Lectures 2 - 2/24/11 Stressful Life Events Psychosomatic -...

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2/24/11 Stressful Life Events Psychosomatic - psychological stress causes physical illness o Voodoo death Small number of cases where people believed they were cursed and going to die, so they stop eating and drinking and they die of heart attack from dehydration Somatopsychic - physical illness causes psychological illness o Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) psychosis Temporary mental insult after the physical assault involved with this open heart surgery, because it is so overwhelming on the body Long tradition of psychosomatic research o 1st stage - stimulus based definitions of stress Case studies focused on situations assumed to stress everyone Everyone who experienced some stress was considered to be very stressed Air traffic controllers that tell pilots where to go so they do not crash, it is stressful due to the level of responsibility and overwork o 2/3 of them get ulcers by age 40 who drink coffee, smoke, have high BP o Collisionitis- anxiety, insomnia, depression just from the thought of causing a collision Tax accountant in the months leading up to April during tax time Unemployment o Increase in suicide. Homicide, mental illness Assembly line workers are stressed because they do not work at a pace they choose Telephone operators that must meet a quota are fired or loose pay Problem: not everybody in these situations experiences bad outcomes or illness Stimulus based definitions are not reliable because somple adapt well to stress o 2nd stage - response based definitions of stress
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1. "You are stressed because your blood pressure increased“ 2. General adaptation syndrome (GAS) - Hans Selye Studied rats and introduced them to stress and watch them: put them in cold water till they die Alarm o Adrenaline rush, blood is pumping, and you exert a large amount of energy Resistance o Things start breaking down, running out of energy, and cuts of blood to extremities to keep blood for vital organs Exhaustion o Body shuts down, major organs shut down These do not apply to the general life stress we experience daily 3. Many different responses to stress Physiological o Sweating when lying, heart beating fast, responding to loud sound Behavioral o New behaviors invented to respond to stress Cognitive o When someone has background/cognitive preparation to a stress prior to it, the response varies Emotional o Being told of an emotion they may feel prior to a stress Cooperation can break down when facing examples of the prisoners dilemma 4. Problem: these responses to stress don't correlate highly You cannot measure all of these things, can only focus on a few, which won’t work very well
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o 3rd stage - complex model that separates stimuli and responses Objective stress in physical or social environment Perceived stress Coping behavior Distress responses: physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral Personality Advantage: allows for various relations between stimulus and response, and can
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2011 for the course GENETICS 8383 taught by Professor Love during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Lectures 2 - 2/24/11 Stressful Life Events Psychosomatic -...

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