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10- Stress and Health Class Notes

10- Stress and Health Class Notes - From Personality to...

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From Personality to Stress “Stress-reactivity” is an individual difference factor, a predisposing “Trait” Salye said- “The absence of stress is death” Stressor- A stimulus event that produces a stress response Stress- the non-specific responses of organisms to any pressure some people may be more disposed to perceive events as hassles some people are more disposed to experience major stressful events Three examples: 1) optimism The trait of “optimism” is associated with the following empirical findings: Less illness symptoms in college and beyond More active approach to stress and problem solving- follow through on things Higher levels of academic success and performance More likely to complete treatment programs for alcoholism More likely to make quick, full recovery from coronary bypass surgery Immune system functioning of optimists is higher Optimists respond to stressors with smaller increases in blood pressure Cardiac patients with minimal optimism (higher “hopelessness”) have higher rates of new heart attacks and are twice as likely to die than persons with low hopelessness (as seen in next figure). Major Event in a type A person o Stress Unhealthy behaviors & Physiological response Hearth problems 2) Self-Efficacy (Albert Bandura) Definition: “I can control my life and my environment. Determine how
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people feel, think, behave, and motivate. You completed the “Generalized Self Efficacy Scale”: 10 items with Response Format: 1 = Not at all true 2 = Hardly true 3 = Moderately true 4 = Exactly true 3) Hardiness e.g., “hardiness” is a trait of people who demonstrate: o commitment (sense of purpose/involvement with work and family) o challenge (openness to new experiences and desire to embrace them) o control (belief that one has power to influence important future outcomes—high “self-efficacy” and low “learned helplessness”) Appraisal of Challenge and Control: hardy people experience less stressful hassle. Hardy people also respond to threat and challenge with less physiological stress Optimism, Self-Efficacy, and Hardiness reflect Low Stress-Reactivity Pessimistic, Low Self-Efficacy, Low Hardiness, and Highly Neurotic and Disagreeable persons have higher Stress-Reactivity High Stress-reactivity is correlated with diverse symptoms of psychopathology, mental disorder, personal distress, and reduced physical health
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What is “Stress”? Hans Selye distinguished “Stressors” From “Stress” Selye Pioneered Stress Research in the 1950’s, examining its role in health and disease Selye Video: Brought into psychology the concept of stress related disease. He did his work with animals and become most well known for the general adaptive system (GAS) . You experience an external stressor (depending on level) leads to the alarm reaction > resistance > exhaustion.
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