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Many obese people looking to adopt children are denied! But consider: what if a smoker wanted to adopt a child - they probably wouldn't be denied.



Psychologists believe our behaviors and attitudes are critical in keeping us healthy, helping us regain health after illness, and helping us achieve well-being.



Health psychology

A field that integrates research on health and psychology; it involves the application of psychological principles to promote health and well-being.



A positive state that includes striving for optimal health and life satisfaction.. A positive state where we feel our best


Psychologists who study health and well-being rely on research methods of psychology to understand the interrelationship between thoughts, actions, and physical and mental health



Explain Gary Stocklaufer case

Gary Stockloufer was obese and the judge refused to allow him adopt a child because he said Gary would die at a young age due to obesity. The National Association of Fat Acceptance asked whether fat = poor parenting and they got the case appealed. Gary lost 200 pounds due to gastric bypass surgery and the judge said ok he can adopt the kid.


Biopsychosocial model

A model of health that integrates the effects of biological, behavioral, and social factors on health and illness.


Biopsychosocial model

Psychological factors = thoughts/actions, lifestyles, stress, health beliefs
Biological characteristics = genetic predispositions, exposure to germs, brain and other nervous system development
Social conditions = environments, cultural influences, family relationships, social support


What is the difference between the biopsychosocial model and the traditional medical model?

In the traditional medical model, the individual is passive. For health psychologists, the individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are central to understanding and improving health.


According to research, you are most likely to die from causes that stem from your own behaviors (smoking, overeating...) what else?

Risky sexual behaviors, not wearing seatbelt, eating unhealthy, drinking, etc.


Placebo effect

An improvement in health following treatment with a placebo - that is, with a drug or treatment that has no effect on the health condition which it was prescribed for


Example of placebo effect?

You think you're sick, and your doctor gives you a pill to cure you, but it's actually a sugar pill. You feel better after taking the pills just because you think they'll work!


Malnutrition is a problem in developing countries, but an abundance of food is causing problems in the developed countries like the US



In order for a placebo to work...

The patient must believe it will work


What happens in the strongest placebos?

Placebos that produce minor physical reactions that people associate with drug effects - such as having a dry mouth - produce the strongest placebo effects.


Some portion of the placebo effect is attributable to...

Decreased anxiety... Decreased anxiety creates various psychological changes that can reduce pain and help recovery from an illness.


The placebo effect is all in our head, but the effect is real - mind-body connection...



An important part of getting well when sick is finding ways to reduce anxiety



The belief that a medication will work is a psychological factor and it effects the body in similar ways to those of legit medications



The placebo effect is a good example of what?

The biopsychosocial model



A pattern of behavioral, psychological, and physiological responses to events, when the events match or exceed the organism's ability to respond in a healthy way



An environmental event or stimulus that threatens an organism


Coping response

Any response to an organism makes to avoid, escape from, or minimize an aversive stimulus


When too much is expected of us, or when events are worrisome or scary, we perceive a discrepancy between the demands of the situation and the resources of our biological, psychological; and social systems. That discrepancy....

Can be real, or we can be imagining it.


Positive and negative life changes are...

Stressful! Life changes are stressful


What are examples of stressful life changes?

College, marriage, getting a job, etc.



Stress of positive events



The stress of negative events


How do people use the word stress??

People usually associate stress with negative events. However, both distress and eustress put strains on our bodies.


Is it essential that all of us what?

Know how much stress we can handle comfortably


What are the two categories of stressors?

1. Major life stressors
2. Daily hassles


What are major life stressors?

Changes or disruptions that strain central areas of people's lives


Example of a major life stressor?

Having your first child, natural disasters,


What are daily hassles?

Small, day-to-day irritations and annoyances, such as driving in heavy traffic, dealing with difficult people, or waiting in line


Studies find that the more intense and frequent the daily hassles, the poorer the physical and mental health of the participant



Conflicts with other people appear to have a cumulative detrimental effect on health and well being.



Living in poverty or a crowded, noisy, or polluted place have detrimental effects on health and well being



Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis

The biological system responsible for the stress response


Tell me the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis?

1. Stressful event -->
2. Interpreted by various brain areas -->
3. Goes to hypothalamus -->
4. Hypothalamus sends a chemical message to the pituitary gland -->
5. The pituitary gland secretes hormone ACTH
6. The hormone reaches the adrenal glands and the adrenal glands secrete cortisol. (And also other hormones like norepinephrine and epinephrine)


Hormone have long-lasting effects, and stress affects organs even after the stressor has been removed



Chronic stress is associated with what?

Long-term memory impairments. Cortisol damages neurons in brain areas like the hippocampus, which is important for storing long-term memory.


Fight-or-flight response

The physiological preparedness of animals to deal with danger.


Our ancestors needed fight-or-flight. Why?

Fight or flight helped ancestors deal with threats and danger. Fight or flight makes us focus all of our energy to dealing with the threat at hand.


Physical reactions of fight or flight?

Increased heart rate, redistribution of the blood supply from skin, dilating pupils, heavy breathing, etc.


Critique of The fight or flight response?

They used only males to study the fight or flight response, not females


Why have researchers avoided using women in their studies?

Female menstrual patterns may make women more difficult to study


Thus, there is a ____ in laboratory stress studies

Sex inequality


Tend-and-befriend response

Females respond to stress by protecting and caring for their offspring, as well as forming alliances with social groups to reduce risks to individuals, including themselves


Tend and befriend response legit definition

Females' tendency to befriend and care for their offspring and form social alliances rather than flee or fight in response to threat


Tend and befriend makes sense from a ___ perspective

Evolutionary. Females bear a greater responsibility for the care of offspring, and caring for their offspring and themselves would be adaptive



A hormone that's important for mothers in bonding to newborns and may encourage affiliation during social stress.


Oxytocin levels tend to be high in women, but not in men



The release of oxytocin during social stress encourages women to affiliate with, or befriend others



General adaptation syndrome

A consistent pattern of responses to stress that consists of 3 stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion


General adaptation syndrome. Stage 1: alarm

The alarm stage is an emergency reaction that prepares the body to fight or flee. The alarm stage consists of physiological responses such as the release of cortisol and epinephrine. In the alarm stage, the body is most likely to be exposed to infection and disease.


General adaptation syndrome. Stage 2: resistance stage

The defenses prepare for a longer, sustained attack against the stressor. Immunity to infection and disease increases somewhat as the body maximizes its defenses.


General adaptation syndrome: stage 3: exhaustion stage

A variety of physiological and immune systems fail. Body organs that were already weak before the stress are the first to fail.


Who came up with General adaptation syndrome?

Hans Selye


What was one of selye's central points?

Stress alters the functions of the immune system


Studies have demonstrated that short-term stress ____ the immune system, but chronic stress ____ the immune system.

1. Boosts
2. Weakens


Why do the detrimental effects of stress happen?

They happen due to decreased lymphocyte production


What does a decrease of lymphocytes do?

Renders the body less capable of warding off foreign substances.


Those who reported the highest levels of stress before being exposed to the cold viruses in a study developed worse cold symptoms and viral counts than those who reported being less stressed



Chronic stress, especially when associated with changes in social roles or identity, has the greatest impact on the immune system



In addition to altering the function of the immune system, what else does stress do??

They are associated with problems such as increased blood pressure, cardiac disease, diabetes, declining sexual interest, and dwarfism in children


Who experiences illness due to chronic stress?

Firefighters, soldier, etc.


Many people cope with stress by engaging in damaging behaviors. Such as...

Junk food, smoking, drinking


____ and _____ increase the risk of coronary heart disease

Stress and negative emotions


Why can stress cause heart problems?

1. People cope with stress through bad behaviors like overeating and drinking
2. Over time, stress wears and tears on the heart


Type A behavior pattern

People who are competitive, hostile, achievement oriented, time-pressed, impatient, time-pressed, and restless, unable to relax


Type B behavior pattern

A pattern of behavior characterized by noncompetitive, relaxed, easygoing, and accommodating behavior.. They're laid back.


Is type A or type B more at risk for heart disease

Type A!!


Type A and Type B personality assessments were only done for men, not women. But we can conclude the same about women



Only certain components of Type A are related to heart disease... What are they?

Hostility, hot-tempered, cynical, angry people


What else can cause heart disease?

Feeling depressed


Optimistic people are at lower risk for heart disease



How can being angry and hostile contribute to heart disease?

1. People often cope with their problems that are bad for health - smoking
2. Negative personality traits can produce direct physiological effects on the heart - heart rate increases, digestion shuts down, more blood is moved to muscles due to negative personality traits


Primary appraisals

Part of the coping process that involves making decisions about whether a stimulus is stressful benign, or irrelevant


Secondary appraisals

Part of the coping process during which people evaluate their response options and choose coping behaviors


Making cognitive appraisals can help us prepare for stressful events.



Anticipatory coping

Coping that occurs before the onset of a future stressor


Emotion-focused coping

A type of coping in which people try to prevent having an emotional response to the stressor. The person adopts strategies, often passive, to numb the pain like drinking, avoidance, overeating, etc.


Problem-focused coping

A type of coping in which people take direct steps to confront or minimize a stressor. It involves taking direct steps to solve the problem: generating alternative solutions, weighing their costs and benefits, and choosing between them.


When do people adopt problem-focused coping and when do people adopt emotion-focused coping?

People adopt problem-focused coping when they perceive stressors as controllable. People adopt emotion-focused coping when they perceive stressors as uncontrollable.


The best way to cope with stress depends on what?

Your resources


Emotion-based coping is only effective in ___

The short run


Problem-coping strategies only work if ____

The person with the problem can do something about the situation


In one study that tested the best way to cope with an extremely stressful situation (like being trapped somewhere), what was the best way of coping?

Emotion-based coping


Positive reappraisal

A person focuses on possible good things in their situation. Focus on the positive parts of their situation


Downward comparisons

Compare yourself to people who are worse off
This helps people with serious illnesses


Creation of positive events

A strategy of giving positive meaning to ordinary events. Take joy in every day activities like riding a bike, watching the sunset, etc.


Stress resistant

Some people seem stress resistant because they are so capable of adapting to life changes by viewing events constructively.


What did Suzanne Kobasa rename people who are stress resistant as?



According to Kobasa, hardiness has 3 components. What are they?

1. Commitment
2. Challenge
3. Control
People high in hardiness are committed to their daily activities, view threats as challenges or opportunities for growth, and see themselves as being in control of their lives


What are people low in hardiness like?

They are alienated, fear or resist change, and view events as being under external control


People high in hardiness exhibit physiological changes that indicate active coping when presented with a task in a lab setting



Some ppl are more resilient than others and better able to cope with adversity and can quickly bounce back to normal after a bad event



Resilient people show emotional flexibility and can recover from threats



One of the most stressful events in life is...

Dealing with illness or chronic pain


Being in control of essential decisions in one's life is a central component of ______



What can reduce stress and promote well being

Being hardy and having a sense of autonomy and control


Is including family members in the treatment of a chronic illness beneficial?

No, it's often not effective because the patient may feel like the family members are controlling their life rather than providing assistance


What are some behaviors that help someone with a chronic illness?

1. Motivating the patient to make his/her own life choices and carry out the activities of every day living 2. Modelling healthy behaviors 3. Providing rewards 4. Pointing out consequences for caring for one's illness


People are now likely to die from things that are caused by lifestyle/behavior. Like obesity, heart disease, lung disease and accidents



A study found that high stress was associated with...

Heavier smoking, less frequent exercise, and a heavier intake of fat


Note: look at all of the things labeled "summing up" in your book!!!!



Body mass index (BMI)

A ratio of body height to weight, used to measure obesity


What is obesity an example of?

The biopsychosocial model of health - there is a linkage between genetic predispositions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors


Where has obesity increased?

Western nations


What is extreme obesity?

Having a BMI over 40


Obesity has doubled around the globe since 1980



What factor contributes to obesity!



Some nonscientists believe that those who overeat are lazy or unmotivated. Is this true?

No. For obese people, dieting is an ineffective means of achieving permanent weight loss.


Most ppl who lose weight thru dieting eventually regain the weight - usually more weight than they lost!



When do humans eat more?

When a bigger variety of food is available


What else makes people eat more?

When portions are larger


What happens in the brains of obese people when they look at good-tasting foods?

The reward regions of their brain show more activity


What two factors of industrialized nations contribute to obesity?

1. The variety of high calorie foods
2. The large portions served in many restaurants


Define obesity

Ppl are obese if they are more than 20 percent over ideal body weight


Obesity ____

Runs in families


A study in Denmark found that the BMI of adopted children was strongly related to the BMI of their biological parents and unrelated to their adoptive parents! Significance?

Shows obesity is genetic



Refers to the proportion of variability in a population attributed to genetic transmission of a trait from parents to their offspring...


What are the estimates of heritability of body weight?

60 to 80 percent


These findings suggest that genetics have more effect on body weight than environment



Albert Stunksrd says that genetics determine whether a person CAN become obese, but environment determines whether that person WILL become obese



Obesity is associated with a large number of medical problems. Are there psychological problems with obesity too?

The stigma of obesity makes obese people feel bad. In most Western cultures, obese ppl are seen as unattractive, less socially adept, unintelligent, and less productive than ppl with a normal weight


What else results from the stigma of obesity?

Being obese can make you feel depressed and anxious,and give you low self esteem. However, correlation does not apply causation. Being obese does not CAUSE you to feel this way necessarily


How do developing countries view obesity?

It's a sign of being wealthy. Obesity is also good because it prevents disease and reduces likelihood of starvation and associated with more successful births. It's a status symbol in developing countries


In industrialized societies, being obese is a sign of what?

Lower socioeconomic status


In western cultures, what kind of body image is promoted by upper class ppl?

Very thin body types (shown in fashion magazines)


Women hold body weight ideals lower than what men find attractive



Having thin body standards contributes to negative attitudes towards ___\

Overweight people


What does NAAFA stand for?

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance


After experiencing repeated disappointments with diets, obese people decide

They are likely to always be fat and they must learn to accept themselves and educate society about obesity through the NAAFA


Why do most diets fail?

Because of the body's natural defense against weight loss


Body weight is regulated how?

Body weight is regulated around a set point determined primarily by genetic influence


In a Vermont prison, inmates consumed 7000 calories a day and what happened?

Few inmates gained more than 40 pounds and their weight went back to normal when they went back to normal eating. Those who had family histories of obesity did not lose the weight.


What are the effects of starvation

Dramatic changes in emotion, motivation, and attitudes toward food. They became anxious, depressed, and listless. They lost interest in sex and other activities


How does the body respond to weight loss?

It slows down metabolism and uses less energy. After weight loss, it needs less food to maintain a given body weight. And so if you eat what you normally eat, you'll probably gain back the weight.


When does weight gain occur faster?

In previously starved animals


What happens when you have a pattern of starvation and overeating?!

You have cumulative metabolic effects. Each time an animal is placed on caloric deprivation, the animal's metabolic functioning and weight loss become slower than they were the previous time. Therefore, each time overeating resumes, the animal's weight gain increases more rapidly. This might explain how yo-yo dieters become heavier over time


Body weight is _____

Socially contagious. That means people who are close friends of the same sex will have similar body weights


If many of your close friends are obese, you implicitly learn that obesity is normal. This can affect how we think and act when we eat.! We are not aware of many of the psychological influences on our thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes!!



Restrained eaters

A term to describe chronic dieters. Restrained eaters are prone to excessive eating in certain situations.


What happens if restrained eaters believe they have eaten high calorie foods?

They abandon their diets. Their mindsets become "I've blown my diet, so I might as well just keep eating."


Most restrained eaters keep their diets and abandon their diets when?

They keep their diets during weekdays and forget their diets on weekends and lose control


Difference between restrained eaters and unrestrained eaters?

In a study when unrestrained and restrained eaters are a milkshake, the unrestrained eaters were satisfied by the milkshake. The restrained eaters were encouraged by their brain to eat more food after they broke their diets.


When restrained eaters see pics of good food, what happens?

There was increased activity in the reward area of their brain


What else makes restrained eaters break diets?



Restrained eaters can eat a big salad 1000 calories and be fine, but feel they ruined their diet if they eat a 200 calorie candy bar



Explain disinhibition of restrained eaters?

By first inhibiting their eating, they lose their inhibition. In other words, restrained eaters rely on cognitive control of food intake. Rather than eating according to the internal states of hunger, restrained eaters eat according to time of day, number of calories, and type of food.


Restrained eaters need to...

Get back in touch with internal motivational states


The effect of repeated dietary failures?

They have harmful and permanent physiological and psychological consequences. In physiological terms, weight loss and weight gain cycles alter the dieter's metabolism and make future weight loss difficult. Repeated failures diminish satisfaction with body image and damage self esteem. Over time, chronic dieters tend to feel helpless and depressed.


When chronic dieters fail, what might they turn to?

Taking drugs, fasting, exercising excessively, or purging


What are the two most common eating disorders?

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa


Anorexia nervosa

An eating disorder characterized by an excessive fear of becoming fat and thus a refusal to eat


What race/class do eating disorders affect?

It was thought that it affected middle to high class white girls, but it actually affects anyone


Ppl with anorexia nervosa view themselves as __ even though ___

Fat even though they're underweight


Food and weight

Pervade their lives and control how they view themselves and the world


Is anorexia nervosa difficult to treat?

Yes because patients maintain that they are overweight or not as thin as they would like to be even when they are emaciated


Criteria for anorexia nervosa?

Refusing to maintain a body weight at or above normal weight, intense fear of gaining weight, disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced. Also, amenorrhea, the absence of at least 3 consecutive menstrual cycles


Bulimia nervosa

An eating disorder characterized by dieting, binge eating, and purging.


How many women are bulimic?

1 to 2 percent


Girls with bulimia routine

They eat excessively and make up for it by vomiting self induced, excessive exercise, or the abuse of laxatives


Binge eating behavior tends to occur _____



What kind of health problems does bulimia cause?

Dental and cardiac disorders


Criteria for binge eating

Recurrent episodes of binge eating, binge eating = eating in a period of time a large quantity of food and a lack of control over eating during the episode. Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain like vomiting, laxatives, fasting, or excessive exercise. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors occur on average twice a week for 3 months. Self evaluation is influenced by body shape and weight


Binge eating disorder

Ppl with binge eating disorder engage in binge eating at least twice weekly, but they do not purge. Many ppl with binge eating disorder are obese. Binge-eating disorder is common among males and ethnic minorities


Eating disorders ____

Run in families


When ppl have genetic predispositions toward eating disorders....

They are more likely to develop disorders if they are in a society with an abundance of food.


Smoking is a ____

Global phenomenon


Increasing numbers of ppl are smoking in _____

Low-income countries


Most smokers begin in ___

Childhood or early adolescence


What health problems does smoking cause?

Heart disease, respiratory ailments, and various cancers


Smoking also causes problems for ___

Nonsmoking bystanders


Why do adolescents start smoking?

Because of powerful social influences like if their friends or families smoke.


Why else do ppl smoke?

The meaning of being a smoker points to having positive qualities like being tough, sociable, and being good with members of opposite sex


Adolescents use smoking to enhance their self image as well as public image



Smokers on TV seem...

Glamorous and cool


The importance of nicotine?

It helps motivate and maintain smoking behavior


Once the smoker is hooked on nicotine, what happens if they go without it?

They'll experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms including distress and heightened anxiety


Nicotine is associated with....

Increased activation of dopamine


What is necessary in a weight control program?



What does exercise do to us?

It makes us feel good because we know exercise is good for us. It helps people build self confidence and cope with stress. It affects neurotransmitters involved in reward, motivation, and emotion. It also enhances neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons, and synaptic enemies, the production of synaptic connections


Exercise can also enhance memory and cognition



10 minutes of exercise can promote feelings of vigor and enhanced mood. 30 minutes of daily exercise is associated with the most positive mental state



Exercise is a good treatment for...

Depression, addiction, and alcoholism


Modern society allows people to

Exert little physical energy via elevators, cars, TV, internet, eye.


Once ppl are out of shape...

It's difficult for them to start exercising regularly


Exercise can promote FASTER HEALING!!!



Racial and ethnic groups have large disparities in health. Why is this?

It's due to genetics, access to affordable health care, and cultural factors.



The extent to which individuals assimilate their customs, values, beliefs, and behaviors of the mainstream culture. This helps explain why different groups have different health behaviors and health outcomes


For ex. Hispanics and African Americans and Asians are less likely to eat fruit, exercise, or go to a dentist



The longer Latinos live in the US, the more likely they will drink smoke and become obese apparently



It's difficult to overwrite bad habits because lifestyle changes are involved. Give an example..

Obese people have to make permanent lifestyle changes like altering eating habits, increasing exercise, eliminating food cues, having family members help, undergoing surgery, etc.


What can help smokers with withdrawal symptoms?

A nicotine patch


Psychologists from the humanist school of that concentrate on what?

What is positive in the human experience


Since the 1990s, what school of thought is popular?

Positive psychology


Positive psychology

The movement was launched by the clinical psychologist Martin Seligman. He encouraged the scientific study of qualities such as faith, values, creativity, courage, and hope. The earliest emphasis on positive psychology was figuring out what makes people happy.


What is Happiness?

It has 3 components
1. Positive emotion and pleasure
2. Engagement in life
3. A meaningful life


The focus has shifted from just happiness to a greater emphasis on overall well-being



A truly successful life involves what?

Not only happiness (pleasure), but also good relationships and a history of accomplishment


The new positive psychology emphasizes the strengths and virtues that help people thrive. It's primary aim is an understanding of psychological well-being



According to a guy named Deiner... The wealthiest countries...

Often have the highest levels of satisfaction


Broaden and build theory

Positive emotions prompt people to consider novel situations to their problems.


Resilient people

People who can bounce back from negative events.... These people experience positive emotions even when under stress


Higher levels of hope and curiosity = better health



Research reveals that being ____ has benefits on the immune system. They have fewer illnesses and stuff



What is also beneficial for physical and mental health?

Social interaction


People high in well being....

Have strong social networks and are more socially integrated


People who have more friends live longer



Evidence predicts loneliness results in physical illness and mortality



People with social support are happier. Why??

1. Ppl with social support have less stress overall because their friends and family help them juggle demands
2. When people care about you, that makes them happier
3. Buffering hypothesis


Buffering hypothesis

When others provide emotional support, the recipient is better able to cope with stressful events... The buffering hypothesis is the idea that other people can provide direct emotional support in helping individuals cope with stressful events


Examples of emotional support?

Caring and willingness to listen to another person's problems


What is also good for your health?



Why is marriage good for your health??

You help your partner deal with stress, you encourage your partner to be healthy, etc.


Being single leads to _____

Greater mortality


However, if you are in a bad marriage = more stress



What is an important part of a healthy relationship?

Partners should trust one another


Data shows trust is associated with a longer life



What makes people more trusting?



What is oxytocin also critical for?

The tend and befriend response


What else is oxytocin involved with?

Bonds between mother and children and empathy and feelings of love


People who are religious...

Are happier than people who aren't religious


As a rabbi says

People need to feel they are more than just a momentary blip in the universe


Believing in religion and being spiritual helps you cope with hard situations



HOW To be healthy...

People need to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and control their daily habits


What are all the steps to good health?

1. Eat natural foods 2. Watch portion size 3. Drink alcohol in moderation, if not at all 4. Keep active 5. Do not smoke 6. Practice safe sex 7. Learn to relax 8. Learn to cope 9. Build a strong support network 10. Consider your spiritual life 11. Try some of the happiness exercises


How to cope with negative situations?

Seek advice or assistance, attempt to find new solutions, distract yourself with more pleasant thoughts, reinterpret situations humorously, and so on.


The end!