Chapter 17 - Stress and Physical Wellbeing Flashcards Preview

Psychology Units 3+4 > Chapter 17 - Stress and Physical Wellbeing > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 17 - Stress and Physical Wellbeing Deck (39):


A psychological and physiological response to internal or external sources of tension that challenge a person's ability to cope.


Stressors can be:

- Positive
- Negative
- Internal
- External


'Stressors can also be viewed in terms of type'.

Can be viewed in terms of:
- Physical or psychological
- Duration
- How long it has been present
- Strength/intensity


What does a person experience when they are stressed?

A person usually experiences physiological arousal (in the form of the fight-or-flight response) and emotional tension that causes changes in their thinking processes and behaviours.


List some characteristics of stressors.

- Physical (Sleep deprivation, hot/cold, thirst)
- Psychological (Anxiety from failing test, grief from losing a loved one)
- Short term (Sitting exam, first date)
- Long term (Family problems, chronic illness)
- Low (School formal, new school year)
- High (Loss of loved one, terminal illness)


Which branch of the nervous system is responsible for arousal?

Sympathetic nervous system.


Give an example of a psychological and physical stressor.

Psychological - Anxiety about SAC.
Physical - Hot weather.


When is the HPA Axis activated?

During times of physical, psychological or environmental stress.


Ouline what occurs in the HPA Axis.

- Stressor is perceived.
- Hypothalamus releases corticotrophin (CRH).
- Activates pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH).
- Prompts adrenal glands to release adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones).
- Physiological changes occur (Eg. Increased HR, Increased respiration rate, increased production of glucose).



Refers to a positive psychological response to a perceived stressor.



Refers to a negative psychological response to a perceived stressor.


What is GAS? What does it consist of?

'General Adaptation Syndrome'.
Consists of:
1. Alarm
2. Resistance
3. Exhaustion


Briefly explain what occurs in each stage of GAS.

1. Alarm: Fight-or-flight response is activated;shock and counter shock occur.
2. Resistance: 'Adaptive stage'; signs of illness begin.
3. Exhaustion: Cannot cope with the stressor, body's resources are depleted, person becomes very tired.


Lazarus and Folkman worked with real peepz.



What did Lazarus and Folkman learn upon forming their transactional model of stress and coping?

It became apparent that it was not just the response to the stressor itself that was important but, rather, the individual's perception and assessment of that stressor.


According to the transactional model of stress and coping.....?

Stress is regarded as a 'transaction' between the person and the environment where the person's individual interpretation or cognitive appraisal determines how to deal with a situation.


A person's appraisal can also be influence by what?

- Beliefs
- Goals
- Personal circumstances
- Life experiences
- Personality


What did Lazarus and Folkman emphasise about stress?

Emphasised the importance of psychological or cognitive processes involved in dealing with a stressful situation.


What are the two stages of the transactional model when assessing a situation?

1. Primary appraisal
2. Secondary appraisal


Define primary appraisal.

Is the initial evaluation process where the person determines whether the event (stressor) is a threat or a challenge.

It is an unconscious process.


What occurs during primary appraisal?

The significance of a situation is classified as:
- Harm/loss ('I just failed a SAC').
- Threat ('I might fail the SAC' - potential for future harm/loss).
- Challenge ('I will work hard to pass the next SAC' - opportunity for personal growth).
- Neutral/Irrelevant/Benign ('My neighbour failed his SAC' - Little or nor importance or relevance).


Explain secondary appraisal.

Where a person considers what options are available to them and how they will respond.

It is a conscious process.


What is emotional forecasting?

Where a person predicts the possible emotional impact of each potential response (occurs in both stages).


What are Lazarus and Folkman's two methods of coping?

1. Problem-focused coping.
2. Emotion-focused coping.


Define and explain problem-focused coping.

Looks at the causes of a stressor from a practical perspective and works out ways to deal with the problem of stressful situation with the objective of reducing that stress.
Strategies include:
- Taking control
- Information seeking
- Evaluating pros and cons


Define and explain emotion-focused coping.

Involves trying to reduce the negative emotional feelings associated with a stressor (Eg. Embarrassment, fear, anxiety, depression etc.).
Strategies include:
- Meditation
- Relaxation
- Talking to friends and family about the problem
- Denial
- Distraction (Eg. Watching TV)
- Physical exercise (reduces stress because you are mainly focusing on a single stimulus)


List two strengths and two weaknesses of Lazarus and Folkman's model.

1. Used human subjects in developing the model.
2. Used a cognitive approach to stress with a focus on how people cope with psychological stressors.
1. Greater focus on psychological factors meant less emphasis was placed on physiological elements of stress response.
2. Did not include cultural, social or environmental factors in looking at how individuals perceive a stressful event.


Give examples of 'protective factors'.

- Stable life
- Good job
- Strong friendship network
- Good family

Each of these factors help people face stressors with greater resilience.


List five of the top 10 stressors on the Holmes-Rahe life events scale.

1. Death of spouse
2. Divorce
3. Marital separation
4. Jail term
5. Death of family member
6. Personal injury/illness
7. Marriage
8. Fired at work
9. Marital reconciliation
10. Retirement


List two common types of stress for physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural stress.

Physical Stress: Rapid HR, fatigue

Cognitive Stress: Memory impairment, difficult decision-making

Emotional Stress: Anxiety, depression

Behavioural Stress: Substance use, antisocial behaviour


Who developed the allostasis model?

Sterling and Eyer (1988).



Where automatic bodily functions are maintained at a state of equilibrium by the parasympathetic nervous system.



'Where the body maintain stability or homeostasis through change' - When a person interprets an event as being stressful; several internal physiological and behavioural processes are activated so that adaptation to the stressor (or allostasis) can be achieved.


Allostasic Load

Refers to the cumulative effects of our body trying to re-establish allostasis in response to frequent and intense stressors.


Allostasic Overload

When the demands of the stressor exceed the body's ability to repeatedly adapt, the person is no longer able to meet the demands.


Review allostasis continuum in revision book!



List and explain four additional strategies for coping with stress.

- Biofeedback: Uses a variety of instruments to provide feedback on HR, temperature, respiration rate, brainewaves etc; person is taught to alter their thoughts, emotions and behaviour through operant conditioning).
- Meditation/Relaxation: Induced ASC - meditation - focuses on one stimulus; relaxation includes breathing techniques - less attention is required.
- Physical exercise
- Social support: Network of friends, family etc. that provide emotional, physical and financial assistance.


List advantages and disadvantages of the categorical approach.

- Promotes communication between mental health professionals.
- Consistency in how different patients are diagnosed.
- Stigmatisation.
- Lots of interlap between symptoms can make diagnosis tricky.


List advantages and disadvantages of the dimensional approach.

- Reduces stigmatisation (because it is a spectrum).
- More detailed description of disorder (takes into account a wide range of symptoms).
- Time-consuming.
- Subjectivity.