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1. Stress <ul><li>Why are Psychologists likely to be interested in stress? </li></ul><ul><li>Is stress Psychological or Biological?…
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  • 1. Stress <ul><li>Why are Psychologists likely to be interested in stress? </li></ul><ul><li>Is stress Psychological or Biological? </li></ul><ul><li>What stresses you?! </li></ul>Objective to be able to describe the body’s response to stress.
  • 2. Gimme Five ! <ul><li>Demand characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Field Study </li></ul><ul><li>Presumptive Consent </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritarian personality </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Variable </li></ul>
  • 3. Key Definitions <ul><li>Stress – Biological and Psychological Response to a perceived threat which we feel is beyond our coping abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Stressor – internal or external factor that is perceived as threatening and that has the potential to cause a stress response. </li></ul>
  • 4. Physiological Stress Response <ul><li>Sudden and severe stress generally produces: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase in heart rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alterations in digestive activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skin becomes pale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sweating increases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muscular tremors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evolutionary basis – fight or flight </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptive </li></ul>
  • 5. Types of stress and responses <ul><li>Acute v Chronic stress </li></ul><ul><li>The physiological responses are different for each stressor. </li></ul><ul><li>The Autonomic Nervous System is not under voluntary control (unlike Central Nervous System) </li></ul>
  • 6. <ul><li>ANS consists of two antagonistic halves: </li></ul><ul><li>Sympathetic pathway – Activated during high arousal. The system is organised along the spinal cord and means that generally all aspects of the system occur together. </li></ul><ul><li>Parasympathetic pathway – Activated during relaxation – Aspects of this system are often activated independently </li></ul>
  • 7. Acute Stress <ul><li>Brain detects stressor </li></ul><ul><li>Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is activated. </li></ul><ul><li>Glucose is released from the liver to provide energy and breathing rate increases. </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothalamus – controls the sympatheticomedullary pathway (SMP) {literally the link between the SNS and the Adrenal Medulla} which is responsible for the secretion of key hormones e.g. adrenaline and cortisol. </li></ul>
  • 8. <ul><li>The adrenal medulla + adrenal cortex make up a small gland above the kidney called adrenal medulla. </li></ul><ul><li>Neurons of SNS travel to medulla, activating secretion of adrenaline as required. </li></ul><ul><li>Adrenaline’s release into the blood stream prepares body for flight or fight e.g. rapid pulse and heart rate etc. Result is suppression of non essential functions & readiness of resources. </li></ul>
  • 9. <ul><li>Pituitary adrenal – system (CHRONIC) </li></ul>Perception of stress Cortisol production Corticotrophin releasing hormone Adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • 10. Chronic stress – Pituitary-adrenal system <ul><li>Activated by either emotional or physical stress </li></ul><ul><li>Activation of hypothalamus leads to production of Corticotrophin releasing Factor (CRF) into blood </li></ul><ul><li>CRF activates production and release of ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone). </li></ul><ul><li>ACTH acts on adrenal glands and cortisol is released from adrenal cortex. </li></ul><ul><li>Negative feedback loop – cortisol levels monitored and controlled through sensitivity of hyp and Pituatary gland – which reduce CRF and ACTH to normalise levels. </li></ul>
  • 11. Summary <ul><li>Stress = combination of physiological and psychological </li></ul><ul><li>Different systems depending on whether acute or chronic stressor. </li></ul><ul><li>System controlled by SNS, hypothalamus, glands and hormones. </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptive response </li></ul><ul><li>SMP – acute stress </li></ul><ul><li>PAS – chronic stress </li></ul>
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