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73 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are two names for a field linking psychology to medicine?
behavioral medicine and health psychology
What are the psychological words that we call "stress"?
Stress is the process by which we respond to our environment; a stressor is something inducing stress, and a stress reaction is how we respond.
What ancient philosopher was interested in stress?
Which psychologist did the first work on stress when?
Walter Cannon (1929)
What observation did Cannon make?
Emotions were aroused as epinephrine (adrenaline) is high, and subdued as norepinephrine (noradrenaline) is high, and stress causes epinephrine to be released.
What did Cannon label what the body does to respond to stress?
fight or flight
What does one's body do to respond to stress?
activates the sympathetic nervous system, which increases heart rate and respiration, diverts blood to skeletal muscles, and releases fat for the body to consume.
Which scientist expanded on Cannon's stress studies when?
Hans Selye (1936-76)
What are the two stress pathways?
release of adrenaline and of cortisol
How did Selye stumble upon his GAS?
He injected rats with hormone extract, but other liquids gave the same effect, and it occured to him that there was a general nonspecific reaction to these stressors.
What does GAS stand for?
general adaptation syndrome
How many phases does GAS have?
What is the first stage of GAS?
the alarm reaction, when the body mobilizes its resources
What is the second stage of GAS?
resistance, where your excitation levels remain high, and hormones are excreted
What is the third stage of GAS?
exhaustion, when you run out of resources, which can lead to illness or even death
What are the consequences of long-term stress?
a smaller hippocampus, so a loss of explicit memory, and overall physical deterioration
What are the three types of stressors?
catastrophes, significant life changes, and daily hassles
What is the first example of a catastrophe as a stressor?
LA 1994: Earthquake causes stress that led to 5 times more sudden-death heart attacks.
What is the second example of a catastrophe as a stressor?
Scottish police officers sent to patrol a disaster zone where a jet crashed saw 38% more short illnesses.
What is the third example of a catastrophe as a stressor?
Chernobyl, which rained down on Belarus, tripled stress-related illnesses for those that stayed and those that left.
What is the average increase in psychological disorders following a catastrophe, and who researched this when?
17%, as Anthony Rubonis and Leonard Bickman found in 1991
What did Baum and Fleming find when?
Three Mile Island produced stress symptoms, despite nothing actually happening (1993).
What did Williams and Berry find when?
Moving from one's homeland causes stress (1991).
What are the two ways psychologists study the effects of significant life changes on individuals?
They track individuals as case studies, or they interview people who get illnesses as to recent life changes.
What can alter which life changes affect us?
how we think about them, mainly positively not affecting us and negatively making it a stressor
How many people (and what research shows this) experience great stress each week?
60%, according to Harris 1987
What research points to everyday struggles as the main source of stress?
Kohn and Macdonald 1992, Lazarus 1990, and Ruffin 1993
What happened in Russia following the collapse of socialism?
divorce, murder, suicide, and stress-related illness went up, and life expectancy of Russian men went down almost 5 years.
Whose research looked at Russia between 1990 and 1993?
Holden 1996
What did Henry and Stephens (1977) find?
People who live a peaceful, monastic life have low risk of heart attack.
What causes burnout?
persistent hassles on a daily basis
What is burnout?
mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion
What are the effects of burnout?
fatigue, depression, and cynicism
What can alter which negatively-perceived life changes affect us?
whether we can control them or not: If we can, they don't affect us.
What did Laudenslager and Reite (1984) research?
They tested three rats, a control, a rat who had control over its shocks, and a rat who did not. Only the rat without control developed ulcers.
What research supports loss of control leading to illness?
Rodin 1986: Elderly home patients with little control decline and die sooner than those who have greater perceived control.
O'Neill 1993: Workers given control over their work environments have less stress.
What roles to optimism and pessimism play?
Optimists are less vulnerable to stress.
What research supports optimism reducing stress?
Michael Scheier and Charles Carver 1992: Student optimists had lower blood pressure. Everson et al 1996: Finnish pessimists had heart attacks and died more than twice as often in a 10 year span.
Why do loss of control and pessimism increase stress?
They lead to outpourings of stress hormones.
What are 6 behavioral factors that increase the likelihood of coronary heart disease?
smoking, obesity, high-fat diet, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
Who discovered the role stress plays in coronary heart disease when?
cardiologists Meyer Friedman, Ray Rosenman, and others
What is a Type A personality?
competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, and anger-prone
What is a Type B personality?
easygoing and relaxed
About what fraction of the population is Type B?
What did Friedman and Rosenman discover?
Type A personalities suffered 69% of heart attacks (of 257 men), and no pure Type B's had any.
Why are Type A personalities more prone to heart attacks?
They smoke more, sleep less, drink more caffeine, produce lots of hormones, which cause atherosclerosis.
What is atherosclerosis?
hardening of the arteries, due to the buildup of plaques
What causes problems, according to recent research, for Type A's?
negative emotions like anger and depression
What are psychologically caused physical symptoms called?
formerly psychosomatic, now psychophysiological
How does psychology cause physical illness?
The nervous and endocrine systems affect the immune system.
What is another name for white blood cells?
What are the two types of white blood cells and where are they derived from?
B lymphocytes, which develop in bone marrow, and T lymphocytes, which develop in the thymus
What are the two ways the immune system can mess up?
by responding too strongly, attacking its own cells, causing arthritis or allergies, or by responding too passively, allowing pathogens or cancer to spread
What happens to the immune system under stress?
It is weakened.
Why does stress weaken the immune system?
It diverts energy to muscles and the brain and away from the immune system.
What factors can increase susceptibility to cancer?
stress and negative emotions like depression
Can hope slow cancer?
Yes, as indicated by David Spiegel and others from the Stanford University Medical School.
What are four cautions about psychology influencing disease?
It can lead the ill to lose self-esteem or the healthy to blame the ill for their illness. Also, emotions do not create cancer or disease, and some susceptibility is inherited.
Can conditioning influence the immune system?
Yes, as Robert Ader and Nicholas Cohen found with sweetened water in rats.
Why does stress have negatives?
because it gives immediate help, allowing us to conquer our troubles
What four categories make up stress management?
aerobic exercise, biofeedback, relaxation, and social support
What is one experiment supporting the use of aerobic exercise in reducing stress?
Lisa McCann and David Holmes 1984: Exercise treatment reduces depression more than relaxation exercises, while doing nothing changed nothing.
Why does aerobic exercise alleviate stress?
It strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, increases production of norepinephrine, serotonin, and endorphins.
What are three studies that show exercise improves health?
Paffenbarger et al 1986: Over 16 years, Harvard alumni who exercised were found to live longer. Anderson and Jose 1987: Of 15k Control Data Corporation employees, exercisers spent only 3/4 hospital time spent by non-exercisers. Powell et al 1987: Active adults get 1/2 the heart attacks of inactive adults.
What is biofeedback?
"a system of recording, amplifying, and feeding back information about subtle physiological differences"
Does biofeedback work to reduce stress?
a bit; the initial claims were overblown, but it does work best for tension headaches
Who studied whether meditation can reduce stress?
cardiologist Herbert Benson
What study is powerful evidence in favor of meditation as helping health?
Alexander et al 1989: elderly home residents given meditation therapy survived 3 years, while 1/4 of the nonmeditators died.
What evidence supports the claim that changing life-styles can reduce recurrent heart attacks?
Meyer Friedman et al 1978-81: Heart attack victims given life-style modification advice had half as many heart attacks as those given traditional advice.
What role does humor play?
It causes laughter, which arouses us, massages our muscles, and relaxes us.
When do relationships cause the most stress?
in crowded conditions lacking privacy
Overall, does family cause stress or reduce stress?
It makes us happier and healthier.
Why can relationships help us to cope with stress?
They can bolster self-esteem, push us away from negative habits, reassure us, calm us, and let us talk about our feelings.