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Exam 1

by: Gabriela Saint-Louis
Gabriela Saint-Louis
GPA 3.04
Psychology of Stress and Coping

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Psychology of Stress and Coping
Study Guide
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This 13 page Study Guide was uploaded by Gabriela Saint-Louis on Friday October 30, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PSYC 3199 at George Washington University taught by Howie in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Stress and Coping in Psychlogy at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 10/30/15
Stress and Coping Exam 1 Study Guide Format Short essay questions on themes we discussed in class and as they appeared in the readings The following questions cover all the main themes from the rst ve weeks of class Questions from Class Why can checklist measures of stressful events be biased or inaccurate Dohrenwend problem of quotintracategory variabilityquot one person s divorce is another person s liberation Why not just ask people how bad it was Research on retrospective recall of events suggests three problems Memory of whether event occurred can be biased by current mood Perceived severity can also be biased by current mood Evaluation of quothow bad it wasquot is an appraisal that can change with time be affected by current mood and vary across personality style Interview methods attempt to measure how much threat there is in a particular event What contributes to the severity of threat Importance of goals that are threatened Lifethreatening situations are rated as very high threat Novelty Firsttime events are rated as more threatening Signi cant change in circumstance Example Parents separate and one parent moves far away reducing opportunity for ongoing contact Lack of resources for resolving situation and eliminating threat Example Loss of job when company leaves a community eliminating opportunities for local employment Duration how long does it last How do events and dif culties or adversities differ Holmes and Rahe Believed events themselves differ in magnitude Intra category variability problem one person s divorce is another person s liberation magnitude intensity or strength of stressor is clearly related to how it affects goals Individual variation because each person can have unique set of goals and social circumstances The meaning of the event or situation has a lot to say about individual I39ESpOIlSES What characterizes a quot ow experiencequot a state of high immersion or mental involvement in a process with accompanying sense of energy focus involvement and happiness in task intense focus on the present action and awareness merge re ective self consciousness is absent a sense of personal control eXperience of time is distorted activity is intrinsically rewarding What kinds of situations lead to ow experiences involvement in activity with clear goals and progress task has clear and immediate feedback allowing one to negotiate changing demands and adjust performance good balance between perceived challenges and perceived skills allowing confidence in success What evidence supports the idea that people can be inoculated against the effects of later stressors Stress Inoculation primates studies young monkeys 4 months old were removed from group and put in isolation one hour a week for 10 weeks later resulted in reduced HPA response to novel environments smaller cortisol response during weaning lower adrenocortical response during separation in adolescence less HPA response and faster recovery when restrained 8 years later better inhibitory control of response at 25 years Severe early stressors lead to permanent deficits in stress response system suggests repeated mild challenges are the key adults some virtual reality stress inoculation has some immediate positive effects for soldiers but few test of longterm effect yet adults moderate stress in early marriage related to better later adjustment after childbirth in those with good problem solving skills Early eXposure to stress may inoculate against future problems when facing stress but this probably depends on the severity of early exposure and ability to overcome it What is quotmeaningmakingquot and how could it lead to both positive and negative outcomes following a major life event perceptions of importance of the event or stressor severe events lead people to engage in reflection or meaningmaking global meaning enduring beliefs and valued goals situational meaning significance of a particular event or situation meaningmaking attempts are reported by most people facing highly stressful events positive bereaved HIV men search for meaning that led to more positive meaning associated with better physical health negative national sample of adults after 911 search for meaning related to more PTSD symptoms 0 In general meaningmaking and meaning made that Involve blame and negative evaluation lead to poorer outcomes and meaning making that Involve nonjudgmental re ection lead to more positive outcomes What are examples of primary and secondary appraisal and how do they differ Primary judgment Appraisal is anything at stake here and if so what harm or loss when the damage has already occurred threat when there is a possibility of damage in the future opportunity when there is a possibility for growth mastery or gain Goals at stake examples include Physical comfort and safety threat physical discomfort harm Social relationships threat loss of important other Achievement threat failure Selfworth threat humiliation loss of face Moral value threat blame by others sense of culpability Secondary Appraisal can i d anything about it is the outcome at all predictable is the outcome controllable locus of control can i control the outcome or is it controlled by forces external to me self efficacy do i have the personal capacity to bring about the desired outcome what actions would work to resolve to resolve threat Lazarus primary and secondary appraisal are different aspects of the same appraisal process What is a schema and how is it related to appraisal Schemas beliefs built on prior experience shape appraisal a mental structure of preconceived ideas way of organizing information about the world Can in uence attention more likely to notice things that fit into schema Schemas constrain attention to some parts of the external or internal environment shaping appraisal 0 Appraisals may in turn intensify attention creating a trap What are the differences between automatic and deliberate appraisal Appraisal is both deliberate and automatic Automatic associatives processing is quick effortless preconscious and relies on associations learned through repeated experience default mode Deliberate processing slower effortful conscious controlled more verbal intentional rulebased reasoning probably activated when expectations are violated involves both Associative processing Automatic quick effortless preconscious Relies on associations learned through repeated experience quotDefault modequot Re ective processing Deliberate slower effortful conscious controlled More verbal intentional rulebased reasoning Probably activated when expectations are violated What are some forms of distorted thinking that Beck emphasized in his cognitivebehavioral framework Schemas gt the WHAT of thinking Problems ofquotHOWquot of thinking all or nothing overgeneralizing disqualifying the positive jumping to conclusions emotional reasoning thinking because I feel this way what I think must be true magni cation and minimization making more important than what it is big deal or making it seem less important using shouldmust can make us feel guilty or already failed mental lter paying attention to only certain aspect What is rumination and how is it related to stress responses Rumination Constant recycling of negative thoughts about self and world the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one s distress and on its possible causes and consequences as opposed to its solutions similar to worry except rumination focuses on bad feelings and experiences from the past whereas worry is concerned with potential bad events in the future Negative focus Negative view of self More abstract focus on meanings and implications STRESS RESPONSE Rumination contributes to risk for depression anxiety high blood pressure insomnia heart disease How do positive and negative quotiterative thinkingquot differ Negative iterative thinking is the same as rumination the constant recycling of negative thoughts about self and world Characteristics negative focus negative view of self more abstract focus on meanings and implications Positive iterative thinking mulling over without negative frame It can contribute to anticipatory planning and adaptive behaviors that reduce threat Characteristics Can also have negative valence real or potential problem but high levels of optimism and positive selfbelief more concrete and detailoriented focus What is the difference between emotionfocused and problemfocused coping and why did this distinction prove to be overly simple Emotionfocused coping manage the associated emotions often associated with greater distress Problemfocused coping manage the stressor led to better emotional response Often too simple because changed by situation Problem focused was good for couples facing prostate cancer and dementia caregivers but NOT in people diagnosed with low grade brain tumors Emotion focused coping was associated with suicidal ideation in adult medical inpatients undergrad women and italian adolescents surviving a major earthquake and great anXiety or depression in couples facing prostate cancer and first nation adults in Canada What does it mean to de ne coping in terms of its function Coping involves a range of actions automatic and planned that carry out one or more functions changing or resolving a stressful condition altering the meaning of those conditions reducing discomfort Is it always better to cope actively with a situation Why or why not NO Active is assumed to help resolve stressor eX active job search was found to increase negative affect but there is little research on this problemfocused coping led to better emotional response such as less depression or anXiety Lin amp Leung 2010 study reviewed research suggesting active job search associated with increased negative affect problem contemporaneous correlation studies Findings from longitudinal study on are attempts to actively cope with the situation always positive contemporaneous effects Findings from John Weisz 1994 study on situations where active control may be counterproductive What is negative cognitive style and how does it affect emotion Negative Cognitive Style negative events are attributed to causes that are stable they can39t be changed global present across most of my life internal I am to blame for events are seen as leading to more negative events in the future meaning that I am awed in some way and are very important positive events are seen in the opposite way due to unstable temporary causes unlikely to lead to more positive events in the future Negative appraisals increase risk for depression in the face of negative life events How does attention differ in mildly threatening and highly threatening contexts and what might account for those differences we orient toward dangercues When general context is threatening people tend to avoid mild cues of danger The results of lab studies of attention proved that people are more likely to avoid attending to mild threat cues when general context is threatening Whygt could be adaptive in high threat situations attending to mild threats is a waste of resources in low threatening situations we have more leisure to attend to the minor things Ex if you are in a car on the highway and you notice you are running out of gas this is the highly threatening context you re going to ignore the spider in your car the spider being a mild cue of danger quot More threatening contexts can increase attentional avoidance of danger cues in humans who do not avoid cues in less threatening contexts ex Veterans exposed to trauma reminders Soldiers undergoing simulated combat How is scarcity likely to affect attention and how might this shape responses to stressful situations Scarcity appears to increase attention focus and engagement but depletes those resources can reduce cognitive capacity scarcity primes attention and cognitive activity which reduces available resources for other things Scarcity tends to make you focus MORE quotTunnelingquot Scarcity leads us to focus more on immediate challenges rather than longterm consequences quotPresent biasquot leads to overvaluing immediate bene ts at the expense of future bene ts end up borrowing resources and neglecting important tasks that are not as urgent Scarcity can reduce cognitive capacity What is the vigilance avoidance hypothesis and how does it reconcile con icting ndings about attention to or avoidance of threat The vigilance avoidance hypothesis assumes that anxious individuals initially attend to and subsequently avoid threatening stimuli socially anxious individuals experience increased anxiety when attending to a social threat resulting in subsequent threat avoidance to decrease anxiety believed to maintain social anxiety as it prevents habituation to threat Evidence in lab studies orientation toward threat tends to be found early looms avoidance tends to show a bit later 5001500 ms Matthews 1990 Attention bias follows time course elevated anxiety results in involuntary automatic response to orient toward threat followed quickly by attentional avoidance How effective is thought suppression The White Bear Story try to pose for yourself this task not to think of a polar bear and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minutequot Dostevesky Paradoxical effects of thought suppression Daniel Wegner social psychologist who tested the bear theory results of study proved Dostevesky was right the more you try to suppress a thought the more it continues to return strategies and factors that make it worse unfocused self distraction mental load or stress so I guess thought suppression can be effective depending on the methods you use to suppress it What strategies appear to help with unwanted thoughts focused self distraction ex when a white bear comes to mind think of a red volkswagen reducing demands or cognitive load writing about the thought expression reduces intrusiveness writing or journaling about a stressful situation can have positive effects ACT acceptance reduces aversive nature of unwanted self thoughts What is attention bias modi cation and is there evidence that it works for everyone ABM Attention Bias Modi cation ABM suggests that we can do something about this biased attention gttrain people to have biased attention to positive things Problem biased attention to negative stimuli possible protective mechanism Biased attention to positive stimuli EVIDENCE Elaine Fox and Colleagues 2011 strati ed random assignment based on genetic prescreening to ABM for positive bias and ABM for negative bias Training shows impact but that differs depending on serotonin transporter gene How might relaxation or meditation training change a person s response to stressful situations Meditation and relaxation can be useful for stress reduction TM Transcendental Meditation evidence for reduction in biological indexes of stress response MBSR Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction emphasizes intention to refrain from evaluation and selfjudgment and to observe nonjudgmentally when these occur What evidence did Lazarus provide supporting the idea that appraisals come before emotion Suggested evidence appraisals precede and elicit emotions manipulate appraisals and test emotional response Eg Roseman 1990 Read stories that include info about motivations causal agency legitimacy of behavior by protagonists had respondents describe emotional state of protagonist emotional ratings were in uenced by appraisalrelevant info Manipulate speci c information and see if this predicts speci c emotions Roseman Spindel ampJose 1990 asked people to remember situations where they had felt speci c emotions then describe what happened in the situation to elicit those emotions Found substantial match between type of appraisal type of emotion rated those circumstances according to dimensions of appraisal What evidence did Zajonc provide supporting the idea that emotional reactions come before appraisals Murphy amp Zajonc 1993 test whether quotsuboptimal primingquot too fast for consciousness alters conscious judgments of liking had people later rate preference for ideographs effects only for fast prime suggesting unconscious priming of liking tht then shapes judgment both Lazarus s and 2 s evidence are correct in different circumstances Z s view is congruent with implicit attitude research focusing primarily on violence L s view better accounts for the more complex experiences surrounding speci c appraisals and speci c emotions What is the likely phylogenetic progression in the evolution of emotions From simpler to more complex simpe preference pleasant vs unpleasant gt basic emotions gt social emotions pride shame jealousy embarrassment gt complex mixes that may be more culturespeci c Describe the basic assumptions of trait theories of personality and contrast them with the view of Mischel and Shoda Personality Traits quotviewed as broad dimensions of individual differences between people accounting for interindividual consistency and continuity in behavior thought and feeling across situations and over timequot The ve factor model Openness Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness and Neuroticism Shoda Looked at verbal aggression Children often varied greatly over contextBut many were very consistent over time within those contexts What is the stress generation hypothesis and how does it differ from stress reactivity Stress generation hvpothesis suggests that some individuals because of personality characteristics or behaviors such as their being depressed generate stressful circumstances and additional events from themselves and these can then advance further increases in depression In other words they actively contribute to stress in their lives How it differs from stress reactivity What is a diathesis and what evidence would be necessary to determine that a personality trait operates as a diathesis Diathesis an underlying vulnerability that is apparent only in the face of a quotprovoking agentquot Presence Diathesis is present even when there are no symptoms Reactivity people with the diathesis will show symptoms following stress those without the diathesis will not mechanism people with the diathesis will show different immediate response to stress compared to those without and those responses will contribute to symptoms What is the evidence that neuroticism involves a general style of stress response People do score high on neuroticism scales even when they are showing no symptoms of depression or anxiety What do we mean by the term quotgeneenvironment interactionquot This refers to the idea that exposure to stressor have different effects for people with different gene variants GxE is when two different genotypes respond to environmental variation in different ways What would a eld study need to show in order to provide evidence for geneenvironment interaction prove that after exposure to the same stressors groups of people with different gene variants experienced different effects Follow a large sample of people over time Assess who is exposed to major stressful events show whether reactions differ for those people with different polymorphisms Why might the serotonin transporter gene operate as both a quotvulnerability genequot and a quotprotective genequot polymorphism can increase vulnerability or protect against it depending on other factors such as secure attachment and social support as a quotvulnerability gene and protective gene dysfunction is implicated in many psychiatric disorders correlation between serotiningene polymorphism and some common mental disorders like affective disorders PTSD OCD suicide autism and other anxiety and personality disorders proper functioning can protect from those issues listed above lab studies evidence for serotonin transporter gene associated with stress response to immediate challenge including cortisol reactivity negative attention bias fear extinction amygdala response In what ways can stressors physically modify genes Telomeres caps at the end of chromosomes that protect from deterioration they shorten with age and this is associated with disease risk stressors may contribute to degradation of teomeres ex study telomere length associated with exposure to racial discrimination in AA men Questions from the readings Rutter and Sandberg what are the likely mechanisms through which exposure to stressors can lead to psychopathology poverty and child and adolescent internalizing andor externalizing symptoms or between poverty and parenting or between parenting and child and adolescent internalizing andor externalizing symptoms lasting adverse alterations in life circumstances cognitive threat the notion of challenge acute severely unpleasant events likely to cause fear Abuhamdeh et al How are the ndings on outcome uncertainty competence and suspense consistent with the theory of ow The possibility that outcome uncertainty andor suspense may contribute to enjoyment is not addressed in flow theory flow theory emphasizes the importance of optimal challenges challenges that are matched with skills for enjoyment one reason why optimal challenges promote enjoyment they promote suspense An optimally challenging game of tennis implies a close match with high outcome uncertainty and therefore high suspense Incorporating the concepts of outcome uncertainty and suspense into flow theory would help account for the more proximal processes which presumably underlie the enjoyment of optimal challenges and may also increase the theory s explanatory scope by allowing it to more effectively address the enjoyment of goaldirected activities which lack clear challenges and skills eg many forms of gambling Sapolsky chapter 13 predictability and control can reduce the effects of a stressor but not always What limits these effects Control If you believe you have control over stressors that are in fact beyond your control you may consider it somehow to be your fault that the inevitable occurred Also different levels of control combined effects dependent on context Predictabilitv predictability doesn t always help Predictability of a stressor in absence of warning warning less effective for very rare stressors and frequent ones information either just before or long before the stressor does little good in alleviating the psychological anticipationsometimes it can even increase the anticipatory stressor Compas This paper reviews research on primary control secondary control and passive forms of coping How do each of these in uence successful adaptation to chronic illness in children and adolescents Primary Control active coping efforts to act on the source of stress or one s emotions Secondary Control accommodative coping efforts to adapt to source of stress Disengagement passive coping efforts to avoid or deny the stressor Evidence suggests the ef cacy of secondary control coping in successful adaptation to chronic illness in children and adolescents Disengagement coping is associated with poorer adjustment Findings for primary control coping are mixed Shah Mullainathan amp Sha r How do they explain the quotpuzzles of povertyquot such as over borrowing 1 Circumstances of poverty such as education health living conditions political representation and numerous demographic and geographic variables poor lie in environments that promote these behaviors 2 Personality traits of poor Resource scarcity creates its own mindset changing how people look at problems and make decisions gt having less elicits greater focus gt scarcity leads people to neglect future rounds and borrow way from them overall the studies provide support for the notion that scarcity elicits greater engagement and that a focus on some problems leads to neglect of others manifesting in behaviors such as overborrowing alternatively poorer people facing severe constraints Lazarus What does Lazarus mean by quotcore relational themequot Compare these themes from two types of emotion Hint he takes a very interpersonal view of emotions here he suggests that speci c emotions result from core appraisals of the relationship between self and situation they re ect organized patterns of appraisal and emotional response that shape attempts at adaptive behavior Emotion Appraisal Theme Anxiety I face uncertain existential threat Fright I face an immediate concrete overwhelming physical danger Anger The situation presents a demeaning offense against me and mine Shame In this situation I have failed to live up to my ideals Guilt In this situation I have transgressed a moral imperative Bolger amp Zuckerman What evidence do BampZ provide for the exposure hypothesis and for the reactivity hypothesis Results showed that high neuroticism participants had greater exposure and reactivity to conflicts And high and low neuroticism participants differed both in their choice of coping efforts and in the effectiveness of those efforts Brody Yu amp Beach What effect did the DRD4 gene have on the impact of the Adults in the Making program on later adolescent drug use Adolescents living in highrisk families who carried at least one DRD4 long allele and were assigned to the control condition evidenced greater increases in drug use over time than did a adolescents who lived in highrisk families carried the DRD4 long allele and were assigned to AIM or b adolescents assigned to either condition who carried no DRD4 long alleles


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