PSYA2: Biological Psychology (Stress) Whitehead/Clarke By Nicky
Pathways…1) Pituitary-adrenal2) Sympathomedullary pathway - Sympathetic (fight or flight) - Parasympathetic (releases cortisol to calm)3) Explain the difference between fight or flight4) Model answers
1. Describe the pituitary-adrenal pathway When the brain detects a stressor…The ACTH travels to the adrenal cortex and The hypothalamus is stimulates release of instructed to release CRF hormones The pituitary gland Which travels to the releases ACTH pituitary gland
2. Describe the sympathomedullary pathway Sympathetic pathway Parasympathetic pathway to produce Heart rate/BPADRENALINE and increasesNON ADRENALINE Therefore, this Heart rate/BP pathway relaxes return to normal you againThis path causes Fats & carbs the adrenal mobilize medulla… Digestion goes This is a sign of back to normal bodily relaxation Adrenal medulla is speed controlled by ANS
3. Explain the difference between “fight or flight” and “tend and befriend”The sympathomedullary pathway is an alarm reaction. Often described as ‘fight or flight’. As this prepares your body for action. Fight or flight is what your body would do in a situation. You either run, or you stay to fight a problem. Women are often described to have a ‘tend and befriend’ attitude as they have to care for babies. However, if their baby was threatened, they could shift to the fight or flight reaction to defend their child.
Practice: ‘Describe how the body responds to stress (6 marks)1) In the first shock response, the sympathomedullary pathway, an alarm reaction, also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response occurs. This prepares your body for action. The Sympathetic branch of the ANS (Autonomic nervous system) is activated by the hypothalamus, stimulating the adrenal medulla to produce adrenaline and non- adrenaline in times of stress. This leads to increased heart rate, blood flow, blood pressure, and pupil dilation.2) In the counter shock response, the pituitary-adrenal pathway, tries to restore the body to it’s parasympathetic state. CRF chemicals are sent to the pituitary adrenal gland, which releases ACTH, which stimulates the adrenal cortex (situated slightly above the kidneys), to produce cortisol, which helps to calm us down. HOWEVER, cortisol can also act as an immunosuppressant, making us prone to illness.
Stress Related Illnesses…• 1. Define immunosuppression• 2. APFC Kiecolt-Glazer’s study on medical students• 3. Kiecolt-Glaser 1984’s AO2 points.• 4. Additional AO2
1. Define immunosuppressionImmunosuppression is a decrease in the amount of white blood cells meaning that your body is less protected from disease than usual, making you more prone to disease.
2. APFC Kiecolt-Glazer’s (1984) study on medical studentsand explain what it tells us about stress and the immune systemAim: To investigate whether stress of exams had an effect on functioning of the immune system.Procedures:• 75 med students• Blood samples taken a month prior to exams (low stress), and during the exams (high stress)• Measuring T-lymphocyte activity.• Also given a questionnaire to access other life events.Findings: T-cell activity was significantly reduced in the 2nd sample. T-cell activity was most reduced in ppts who had high stress levels.Conclusion: Exam stress reduces immune function, leaving them vulnerable to disease.
KIECOLT-GLASER 1984 A02:• Objective – measuring T- • Small sample size – 75 lymphocyte cells is a students method that we know • All medical students – will words. It’s scientific. be feeling more stressed• Additional questionnaire due to the nature of their used to be able to course evaluate external • Can’t necessarily be stressors. generalised.• Backed up by KIECOLT- • Questionnaire used GLASER 1991 (carers of would be subjective. Alzheimers patients) and KIECOLT-GLASER 1987 (women going through a divorce.)
Kiecolt-Glaser et al’s (1984), back ups:• Immune function significantly reduced in highly stressed groups such as Alzheimer carer’s. Kiecolt-Glaser et al 1991.• Immune function was also significantly reduced for women going through divorce Kiecolt-Glaser et al 1987.- All female?
Stress in Everyday Life1. Life Events and Daily Hassles• Life Events• Define life events• Explain the Social Readjusment Rating Scale (SRRS) as a measure of life events• APFC Rahe et a (1970)• 3 detailed AO2 points on life events as a source of stress including the historical validity of SRRS• Define daily hassles and uplifts• Describe Kanner (1987) research on daily hassles and uplifts• 3 detailed AO2 points on daily hassles as a source of stress
Life events:Life events are discrete major stressors, things such as marriage, deaths, and divorce. There are also continuous minor stressors. These include things such as losing your keys, getting stuck in traffic. They are called daily hassles.So…1) Life events – massively impacting, but brief.2) Daily hassles – small annoyances that can occur regularly that just piss you off.
Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) by Holmes and Rahe (1967)• A scale of 43 life events.• ‘Death of a spouse’ is at the top. With a rating of 100 LCU.• ‘Minor violation of the law’ is at the bottom, with a rating of 11 LCU.• They proposed that a score over 150 within two years increased the chances of stress-related illness by 30%.• A score of over 300 increased the chances by 50%.
A study of life changes as a source of stress (Raheet al 1970)Aim:To find if the SRRS correlated with subsequent onset of illness.Procedure:2500 American Sailors, given SRRS to see how many life events had happened to them within the last 6 months.For the next 6 months (whilst they were on duty), their health status was recorded.Findings: Positive correlation of 0.118 between SRRS scores and illness scores. (perfect correlation = 1)Indicating a meaningful relationship between LCUs and health (statistically significant correlation.) As LCU’s increased, as did the frequency of illness.Conclusion: Positive correlation increased the chances of a stress related break down. Since the correlation was not ONE EXACTLY, there must be another contributing factor of stress.
Raheet al 1970 – life events and stress AO2:• HMM… • Ethnocentric – only Americans tested. Therefore not generalisable. • Androcentric – only males tested. • Only sailors tested, very specific job. Not generalisable. • Correlations do not imply what caused what.
3 detailed AO2 points on life events as a source of stress including the historical validity of SRRS1) Not very historically valid. It was created in 1967, and things such as ‘change in church activities’ would be less relevant in 2012, as there is less social pressures focused on Christianity.2) Does not give a cause/effect relationship due to correlation only.
Define daily hassles and upliftsDaily hassles include things such as losing your keys, getting stuck in a traffic jam, or forgetting your planner. Little things that don’t massively impact your life, however can build up over time and cause stress.Uplifts are things which you gain pleasure from that counteract these daily hassles. For example, seeing your friends, reading, watching TV, and eating could all be considered as uplifts.
Describe Kanner (1987) research on daily hassles and uplifts• Devised the ‘Hassles scale’• 117 daily hassles, and 135 uplifts.• Scores on Hassles Scale correlate with levels of depression, and health problems KANNER ET AL (1981)• Hassles score correlated health status moreso than life events DeLongisET AL (1982)
Workplace• Define workplace stress• APFC the study of Marmot• APFC the study of Johansson• 3 detailed AO2 points on the workplace as a source of stress
1. Define workplace stressWorkplace stress is stress which can be found within the workplace. Can be due to:- Physical environment- Work overload- Lack of control
2. APFC the study of Marmot et al (1991)• 3 year longitudinal study• 3000 Whitehall civil servants, measuring job control, and stress related illness.• People with low job control (DAD) (where aspects of their job were determined by others) were four times more likely to die by a heart attack than those with more job control (MUM) (i.e self employed)• Job control and illness were negatively correlated.• Supported by Van der Doef and Maes (1998) who found that high job demands and low control is associated with increased heart disease.
3. APFC the study of Johansson et al (1978)Aim:To investigate whether repetitive jobs, and high levels of responsibility increased stress.Procedure:• ‘High risk group’ – 14 Swedish wood finishers, in a sawmill. Their work was fast paced, isolated, and very repetitive.• ‘Low risk group’ - 10 cleaners, whose work was varied, and allowed more socialising.• Adrenaline and nonadrenaline were tested in urine samples on work days and rest days.Findings:• High risk group secreted more ad and non-ad on work days thant the low riskers.• Also, High Risk showed higher levels of stress related illness such as headaches.Conclusions:Repetitiveness, and high levels of responsibility cause lots of stress. To reduce stress, bosses should introduce more variety into their work, and allow them to build their own sense of pace.
3. Johansson et al (1978) – AO2• Objective – hormones are • Individual differences are tested, which is a not controlled. Maybe scientific test. people with ‘Type A’• High ecological validity, as behaviour chose the fast tested in their ACTUAL paced jobs. work settings. • Does not identify which of the work stressors is the most stressful. • Ethnocentric, at a SWEDISH sawmill. • Small sample size.
Personality1. Define Type A and B personality2. APFC Friedman and Rosenman (1974)3. 3 detailed AO2 points on the research of Friedman and Roseman (1974)4. Define hardiness5. Explain what Kobasa tells us about Hardiness
1. Personality types:Type A• Aggressive Type B• Frantic • Relaxed• Competitive • Laid-back• Self-critical • Calmer• HostileResearch includes:Williams et al (2003) 15 year study focused on young BALANCE = TYPE X individuals that showed Type A personality. They found that hostility and impatience could lead to heart attacks, and other cardiovascular disease.
2. APFC Friedman and Rosenman (1974)Aim:Investigate links between Type A personality and cardiovascular disease.Procedures:3200 Californian men, between 39 and 59. Split into• Type A• Type X• Or Type B personalitiesFollowed up for 8 and a half years (longitudinal study)Findings:Approx. 250men had developed CHD, 70% were Type A.Could be linked to external factors such as smoking, and obesity also.Conclusion:Type A behaviours increased risks of CHD.
3 detailed AO2 points on the research of Friedman and Roseman (1974)• Large sample size. • Could be affected by other variables such as HARDINESS, or obesity. • Cause and effect can’t be assumed. • Ethnocentric, only Californian’s. • Androcentric, only men. • Longitudinal study – could suffer from attrition.
4. Define hardinessA range of personality characteristics that provide defence against the negative effects of stress.
5. Explain what Kobasa tells us about Hardiness1. Belief you control what happens in your life.2. Commitment: A sense of involvement in the world.3. Challenge: seeing life changes as opportunities. His studies were mostly done on men though.
1. Explain Meichenbaum’s stress inoculation treatment• Form of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)• Meichenbaum 1983.• ‘dealing with stress’1. Conceptualisation – Imagine the situation, and why is was stressful.2. Skills training and practise – Taught relaxation techniques.3. Real-life application – Patients are allowed to go out to the real world and put their skills to the test.
2. Explain Kobasa’s Hardiness training• 3 Stages – similar to inoculation training by Meichenbaum 1983.1. Focusing – Encouraged to spot signs of stress.2. Relieving stress encounters – Analyse stressful situations & how they were resolved.3. Self improvement – The BELIEF that you can cope in situations.
3. 3 detailed AO2 points ofpsychological treatments for stress • Kobasa’s studies often used white, middle-class businessmen. = Not generalisable. • There are few systematic studies. • Systems of coping can be difficult to learn – not suited for everybody. • Reductionist – splitting dealing with stress into 3 categories.
Biological Treatments1. Explain the biological processes involved with BZ’s as a treatment of stress2. Describe biofeedback3. 3 detailed AO2 points of biological treatments for stress
1. Explain the biological processes involved with BZ’s as a treatment of stress• BZ’s target stress.• They react with GABA-receptors.• They enhance the actions of the natural brain chemical, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).• GABA tells the neurons to slow down. This affects 40% of neurons, which gently slows the brain.
2. Describe biofeedback• Records the activity of Physiological signals recorded e.g. BP/heart rate the psychological Via electrodes. systems of the body. E.g. heart rate/BP/tension in the neck. Signals amplified and• Recorded by displayed to client. electrodes.• Patients encouraged to try stress relieving Client uses relaxation activities such as imagery, to reduce BP and muscle tension. muscle relaxation or
3. 3 detailed AO2 points of biological treatments for stress (e.g. BZs)• Speedy and effective – • Long-term use can lead in hormones, so it’s to dependency. objective. • Side effects such as• HIDALGO ET AL 2001 – drowsiness and found that BZ’s were memory loss. more effective than • Only targets symptoms, antidepressants. not causes.• Drugs can be prescribed easily and quickly.