance of CHD.
Evaluate Friedman & Rosenman's study.
☒Only consists of men =
☑Findings supported by other research e.g. Framingham heart study.
☒Type A personality often drink, smoke =
☑People who took part in
had fewer second heart attacks.
What is hardiness? And how is it measured?
Hardiness is a type of personality which is very resilient to stress.
It is measured with a
Hardy personalities score high.
Outline Kobasas' study.
: Examine effects of protective factors on resistance to stress-related illness.
: A prospective study.
Participants rated on presence or absence of;
Followed participants for several years (
Monitored presence of psychological and physical illness.
: Pp's with no protective factors =
2+ factors = less illness.
had best effect.
: Hardiness has greatest effect against prevention of stress related illness.
Evaluate Kobasas' study.
☒Only used males -
☒Concepts of control
not well defined
. Control could be part of commitment or challenge.
☒Other factors could have affected health e.g.
How does stress inoculation therapy work?
stressful elements in a stressful situation.
how person copes. Individually or in groups.
Skills training and practice
e.g. exam technique, public speaking.
Application with support
Patient applies learnt knowledge in '
' with therapist. Then in
. This is continued in next sessions.
Evaluate stress inoculation therapy.
☑Clients learn new skills to help deal with stress in
studies of effectiveness.
What are Benzodiazapenes and how do they work?
brain arousal associated with anxiety.
Enhance action of brain chemical
Blocks action by other neurotransmitters e.g
,which causes high arousal.
What are beta blockers and how do they work?
Act directly on bodily symptoms of stress.
Reduce activity of
by blocking receptor sites in circulatory system.
Have no effect on brain.
Evaluate the use of drug treatments for stress management.
, reduce anxiety and high blood pressure. Beta blockers can reduce formation of
☑BZP's more effective than antidepressants in most types of stress.
☒BZP's can cause
☒Side effects of BZP's can include
, cognitive impairment. Beta blockers can affect
system and cause
of the symptom. Only
relief, not long term.