Chapter 12 Notes
Chapter 12 Notes PSYC 202
Christopher Newport University
Popular in Investigating the Social Context of Behavior and Cognition
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Date Created: 09/27/16
Chapter 12: Health I) Health Psychology Health psychologythe application of psychology to the promotion of physical health and physical and the prevention and treatment of illness Although not always the case, social psychological principles are now involved in health issues Modification of lifestyle, outlook, and behavior can lessen the risk of things like heart disease, cancer, stroke, AIDS, etc… II) Stages of Change Model Precontemplation o Not yet ready to change and may not be aware there is a problem Contemplation o Acknowledge problem but not yet ready to change Preparation/Determination o Preparing to take action Action/Willpower o Commit to making change and enacting a plan Maintenance o Successful with behavior change over time III) Stress Stressthe whole process by which we appraise and respond to events that threaten or challenge us An unpleasant state of arousal that arises when we when we perceive that the demands of an event threaten our ability to cope effectively Subjective appraisal of the situation determines: o How we experience the stress o What coping strategies we use Eustressthe effect of positive events or the optimal amount of stress that people need to promote health and wellbeing Distressthe effect of unpleasant and undesirable stressors Major types of stressors o Catastrophes Unpredictable, large scale events (natural disasters) o Cataclysmic events Suddenly, without warning (911) o Significant life changes o Daily hassles Selye (1976): Stress and the Body o General Adaptation Stress Model 1) Alarm Reaction Alarm reaction caused by a sudden activation of your sympathetic nervous system Mobilizes energy in stressful situations o So your body recognizes danger and mobilizes for a “fight or flight” situation o System is activated but since you are in a temporary shock, your resistance drops below normal (usually minor and short term 2) Resistance Your body responds to the challenge with an outpouring of stress hormones causing your temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration to all remain high Everything is in full force to help you cope with the stressors As body defenses stabilize, the symptoms of alarm seem to disappear The adjustment to stress and the outward appearance of normality are maintained at high cost o The body is more able to cope with the original stress o However, its resistance to any other stress is lowered 3) Exhaustion During this phase, the individual reservoir of resources is becoming depleted The person is especially vulnerable to diseases and in extreme cases, collapse and death because the immune system is being challenged by the longterm stress Stress and blood pressure: Evans (1979) o Compared 10 groups of people o Some were in rooms 20x30 feet and some were in rooms 8x12 feet (smaller rooms causing stress) o Resultspeople packed into small rooms had higher pulse rates and blood pressure Stress and the immune system o Stress compromises the body’s immune system o Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)a subfield of psychology that examines the links among psychological factors, the brain and nervous system, and the immune system o Cancerstress increases malfunction of natural killer cell NK cellresponsible for suppressing viruses and destroying tumor cells o The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against invading substances and microorganism o Socials support and other stressmediating factors can help sustain one’s immune system Social support may prevent illness by providing an outlet for the person under stress Effects of severe stress o Occurs when demands are too intense for our coping techniques (or if we perceive them to be too intense) Lowering of adaptive efficiency “wear and tear” Stress and the Common Cold: Cohen (1993) o Participants supplied information about three things: Numbers of negative life events they had experienced in the last 12 months Perceived stress (by questionnaire) Negative emotions (rating 15 emotions they felt in the past week) o The volunteers were then exposed to common cold viruses, and two outcomes were examined Infectiondetection of the virus or a significant rise of levels of virusspecific antibodies in nasal samples 26 days after exposure Clinical coldsa clinician’s judgement of cold severity based on symptom checklists, body temperature, and numbers of tissues used per day o Overall, 82% became infected and 46% developed colds o Important findings: High stress participants53% developed colds Low stress participants40% developed colds o Perceived stress and negative affect were associated with infection o Stressful life events were associated with development of clinical colds, given infection IV) PostTraumatic Stress Disorder Up to 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one major trauma in their lives Examples: o Serious accident/natural disaster o Rape/assault o Combat exposure o Child abuse (sexual/physical) or neglect o Hostage/imprisonment/torture o Sudden unexpected death of a loved one 5 factors are necessary for diagnosis o Patient must have experienced or witnessed an extreme disaster o Reexperiencing of the traumatic event o Avoidance and emotional numbing o Increased arousal o Set of symptoms that have lasted at least one month V) Significant Life Changes Change itself may cause stress by forcing us to adapt to new circumstances o Different types of change may or may not be harmful No support that positive “stressors” are as harmful as negative ones Impact of change depends on person and how change is interpreted VI) The Hassles of Everyday Life Most common source of stress arises from the daily hassles that irritate us (such as environmental factors) Microstressors place a constant strain on us o The accumulation of daily hassles contributes more to illness than do major life events Top 10 daily stressors o Concern about weight o Health of a family member o Rising prices o Home maintenance o Too many things to do o Misplacing or losing things o Yard work, or outside home maintenance o Property, investments, or taxes o Crime o Physical appearance Stress and noise o Research indicates that living in a busy city, near a highway, airport, etc… can have detrimental effects Everyday sources of stress o Pressurethe psychological experienced produced by urgent demands or expectations for a person’s behavior that come from an outside source o Uncontrollabilitythe degree of control that the person has over a particular event or situation The less control a person has, the greater the degree of stress o Frustrationthe psychological experience produced by the blocking of a desired goal or fulfillment of a perceived need o Possible reactions to frustration Aggressionactions meant to harm or destroy Displaced aggressiontaking out one’s frustrations on some less threatening or more available target (a form of displacement) Escape or withdrawalleaving the presence of stressor (either literally or by a psychological withdrawal into fantasy, drug abuse, or apathy) V) Conflict Conflictpsychological experience of being pulled toward or drawn to two or more desires or goals, only one of which may be attained Approach/approach conflicta person must choose between two desirable goals Avoidance/avoidancea person must choose between two undesirable goals Approach/avoidancea person must choose or not choose a goal that has both positive and negative aspects Double approach/avoidancea person must decide between two goals, each possessing both positive and negative aspects VI) Personality Types Type A Behavior Pattern o Characterized by extremes of competitive striving for achievement, a sense of time, urgency, hostility, and aggression o A risk factor for coronary heart disease o Hostility appears to be the main toxic ingredient in CHD Type B Behavior Pattern o This person has an easiergoing lifestyle o Less competitive o More understanding and forgiving o Enjoy leisure and weekends more Some differences o The most important difference is that type A men are – times more likely to suffer angina, heart attacks, or sudden death than type B men o Type A smoke more, sleep less, drink more coffee, walk faster, work later, drink less milk VII) Why are Hostility and CHD linked Cardiovascular system becomes overworked Hostile people are less health conscious Hostile people are physiologically reactive o In tense social situations they exhibit more intense cardiovascular reactions VIII) Social Support Quality of social support can influence one’s ability to cope with stress o Those who have close relationships with friends, relatives, religious organizations, etc… usually benefit and can be helped through a tough time o This type of support is crucial for trauma victims (PTSD) Simple social contact model o How many social contacts dos a person have o Intimacy modelDoes the person have a close relationship with a significant other o Perceived availabilityDoes the person believe that ample support is available when needed Religious connection o Religion provides an important source of social and emotional support for many (only 1520% of people have no religious affiliation) o There appears to be a link between religiosity and health Religious individuals tend to outlive their nonreligious counterparts Treatment: the “social” ingredients o All healers provide social support o All therapies offer a ray of hope All therapies communicate and instill positive expectations o Patients can make meaningful choices about the treatment Having too much support or the wrong kind can be as bad as not having enough IX) Attributional and Explanatory Styles Sellgman (1975) o Depression results from learned helplessness Abramson et al. (1989) o Depression is a state of hopelessness brought on by the negative self attributions people make for failure o Depressive explanatory style X) Optimism and Hope Optimismgeneralized tendency to expect positive outcomes o Characterized by a nondepressive explanatory style Health can spring from optimism as evident by the placebo effect Pollyanna’s health o Positive thinking cannot guarantee good health Victims of illness do not just have a bad attitude o Limits of positive thinking Especially if it leads us to see ourselves and events in ways that are not realistic Perception of Control o The expectation that our behaviors can produce satisfying outcomes o Selfefficacyfeelings of competence A state of mind that varies from one specific task and situation to another Becoming more optimistic o When a bad mood strikes, stop and think about what just went through your head o When you’ve recognized the negative statements, treat them as if they came from someone elsesomeone who is trying to make your life miserable Think about the damage the statement is doing to you o Argue with those thoughts XI) Coping strategies Problem focused coping oIn dealing with essential tasks, it is better to confront and control than to avoid oAssessmentidentify the sources and effects of stress oGoal settinglist the stressors and stress responses to be addressed (designate which stressors are and are not changeable) oPlanninglist specific steps to be taken to cope with stress oActionimplement coping plans oEvaluationdetermine the changes in stressors and stress responses that have occurred as a result of coping methods oAdjustmentalter coping methods to improve results if necessary oNegatives: Can be physiologically taxing Can lead to development of an overcontrolling, stressinducing Type A pattern of behavior Emotion focused coping oOne way to react to stress is by shutting down and trying to deny or suppress the unpleasant thoughts and feelings oDistraction van be and adaptive form of avoidance coping oConcealing one’s innermost thoughts and feelings can be physiologically taxing oIronic processes: Wegner (1994) The more you try not to think about something, the harder it is to not oTwo aspects to opening up as an emotional means for coping with stress One must acknowledge and understand one’s emotional reactions to important events One must express those inner feelings to themselves and others oOpening up could be helpful Catharsis Helps to gain insight to problem Proactive coping oThe helpful coping resources provided by friends and others Has therapeutic effects on psychological and physical health oSocial support and contact related to longevity oBeing popular: Hamrick, Cohen, and Rodriguez (2002) For those under low stress, social connections didn’t matter For those under high stress it did XII) AdaptationLevel Phenomenon Adaptationlevel phenomenontendency to judge various stimuli relative to those we have previously experienced Whatever it is that’s going on in our life, we immediately adapt to it and then that becomes neutral What once gave pleasure loses its effect XIII) Stress and Social Factors Acculturative stressresults from the need to change and adapt to the majority culture Four methods of acculturation o Integrationmaintaining a sense of original culture while forming positive relationship with majority culture o Assimilationgiving up original cultural identity and adopting majority culture o Separationrejecting the majority culture’s ways o Marginalizationmaintaining no ties with original or majority cultures
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