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Flashcards in Exam 2 Deck (85):


Any event or situation that triggers coping adjustments.



The process by which we perceive and respond to events (stressors) that we appraise as threatening or challenging.


Population Density

A measure of crowding based on the total number of people in an area of limited size.



A psychological state in which people believe that they do not have enough space to function as they wish.


Social-Evaluative Threat

A stressor in which people fear negative evaluation by others of their appearance or ability.


Employee Engagement

Work environments that satisfy one's need to belong by offering positive relationships with colleagues energize employees. The extent to which workers feel involved and enthusiastic and identify with their jobs.


Stereotype Threat

The experience of threat in a situation where a person's ability, appearance, or other characteristics has the potential to confirm a negative viewpoint about his or her social group.


Scarcity Hypothesis

Because they only have so much time and energy, women with competing demands suffer from role overload (balancing several different jobs at the same time) and conflicts.


Role Overload

Having so many roles in society, such as being a mother, employee, daughter, wife, etc.


Enhancement Hypothesis

Argues that the benefits of meaningful work in enhancing a worker's self-esteem outweigh the costs.



A job-related state of physical and psychological exhaustion. Especially for jobs that involve the responsibility for others appear to have higher burnout levels like police officers, doctors, social workers, etc.


Role Ambiguity

Occurs when workers are unsure of their jobs or the standards used to evaluate their performances.


Role Conflict

When a worker receives mixed messages about these issues from different supervisors/co-workers.



Continuous staffing of a workplace by groups of employees who work at different times.



The process by which a member of one ethnic or racial group adopts the values, customs, and behaviors of another.


Sympatho-adreno-medullary (SAM) System

The body's initial, rapid-acting response to stress (fight-or-flight), involving the release of epinephrine/adrenaline and norepinephrine/noradrenaline from the adrenal medulla under the direction of the sympathetic nervous system.


Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) System

The body's delayed response to stress, involving the secretion of corticosteroid hormones from the adrenal cortex. Functions to restore the body back to its baseline state (homeostasis). Activated by messages relayed from the CNS to the hypothalamus, which in turn secretes corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates the production of ACTH by the pituitary gland, which activates the adrenal gland to secrete corticosteroids.



The tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as the level of glucose in the blood, around a particular set point.



Hormones produced by the adrenal cortex that fight inflammation, promote healing, and trigger the release of stored energy.


Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA)

A method of measuring stress that involves repeated sampling of people's behaviors and experiences in real time, and in their natural environment.


Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)

The field of research that emphasizes the interaction of psychological, neural, and immunological processes in stress and illness and how it effects our health.
Stressor->Appraisal->Thoughts->Feelings->Brain Signals->Hormonal Action->Immune Suppression->Risk of Illness.


Direct Effect Hypothesis

Stress directly influences the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, each of which can lead to disease. Immunosuppression is part of the body's natural response to stress.


Indirect Effect Hypothesis

Suggests that immunosuppression is an aftereffect of the stress response.


Allostatic Load (Allostasis)

The cumulative long-term effects of the body's physiological response to stress.


Glucocorticoid Receptor (GCR) Resistance Model

The idea that chronic stress promotes development and progression of disease by reducing the sensitivity of immune system receptors to glucocorticoid hormones such as cortisol, thereby interfering with the body's ability to regulate the inflammatory response.


Immunosuppression Model

Stress reduces immunity by a) activating ANS fibers that descend from the brain to the immune tissue, b) triggering the secretion of hormones that bind to WBCs and alter their functioning, and c) inducing immunosuppressive coping behaviors, such as poor diet and substance abuse.


General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

Selye's term for the body's reaction to stress, which consists of three stages: alarm (mobilize coping resources and resistance to stress is suppressed temporarily), resistance (continue coping with stressor but become more irritable and there is an increase in resistance to stress), and exhaustion (resources depleted and increase in vulnerability to health problems).


Transactional Model

Lazarus' theory that the experience of stress depends as much on the individual's cognitive appraisal of a potential stressor's impact as it does on the event or situation itself.


Cognitive Appraisal Involves Assessing

1) Whether a situation or event threatens our well-being, 2) Whether there are sufficient personal resources available for coping with the demand, and 3) Whether our strategy for dealing with the situation/event is working.


Primary Appraisal

A person's initial determination of an event's meaning, whether irrelevant, benign-positive, or threatening.


Secondary Appraisal

A person's determination of whether his or her own resources and abilities are sufficient to meet the demands of an event that is appraised (assessed) as potentially threatening or challenging.
Increase in threat/challenge + decrease in coping resources = stress.


Cognitive Reappraisal

The process by which potentially stressful events are constantly reevaluated.


Diathesis-Stress Model

The model that proposes that two interacting factors determine an individual's susceptibility to stress and illness: predisposing factors in the person (such as genetic vulnerability) and precipitating factors from the environment (such as traumatic experiences).



Our physiological reaction to stress, which varies by individuals and affects our vulnerability to illness.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A psychological disorder triggered by exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor, such as combat or natural disaster. Symptoms include haunting memories and nightmares of the traumatic event, extreme mental distress, and unwanted flashbacks.



A behavioral response to stress that is focused on protecting offspring (tending) and seeking others for mutual defense (befriending). Depends on oxytocin. Theory that females are more likely than males to respond to stressors with behaviors that tend and befriend.


Brief Experience of Stress

Can be beneficial by improving immune system response, motivating action, focusing priorities, feeling engaged, energized, and satisfied, encourages growth, knowledge, and self-esteem.


Extreme/Prolonged Stress

Can be problematic by overwhelming mental and physical coping systems and immune functioning declines.


Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS)

Attempt to quantify life events in terms of life change units. First systematic effort to link stress and illness and faulted for subjectivity and failing to consider individual differences in cognitive appraisal.


Learned Helplessness

Declining to help oneself after repeated attempts to do so have failed.


Locus of Control

Our perception of where the seat of power over our lives is located.


Internal Locus of Control

We feel that we are in charge of ourselves and our circumstances.


External Locus of Control

We picture that a force outside of ourselves controls our fate.



The ability to control impulses and delay gratification/ "willpower."



Too much cortisol, which is bad and leads to suppression of the immune system and increased activity of HPA.



Too little cortisol, which is also bad and leads to a decreased activity of HPA.


Psychophysiological Illness

A real illness caused in part by psychological factors such as the experience of stress.


Implications of the Transactional Model

Situations/events are not inherently stressful or unstressful, cognitive appraisals are extremely susceptible to changes in mood, health, motivation, and the body's stress response is nearly the same, whether the situation is experienced or imagined.


Types of Stressors

Significant life events, catastrophes, daily hassles, and environmental stressors.



The cognitive, behavioral, and emotional ways in which we manage stressful situations.


Approach (Vigilant) Coping

A coping strategy that directly confronts a stressor and attempts to develop a solution. More effective and better for health.


Avoidant (Minimizing) Coping

A strategy for coping with stressors by withdrawing, minimizing or avoiding them through passive behaviors, antisocial behaviors, and fantasizing.


Problem-Focused Coping

A coping strategy for dealing with a stressor, in which we either reduce the stressor's demand or increase our resources for meeting its demands.


Emotion-Focused Coping

A coping strategy in which we try to control our emotional response to the stressor. Use this when we believe that little to nothing can be done to alter the stressor or when we believe that our coping resources are insufficient to meet the demands of the stressor.



Repetitive focusing on the causes, meanings, and consequences of stressful experiences.


Emotional Cascade

Becoming so focused on an upsetting event that one gets worked into an intense, painful state of negative emotion.


Emotional-Approach Coping (EAC)

The process of working through, clarifying, and understanding the emotions triggered by a stressor.


Socialization Hypothesis

Because of traditional stereotypes, women and men are brought up to cope with stress in very different ways. Traditionally, men are encouraged to take action and remain stoically (not showing any feelings) independent, whereas women are socialized to seek social support and express their emotions freely.


Role-Constraint Hypothesis

Contends that when stressors are the same for women and men, gender is irrelevant in predicting coping reactions. According to this view, women and men have different social roles, which in turn makes them more likely to experience different types of stressors. Therefore, any differences in coping are due to differences in the types of stressors encountered.


Psychological Control

The perception that one can determine one's own behavior and influence the environment to bring about desired outcomes.



Insults, indignities, and marginalizing messages sent by well-intentioned people who seem unaware of the hidden messages that they're sending.


John Henryism (JH)

A pattern of prolonged, high-effort coping with psychosocial demands and stressors, including barriers to upward social mobility.



A personality style that contains a cluster of stress-buffering traits consisting of commitment, challenges, and control. People with this personality are not easily discouraged and have a sense of control over their lives.



The quality of some children to bounce back from environmental stressors that might otherwise disrupt their development.


Explanatory Style

Our general propensity to attribute outcomes always to positive causes or always to negative causes, such as personality, luck, or another person's actions. Pessimism vs optimism.


Broaden-and-Build Theory

Positive emotions increase our physical, cognitive, and social resources, which in turn help us cope more effectively with stressful experiences and live healthier lives.


Regulatory Control

The various ways in which we modulate our thinking, emotions, and behaviors over time and across changing circumstances.


Cardiovascular Reactivity (CVR)

Changes in cardiovascular activity that are related to psychological stress.


Vagal Tone

Heart rate variability. A measure of the relationship between the rhythmic increases and decreases in heart rate associated with breathing in and out.


Repressive Coping

Extreme regulatory control. An emotion-focused coping style in which we attempt to inhibit our emotional responses, especially in social situations, so we can view ourselves as imperturbable (unable to be upset).


Negative Affectivity (NA) / Neuroticism

A coping style or personality dimension consisting of chronic negative emotions and distress.


Social Support

Companionship from others that conveys emotional concern, material assistance, or honest feedback about a situation.


Buffering Hypothesis

A theory that social support produces its stress-busting effects indirectly by helping the individual cope more effectively.


Direct Effect Hypothesis (Social Support)

A theory that social support produces its beneficial effects during both stressful and nonstressful times by enhancing the body's physical responses to challenging situations.


Invisible Support

The perception that people in the community care and are standing by to provide assistance, if needed.


Stress Management

The various psychological methods designed to reduce the impact of potential stressful experiences.


Progressive Muscle Relaxation

A form of relaxation training that reduces muscle tension through a series of tensing and relaxing exercises involving the body's major muscle groups.


Relaxation Response

A meditative state of relaxation in which metabolism slows and blood pressure decreases. Need a quiet place in which distractions and external stimulations minimized, a comfortable position, a mental device, such as focusing your attention on a single thought or word, and a passive, nonjudgemental attitude.


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

A form of therapy that focuses on using structured meditation to promote mindfulness, a moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The use of principles from learning theory to change unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior.


Stress Inoculation Training

A cognitive behavioral treatment in which people identify stressors in their lives and learn skills for coping with them so that when those stressors occur, they are able to put those skills into effect.


Cognitive Restructuring

A variety of psychological interventions directed at replacing maladaptive, self-defeating thoughts with healthier adaptive thinking.


Personal Control

The belief that we make our own decisions and determine what we do or what others do to us.


Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management (CBSM)

Stress inoculation training that involves a three-step process that helps build "immunity" to stressful events.
Stage 1: Reconceptualization
Stage 2: Skills Acquisition
Stage 3: Follow-Through


Theory of Person-Environment Congruence

John Holland argued that people who work in environments similar to their personalities are more likely to be satisfied and successful.