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stressandcoping - Psyc 001 Introduction to Psychology...

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1 Psyc 001 Introduction to Psychology Stress and Coping The Stress Response Stress : Physical and psychological reactions to demanding situations Stressors : The demanding or threatening situations that produce stress Understanding Stress Large individual variation in perceptions of and reactions to stress Sequence issues: is stress highest before, during or after an event? Measurement issues: should we look at self-report, behavior or physiological response?
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2 Hans Selye: General Adaptation Syndrome Involves the body's nonspecific response to stress People react to threats in three stages: Alarm: “Fight-or-flight” response; body energized Resistance: Body adjusts to cope with the threat Exhaustion: Energy depleted; body “gives up” Still influential, but modern research suggests that cognitive appraisal is important too Physical Consequences of Prolonged Stress Immune system response lowered Can be measured by counting the number of lymphocytes (white blood cells) Affects likelihood of contracting cold / flu viruses May affect cancer likelihood as well, but this link is controversial Cardiovascular system affected Increased blood pressure Increased cholesterol levels in the blood
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3 Is personality part of the link between stress and disease? Personality and heart disease: (Rosenman and Friedman) Type A Personality: Determined to achieve, sense of time urgency, irritable, respond to threat or challenge very quickly, and impatient with obstacles.
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