Presentation on theme: "1 STRE SS STRE SS. The specification 2 WHAT IS STRESS? What you feel when there is a lack of fit between the person and their environment (i.e. where."— Presentation transcript:
WHAT IS STRESS? What you feel when there is a lack of fit between the person and their environment (i.e. where the perceived demands of a situation are greater than the perceived ability to cope). The physical sensations related to activity of the ANS.
The stress response is adaptive For our distant ancestors the stress response was important to the survival because it enabled them to cope with situations of threat. It is an essential part of our survival and future reproductive success. Fight or flight response For our distant ancestors the stress response was important to the survival because it enabled them to cope with situations of threat. It is an essential part of our survival and future reproductive success. Fight or flight response
The ANS The autonomic nervous system The central nervous system
Parasympathetic & Sympathetic Rest and digest Fight or flight
The body’s response to stress 1. Short term stress adrenal medulla 1. Short term stress adrenal medulla 2. Long term (continuing) adrenal cortex
1. Sympathomedullary - SAM system The ‘fight or flight’ response. Causes the hormone adrenaline to be released. Physiological sensation that accompanies being scared or thrilled, i.e. being ‘aroused’. Sweatiness and increased heart and breathing rate; stops you wanting to pee and slows down digestion, prevents erection and ejaculation. by the adrenal medulla (in the adrenal glands). S A M Immediate stressors Arouse the sympathetic branch of the ANS
2. Pituitary-adrenal which stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce corticosteroids such as cortisol. If stress continues Secretes ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone Stimulates pituitary gland Hypothalamus CRF corticotrophin releasing factor Cortisol maintains a steady supply of blood sugar for continued energy. Enables body to cope with the stressor, as distinct from the burst of energy needed for ‘fight or flight’. Takes about 20 minutes. H C A C P C
Two systems Fight or flight Sympatho medullary S Sympathetic NS A Adrenaline M Adrenal Medulla Pituitary adrenal H hypothalamus (sympathetic NS) C CRF P Pituitary gland A ACTH C Adrenal cortex C Cortisol
Exam question You are a passenger in a car that has suddenly slammed on its brakes to avoid hitting a dog. Your breathing quickens, your mouth is dry and you have a feeling of ‘butterflies’ in your stomach. But after a few minutes these physical changes start to disappear. Using your knowledge of the body’s response to stress, explain why you are likely to have experienced: a) The changes that occurred in the first 30 seconds; (2 marks) b) the changes that occurred after a few minutes. (2 marks) Jan 2009
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM The immune system is designed to defend the body against millions of antigens (i.e. bacteria, viruses, toxins and parasites) that would otherwise overwhelm it. Cortisol directly suppresses immune system functioning by decreasing the production of lymphocytes.
Stress and the immune system Kiecolt-Glaser et al. (1984) natural killer (NK) cells in the blood of students taking exams. How? ✴ Blood samples taken one month before exams (low stress) and during exams (high stress). ✴ Questionnaires assessed psychological variables e.g. life events. Findings ✴ NK cell activity was significantly reduced in the second blood sample. ✴ Especially in participants reporting other significant life stressors.
Stress and the immune system Kiecolt-Glaser et al. (1995) compared female caring for relatives suffering from senile dementia with a matched control group. How All participants given a wound – a ‘punch biopsy’. Cytokine levels were monitored. Findings Complete wound healing took longer in the carers than the controls. Cytokine levels were higher. Carers indicated on a perceived stress scale that they were feeling more stressed.
Acute stress may enhance the immune system Evans et al. (1994) Antibody salivary IgA (sIgA) coats the mucous surfaces of the mouth, lungs and stomach, and helps protect against infection. How? Arranged for students to give talks to other students (mild stress). Findings These students showed an increase in sIgA. Whereas levels of sIgA decreased during examination periods which stretched over several weeks. Stress appears to have two effects on the immune system: up- regulation for very short-term stress and down- regulation for long-term stress. This fits the SAM/HPA distinction
Sandy and Vandita play for the same netball team. Two weeks ago, while playing in a competition, they both grazed their elbows. Vandita’s wound is healing well, but Sandy’s wound is taking much longer to heal. Sandy is very worried about the plans for her wedding and her forthcoming house move. Using your knowledge of psychology, explain why Sandy’s wound is taking longer to heal than Vandita’s. (4 marks) Jan 2010 Exam question
Research into Life changes as a source of stress Holmes and Rahe (1960s) SRRS The key feature of life changes is the psychic cost of change. Individual differences Research is correlational. Rahe et al. (1970) How? Used a version of SRRS with 2600 Navy men. Showed? A small positive correlation between illness and LCUs. Retrospective recall may be unreliable. Daily hassles may be better predictor – one reason may be that people are more likely to seek support for major life events (Flett et al., 1995). 3 rd study? 1 research study Essay plan
Daily hassles as a source of stress Anita DeLongis et al. (1982) hassles and uplifts scale. May be due to accumulation or amplification (increased vulnerability). DeLongis et al. (1988) How? 75 married couples Showed? Hassles were related to ill health (not life changes or uplifts). 2 nd study? Individual differences. Research is correlational. Retrospective recall may be unreliable. Better than life changes. Individual differences. Research is correlational. Retrospective recall may be unreliable. Better than life changes.
Workplace stressors Sir Michael Marmot (1977) How 7000+ civil servants (Whitehall study). Measured health status. Five years later WORKLOAD It was not the hard- working executives most at risk of heart attacks; it was the people at the bottom of the hierarchy. CONTROL Stress-related illness was found in those who had felt the least control. Work underload (Schulz et al.) Individual differences. Methods of assessment may be outdated. Important real-world applications. Work underload (Schulz et al.) Individual differences. Methods of assessment may be outdated. Important real-world applications.
Mr Harris is about to move his business into a brand new building. He is very keen to create a healthy working environment and reduce workplace stress. In this way he hopes to improve productivity and reduce absenteeism. What advice would you give Mr Harris? Use your knowledge of psychological research in this area. (6 marks) Jan 2010 Exam questions
Stress and personality TYPE A TYPE B Friedman and Rosenman (1959) WESTERN COLLABORATIVE PROJECT Type A: competitive, hostile, achievement- oriented, impatient. Increases vulnerability to stress or just experience more stress. Type B: patient, relaxed, easy-going. 3000 Californian men. Personality assessed using questionnaire. 8 ½ years later twice as many Type A’s (12%) had died of CHD. 22 years later 15% had died of CHD but not especially Type A. Myrtek (2001) meta- analysis showed that hostility rather than Type A is the key component.
Stress and personality 24 Kobasa and Maddi (1977) THE HARDY PERSONALITY See themselves in control. Have a strong sense of commitment. See problems as challenges. Stress management techniques emphasise the role of control. Characteristics may just be negative affectivity.
QT 9 Applying knowledge Mark is very competitive and he hates losing any game he plays. At work, he is often impatient and likes working to tight deadlines. He can become quite hostile when challenged. 4 a. What personality type is Mark likely to have? (1 mark) 4 b. Using your knowledge of how personality factors can affect the body’s response to stress, explain how Mark might respond to the effects of stress. (4 marks)
SIT stress inoculation therapy Time consuming Requires high motivation Positive thinking might have same effect Conceptualisation phase Skills acquisition and rehearsal Application phase (and follow-through)
Drug therapy Anti-anxiety Benzodiazepines (BZs) enhance GABA quiet the nervous system Beta-blockers (BBs) bind to receptors of heart etc. reduce SNS activity
Drug therapy Strengths easy, little effort effectiveness (placebo) Weaknesses deal with symptoms side effects (BZs aggressiveness) addiction (BZs max 4 weeks)
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