PSYC383 Study Guide Exam 2

PSYC383 Study Guide Exam 2 - Unit II Stress Coping and...

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Unit II: Stress, Coping and Treatment Lesson II-1: What is Stress? (CH.6, p.153) Stress = an external threat to one’s mental or physical health, safety, or well- being, and to which one either needs to adapt or to respond by changing the environment in order to reduce the presence of stressors Theoretical Contributions to the Study of Stress (CH.6, pp.153-160) Objectives: a) Summarize the theories of Walter Cannon and Han Selye. Walter Cannon he coined the term “fight-or-flight response” to indicate the arousal of the sympathetic nervous system and endocrine system that occurs when an organism perceives a threat. The result is rapid arousal of various organ systems, producing increases in blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance (perspiration on the surface of the skin) and respiratory rate, among other things. This response is a preparation of the organism to act in order to evade or fight the threat Han Selye the response to stress produces a physiological syndrome called the General Adaptation Syndrome that comes in three stages: 1. Alarm – the organism gets mobilized to meet the threat or to run from it. 2. Resistance – the organism makes an effort to resist the threat 3. Exhaustion – if the organism fails to overcome the threat, its physiological resources get depleted b) List three criticisms of the general adaptation syndrome. 1. It assigns a very limited role to psychological factors 2. It assumes that the response to stress is uniform for all organisms and all individuals 3. It treats stress as an outcome, which we only experience by getting to the “exhaustion” stage. When your resources are depleted, you are “stressed.” c) Describe Taylor’s tend-and-befriend theory. Humans can respond to stress not only by “flight or fight” but also “tend and befriend”, which is nurturing those closest to you and forming alliances to cooperate in overcoming a stressor d) Distinguish among harm, threat and challenge. Harm, threat, and challenge are criteria in assessing primary appraisal. Harm = how much damage has it caused already? Threat = how much damage can it cause in the near future? Challenge = how likely am I to overcome this threat or even to profit from it? e) Summarize the findings of Speisman et al (1964). Participants were shown a film of an initiation rite that includes genital surgery. Those who listened to a narrator describing the significance of the ritual and de- emphasizing the painful experience showed fewer physical and mental symptoms of stress than those who watched a silent version of the film or who listened to a narration that focused on the pain. The take-home message of this research is that stress has a psychological component; the way we interpret stimuli in our environment affects our
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physiology.
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