16 Psy 101

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  1. Stressors
    Specific events or chronic pressures that place demands on a person or threaten the person's well-being
  2. Stress
    The physical and psychological response to internal or external stressors
  3. Health psychology
    The subfield of psychology concerned with ways psychological factors influence the causes and treatment of physical illness and the maintenance of health
  4. Chronic stressors
    Sources of stress that occur continuously or repeatedly
  5. Example of environmental factors that cause chronic stress
    Living near an airport
  6. What makes evens most stressful?
    When there is nothing you can do about it. People want to be in control of what happens to them.
  7. Events that place specific demands on a person or threaten well being are
  8. Sources of stress include
    • Major life events (even happy ones)
    • Catastrophic events
    • Chronic hassles
  9. How does the body react to a fight or flight situation?
    • Brain activation in the hypothalamus
    • Stimulating pituitary gland to release the hormone ACTH which travels through the blood to the adrenal glands.
    • Adrenal glands release cortisol and catecholamine
    • Sympathetic nervous system activiation
  10. What are the three phases of GAS?
    • Alarm: Body rapidly metabolizes resources to respond to the threat
    • Resistance: Body adapts to its high state of arousal as it tries to coup with the stressor
    • Exhaustion: If GAS occurs long enough the body's resistance collapses
  11. Fight or flight response
    An emotional and physiological reaction to an emergency that increases readiness for action
  12. General adaptation syndrome (GAS)
    A three stage physiological response that appears regardless of the stressors that is encountered
  13. What does telomerase do for us?
    • It does its best to re-cap our chromosomes with telomeres.
    • Ultimately it cannot keep up at a sufficient pace and over time the cells lose their ability to divide causing aging and in the end cell death
  14. How does stress affect the immune system?
    Stressors can cause hormones known as glucocorticoids to flood the brain  which can wear down the immune system and make it less able to fight invaders
  15. Telomeres
    Caps at the end of each chromosome that protect the ends of chromosomes and prevent them from sticking to each other
  16. Telomerase
    An enzyme that rebuilds telomeres at the tips of chromosomes
  17. Immune system
    A complex response system that protects the body from bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances
  18. Lymphocytes
    White blood cells that produce antibodies that fight infection, including T cells and B cells
  19. How does chronic stress increase the chance of a heart attack?
    The sympathetic nervous system causes blood pressure to go up and stay up, therefore gradually damaging the blood vessels
  20. What causal factor most predicts heart attacks?
    Hostility, particularly in men.
  21. What is the difference between a threat and a challenge?
    A threat is a stressors you think you cannot control, a challenge is a stressor you think you can control.
  22. Type A behavior
    The tendency toward easily aroused hostility, impatience, a sense of time urgency and competitive achievement strivings
  23. Burnout
    A state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion created by long term involvement in an emotionally demanding situation and accompanied by lowered performance and motivation
  24. Why is burnout a problem especially in helping professions?
    Using work to define you or being in especially emotionally charged work is diffifult
  25. Response to stress varies if
    It's interpreted as something that can be overcome or not
  26. What can lead to a burn out?
    Psychological response to stress
  27. Chronic stress can wear down the immune system
    This causes susceptibility to infection, aging, tumor growth, organ damage and death
  28. The general adaptation syndrome (GAS) outlines
    Three phases of stress response that occur regardless of the type of stressors: alarm, resistance, exhaustion
  29. When is it useful to avoid stressful thoughts and when is avoidance a problem?
    • Useful: When things could be a trigger and make daily functioning difficult
    • Problem: When avoiding it takes over your life and it makes daily functioning difficult
  30. Repressive coping
    Avoiding situations or thoughts that are reminders of a stressors and maintaining an artificially positive viewpoint
  31. Rational coping
    Facing a stressors and working to overcome it
  32. What are the three steps in rational coping?
    • Acceptance: Coming to recognize that the stressors exists and cannot be wished away
    • Exposure: Attending to the stressor, thinking about it and even seeking it out
    • Understanding: Working to find the meaning of the stressors in your life
  33. How has writing about stressful events been show to be helpful?
    It allows people to reframe the event, as well as think and write about it with a control over it.
  34. Reframing
    Finding a new or creative way to think about a stressors that reduces its threat
  35. Stress inoculation training (SIT)
    A reframing technique that helps people to cope with stressful situations by developing positive ways to think about the situation
  36. Meditation
    The practice of intentional contemplation
  37. What are some positive outcomes of meditation?
    • It's restful as well as focuses on attention
    • Improved connectivity between parts of the brain involved in conflict monitoring and cognitive and emotional control
  38. Relaxation therapy
    A technique for reducing tension by consciously relaxing muscles or the body
  39. Relaxation response
    A condition of reduced muscle tension, cervical activity, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure
  40. Biofeedback
    The use of an external monitoring device to obtain information about a bodily function and possibly gain control over that function
  41. How does biofeedback work?
    • EEG readings
    • Brain waves
  42. What are the benefits of exercise?
    • Reduction in depression
    • Physical and mental health benefits for schizophrenia sufferers
    • Increased physical and mental health
  43. Social support
    The aid gained through interacting with others
  44. Why is the hormone oxytocin a heath advantage for women?
    • Its a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in pregnancy/nursing.
    • In the presence of estrogen it can trigger social responses: a tendency to seek out social contacts, nurture others and create and maintain cooperative groups
  45. Why are religiosity and spirituality associated with health benefits?
    • Could be a number of things
    • Social group strengthening
    • Religious health recommendations
    • Prayer could have benefits like meditation but that needs to be studied
  46. How does humor mitigate stress?
    • Humor can reduce sensitivity to pain and distress
    • Humor can reduce the amount of time needed to recover from a stressful situation
    • Evidence suggests humor is just a short term fix
  47. THe management of stress involves
    Strategies for influencing the mind, body and situation
  48. Body management strategies involve
    • Attempting to reduce stress symptoms through
    • Meditation
    • Relaxation
    • biofeedback
    • Aerobic exercise
  49. Overcoming stress by managing your situation can involve
    Seeking out social support engaging in religious experiences or attempting to find humor in stressful events
  50. What is the benefit of the sickness response?
    • Misery is a part of the sickness response.
    • It is more likely to keep you home, away from people you could infect and preserving energy
  51. What is the relationship between pain and activity in the brain?
    • People who complained more in a study testing the brain's reaction to pain and a person's reported tolerance showed more activation in the anterior consulate cortex, somatosensory cortex and prefrontal cortex which are all areas known to respond to painful body stimulation.
    • This suggests that even though people report differently on their levels of pain they can in fact report accurately on their pain levels
  52. Psychosomatic illness
    An interaction between mind and body that can produce illness
  53. Somatic symptom disorders
    The set of psychological disorders in which a person with at least one bodily symptom displays significant health related anxiety, expresses disproportionate concerns about their symptoms and devotes excessive time and energy to their symptoms or health concerns
  54. Sick role
    A socially recognized set of rights and obligations linked with illness
  55. How can hypersensitivity to symptoms undermine health?
    The mind and the body influence each other, so being overly sensitive in a psychological or physical way can negatively affect both of them too much
  56. What benefits might come from being ill?
    • Malingering: To fake symptoms to achieve something they want
    • There is the ability to rest, excuses from doing something you don't want to or being helped by others.
  57. Why is it important that a physician express empathy?
    A substantial percentage of patients who seek medical care do so for treatment of psychological and emotional problems.
  58. The psychology of illness concerns how sensitivity to the body leads people to
    Recognize illness and seek treatment
  59. Somatic symptom disorders can
    Stem from excessive sensitivity to physical problems
  60. Some people fake illness in order to
    Get the sick role and gain sick rights
  61. Successful health care providers
    Interact with their patients to understand both the physical state and psychological state
  62. Who's healthier, the optimist or the pessimist? Why?
    Positive emotions are better for healing when sick and preventing getting sick. It helps with physical health because they tend to partake in healthier things like exercise and eating well
  63. Self regulation
    The exercise of voluntary control over the self to bring the self into line with preferred standards
  64. Why is it difficult to achieve and maintain self control?
    Because self regulation requires inner strength and discipline and it might be able to become fatigued.
  65. Why does planning ahead reduce sexual risk taking?
    Because unprotected sex is often the result of impulse control issues and planning ahead means you're more likely to protect yourself.
  66. To quit smoking forever how many times do you need to quit?
    Only one more time than you start up
  67. The connection between mind and boy can be revealed through
    The influences of personality and self -regulation of behavior on health
  68. The personality traits of optimism and hardiness are associated with
    Reduced risk for illnesses, perhaps because people with these traits can fend off stress
  69. The self regulation of behaviors such as eating, sexuality and smoking is difficult for many people because
    Self regulation is easily disrupted by stress; strategies for maintaining self control can pay off with significant improvements in health and quality of life
Card Set
16 Psy 101
Notes from pages 549-580 and class
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