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1. AS Psychology AQA A 2180 AS Award 1181 Biological Psychology: Stress Student workbook JT Jan 09 1 2. Biological Psychology – Stress What you need to know Tick each…
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  • 1. AS Psychology AQA A 2180 AS Award 1181 Biological Psychology: Stress Student workbook JT Jan 09 1
  • 2. Biological Psychology – Stress What you need to know Tick each item when you feel you know it  describe the pituitary adrenal system Stress as a bodily describe the sympatho-medullary pathway response outline the development of psychosomatic illness (GAS) describe the basic features and functions of the immune system describe research into the effects of stress on the immune system demonstrate an understanding of the natural experiment define what is meant by a ‘life Stress in everyday life change’ describe research into life changes and stress using SRRS and SES define what is meant by a ‘daily hassle’ evaluate the use of scales for measuring the impact of life changes and daily hassles demonstrate an understanding of self-report methods in psychology define what is meant by Workplace stress; ‘workplace stress’ Personality factors identify and describe three factors which contribute to workplace stress and relate these factors to relevant research discuss how personality factors influence the experience and effects of stress, including Type A behaviour, Hardy Personality and stress reaction style demonstrate an understanding of correlational technique distinguish between emotion –focused and Ways of coping with stress problem-focused approaches to coping with stress discuss one cognitive behavioural method of managing stress (SIT) discuss one physiological method of stress management (drugs) JT Jan 09 2
  • 3. Stress as a bodily response How do you respond to stress? Objective: record and analyse a personal profile of stress Keeping a stress diary is a good way of becoming aware of your own sources of stress, your reactions to stress and the everyday uplifts you experience that help to counteract the stressors. You will need one week to gather the data for this activity. Working on your own, complete the following: • Identify and make a list of your own reactions to stress (e.g. anger, headaches etc.) • From the list choose the five symptoms most typical of how you feel when you are stressed and put them in the first column of the table (facing page) which also has a column for every day. • At the end of each day enter in the table your stress score for each symptom (1 = low, 10 = high). • In a second table, identify each day the stressors that have occurred (e.g. the bus was late) and also any uplifts (e.g. you enjoyed a game of football). • At the end of the week plot a line graph of your stress symptoms using the axes over the page. Use a different coloured pen for each symptom. Complete the key. • Discuss your findings (next week’s class) JT Jan 09 3
  • 4. Stress Diary Table 1 Stress symptoms scores Sympto Monday Tuesda Wednesday Thursday Frida Saturday Sunday m y y Table 2 Stressors and uplifts Stressors/hassles Uplifts Mon Tues Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Graph Key to symptoms 10 1 9 8 2 7 6 3 5 4 4 3 2 5 1 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun JT Jan 09 4
  • 5. Definitions of stress: ‘the nonspecific response of the body to any demand.’ Selye (1950), in Eysenck, M and C Flanagan (2000) Psychology for AS Level, Hove, Psychology Press, p118 ‘a state of psychological and physical tension produced, according to the transactional model, when there is a mismatch between the perceived demands of a situation (the stressor[s]) and the individual’s perceived ability to cope. The consequent state of tension can be adaptive (eustress) or maladaptive (distress).’ Brody, R and D Dwyer (2002) Revise Psychology for AS Level, Hove, Psychology Press, p 210 ‘a pattern of negative physiological states and psychological responses occurring in situations where people perceive threats to their well-being which they may be unable to meet.’ Lazarus & Folkman (1984) in Gross, R; R McIlveen & H Coolican (2000) Psychology: A New Introduction for AS Level, London, Hodder & Stoughton, p 60 Stressor: ‘An event that triggers the stress response because it throws the body out of balance and forces it to respond. For example, life changes (e.g. divorce, bereavement), daily hassles (e.g. traffic, lost keys), workplace stressors (e.g. role strain, lack of control) and environmental stressors (e.g. noise, temperature, overcrowding). Stressors are not objective in that they do not produce the same response in all people as this depends on the individual’s perception of the stressor. Thus, nothing is a stressor unless it is thought to be so!’ Brody, R and D Dwyer (2002) Revise Psychology for AS Level, Hove, Psychology Press, p 210 JT Jan 09 5
  • 6. JT Jan 09 6
  • 7. Nervous system Central Nervous Peripheral Nervous System System (CNS) Brain Spinal cord Somatic Autonomic nervous nervous system system Voluntary Involuntary Sympathetic nervous Parasympathetic system nervous system JT Jan 09 7
  • 8. Sympathetic-adrenomedullary pathway (SAM) Draw an arrow to join together, in the right order: Fight or flight response Adrenal medulla Sympathetic branch of ANS (autonomic nervous system) Increased heart rate Respiration Muscle tension Adrenaline and noradrenaline JT Jan 09 8
  • 9. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) Draw an arrow to join together, in the right order: Adrenal cortex Releases stored glucose Stops bruising Suppresses immune system ACTH (Adrenocorticotrophic hormone) Hypothalamus Pituitary gland Corticosteroids e.g. cortisol The immune system JT Jan 09 9
  • 10. Complete the following paragraph by filing in the gaps (Eye book p 153) The immune system is ______________________________ _______________________________________________ by foreign agents. It is an __________________________ _______________________________________________ throughout the body that functions to __________________ _______________________________________________ invading particles. Any agent that _____________________ is called an _______________ . Familiar _______________ are bacteria, ______________________________ (such as _________________________. Sometimes, particles that are ____________________________________________ cause an overreaction of the immune system, and this is the basis of _______________ . Key players in our immune system are the ______________________ , which are manufactured in the bone marrow and circulate in the ______________________ . The two types of white blood cell are lymphocytes and phagocytes, and these provide three different mechanisms of immunity: Cardwell, Clark and Meldrum (2008) Psychology AS for AQA A Collins p 153 Key Study JT Jan 09 10
  • 11. Kiecolt-Glaser et al. (1984) The effects of stress on the Immune system Aims To investigate whether the stress of important exams effects the functioning of the immune system Procedures • Natural experiment using 75 medical students; • Blood samples were taken one month before the 1st exam (low stress) and during the exam period (high stress); • Immune system was assessed measuring T cell activity in the blood samples; • Students also given questionnaires to assess their psychological vulnerability. Findings • T cell activity was significantly reduced in the second blood sample, taken during their final examinations compared with the first sample; • T cell activity was most reduced in those P’s who had reported themselves as having high life events and loneliness. Conclusions • Examination stress reduces immune functioning, potentially leaving the individual vulnerable to illness and infection. • Immune functioning is also affected by psychological factors, these long term stressors may make individuals more vulnerable to the added effects of short term stress. Commentary • Study used medical students which could be seen as a special group which brings in to question the validity of such results as to whether or not the findings can be generalised to society as a whole. • These results though are inline with other research that has investigated stress and the immune system. Stress in everyday life JT Jan 09 11
  • 12. Rahe et al (1970) “In the Navy” study Research into the sources of stress. Aims To find out if scores on the SRRS correlated significantly with the subsequent onset of illness. Procedures • 2500 male American sailors were given the SRRS to see their LCU over the previous 6 months. • Total score was recorded for each P, then over the following 6 month tour detailed records were kept on the health of the sailors; • The recorded life change was correlated with their illness score. • Findings • There was a positive correlation of +0.118 between Life changes and illness; • This is a small correlation but it was significant so a meaningful relationship was found. • So, as life change scores increased so did illness. Conclusions • Researches concluded that LCUs positively correlate with illness scores, so experiencing life events increased your chance of becoming ill. • Since the correlation was not perfect, life events can not be the only factor which has contributed to illness. • Commentary • Correlations do not allow you to establish the course of the event, other factors could be at play, e.g. life style; • sample was restricted to male, American navy personnel, this reduces the ability of this research. • Also the study does not take into account individual differences – e.g. personality type. • The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) JT Jan 09 12
  • 13. Add up the values for all of the listed life events that have happened to you in the past year. If they have happened more than once, multiply by number of occurrences eg if you have moved house 3 times = 3 x 20 100 death of a spouse 73 divorce 65 marital separation 63 detention in jail or other institution 63 death of a close family member 53 major personal injury or illness 50 marriage 47 fired from work 45 marital reconciliation 45 retirement 44 change in health or behavior of family member 40 pregnancy 40 sex difficulties 39 gain of new family member through birth, adoption, or marriage 39 major business readjustment 38 change in financial state 37 death of close friend 36 change to a different line of work 35 change in number of arguments with partner 31 taking on a new mortgage 30 foreclosure on a mortgage or loan ≥ 300: 80% chance of being ill soon 29 change in responsibilities 29 son/daughter leaves home 150 – 299 : about 50% chance of 29 trouble with in-laws being ill soon 28 outstanding personal achievement 26 partner begins/stops work < 150: about 30% chance of being 26 starting or finishing school ill 25 change in living conditions 24 revision of personal habits This suggests that life changes 23 trouble with boss require effort to adapt 20 change in working hours or conditions 20 change in residence  remember it’s only 20 change in schools CORRELATIONAL ! 19 change in recreational habits 19 change in church activities 18 change in social activities 17 major purchase such as a new car 16 change in sleeping habits 15 change in number of family gatherings 15 change in eating habits 13 vacation 12 Christmas or holiday observance 11 minor violation of the law Total ________ JT Jan 09 13
  • 14. Evaluation of Rahe et al (1970) Here are three criticisms of the SRRS, but there is not enough detail. Please explain each of these points in full. No account is taken of how different individuals may perceive events The SRRS includes both positive and negative events The research data are usually correlational www.psychlotron.org.uk 05.03.09 JT Jan 09 14
  • 15. Correlation A correlation coefficient shows the relationships between two sets of data: + or – shows the correlation is positive or negative, and the value shows the strength of the relationship e.g. -.79 would be a strong negative correlation, but +.3 would be a weak positive correlation JT Jan 09 15
  • 16. Hassles and uplifts Have a look at your stress diary – what are your hassles and uplifts? Ten most frequent hassles and uplifts Hassles Uplifts 1. Concerns about weight 1. Relating well with your 2. Health of a family member spouse or lover 3. Rising prices of common 2. Relating well with friends goods 3. Completing a task 4. Home maintenance 4. Feeling healthy 5. Too many things to do 5. Getting enough sleep 6. Misplacing or losing things 6. Eating out 7. Garden work or outside home 7. Meeting your responsibilities maintenance 8. Visiting, phoning or writing to 8. Property, investment or someone taxes 9. Spending time with family 9. Crime 10. Home (inside) pleasing to you 10. Physical appearance Try a hassles scale such as this one: http://www.quantifyingconnections.com/images/NEScaleadultf req-sever.pdf accessed 5.3.09 JT Jan 09 16
  • 17. Workplace stress: Personality factors Friedman and Rosenman (1974) Type A behaviour and cardiovascular disorder. Aims To investigate the links between type A behaviour patterns and coronary heart disease (CHD) Procedures • Using structured interviews 3200, Californian mean, aged 39-59 were categorised as either type A, Type B or type X (a combination) • Longitudinal study followed up over 81/2 years to assess lifestyle and health outcomes. Findings • By the end 257 men had developed CHD of these 70% were from the type A group – twice the rate of that found in the type B group; • The difference between the two groups is independent of lifestyle factors such as smoking and weight Conclusions • Type A behaviour patterns increase vulnerability to heart disease. • Behaviour modification programmes can reduce type A behaviour this should result in fewer people getting heart disease. Commentary • It was not an experimental study so cause and effect can not be established; other studies have failed to show the link between Type A and CHD. Can you think of any others? JT Jan 09 17
  • 18. Type A & Type B Behaviour For each statement, circle the response that most applies to you. I am never late for appointments 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I am not a competitive person 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I listen to what people say without 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree interrupting I always feel rushed, especially 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree under pressure I can wait patiently for things 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree When I do a good job, I want others 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree to recognise it I walk and eat very fast 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I rarely talk about my feelings 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I am an ambitious person 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I am an easy-going person 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree Now add up the scores for each response you selected, to give you an overall Type A score. My score is _____________ Very Type B Very Type A ____________________.____________________.____________________ ! ! ! ! 0 10 20 30 Mark your score on the scale to see where your personality falls Aidan Sammons www.psychlotron.org.uk 5.3.09 JT Jan 09 18
  • 19. Hardiness For each statement, circle the response that most applies to you. I enjoy college and find it interesting 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree and satisfying I take an active interest in the 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree people around me I use my leisure time creatively 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I enjoy involvement with my family 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I welcome change and see it as an 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree opportunity I take decisive action to deal with 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree challenges I take care of my health 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I beliee I have control over my life 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree I see solutions to personal 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree problems My life has meaning and a purpose 3 strongly agree 2 agree 1 disagree 0 strongly disagree Now add up the scores for each response you selected, to give you an overall Hardiness score. My score is _____________ Score Analysis 0–9 LOW hardiness. You can be quite badly affected by stress and could benefit from reappraising how you manage stress. 10 - 20 MODERATE hardiness. You deal with stress fairly well, but there are areas where you could improve your approach. 21 - 30 HIGH hardiness. You are very good at dealing with stress and JT Jan 09 19
  • 20. run a very low risk of stress related illness Aidan Sammons www.psychlotron.org.uk 5.3.09 Johansson et al (1978) Sources of stress – workplace Aims To investigate whether work stressors, such as repetitiveness, machine regulated pace of work and high levels of responsibility increases stress related physiological arousal and stress related illness. Procedures • High risk group – 14 finishers in a Swedish saw mill – their job was to finish off the wood, the last stage before the product went out to the consumer, the work was isolated, machine paced and highly skilled yet repetitive, the wage rate of the whole factory depended upon how good they did they did their job; • Finishers were compared with a low risk group of cleaners, work was varied, self paced and allowed more interaction with other works; • Levels of stress related hormones in the urine were tested on work days and rest days. • Records were kept on stress related illness and absenteeism. Findings • High risk group – secreted more stress hormone on work days than on stress days and were higher than the cleaners; • The finishers also showed significantly higher levels of stress related illness, such as headaches and sick days than the low risk group. Conclusions • A Combination of work stress, repetitiveness and responsibility leads to chronic physiological arousal, this in turns leads to stress related illnesses. • If employers want to reduce illness and absenteeism they need to find ways of reducing the stress – e.g. allowing the worker to control the machine. Commentary • Individual differences are not controlled in the study, some of the finishers may have been type A personalities for instance which would make them more susceptible to stress; • The study doesn’t identify which aspect of work is stressful; the repetitiveness, the isolation the lack of control? JT Jan 09 20
  • 21. Ways of coping with stress Emotion-focused and problem-focused methods of coping with stress Psychologists distinguish two broad types of coping strategies: problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping. The goal of both strategies is to control one’s stress level. In problem-focused coping, people try to short-circuit negative emotions by taking some action to modify, avoid, or minimize the threatening situation. They change their behavior to deal with the stressful situation. In emotion- focused coping, people try to directly moderate or eliminate unpleasant emotions. Examples of emotion-focused coping include rethinking the situation in a positive way, relaxation, denial, and wishful thinking. To understand these strategies, consider the example of a premed student in college who faces three difficult final examinations in a single week. She knows she must get top grades in order to have a chance at acceptance to medical school. This situation is a potential source of stress. To cope, she could organize a study group and master the course materials systematically (problem-focused coping). Or she could decide that she needs to relax and collect herself for an hour or so (emotion-focused coping) before proceeding with an action plan (problem-focused coping). She might also decide to watch television for hours on end to prevent having
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