Outcomes *Describe the social, cultural andenvironmental factors that exacerbate and alleviate the stress response *Deﬁne allostasis as a model that integrates biological, psychological and social factors that explain an individuals response to stress
Social, Cultural & EnvironmentalFactors of the Stress ResponseOf the theories we have looked at so far, neither Selye’s GAS or Lazarus’Transactional theories have accounted for social, cultural or environmental factors that contribute to the stress response.
Consider the scenarios in the text book on p 456, clearly ones cultural backgroundhas a huge inﬂuence on the level of stress a person feels given a common stressor
10 minutes :)Quick ActivityCreate your own scenario that illustrates how social, cultural or environmentalfactors changes the level of stress felt by the individual Some examples could include: *receiving low school grades *marrying some one of a different religion/ cultural background *being a bikini model *getting a tattoo
Remember way back in Semester 1 when we looked athomeostasis???Our body’s maintenance of balance in day-to-dayautomatic functions.Well just to confused you there is also a concept knownas allostasis which is our bodies ability to remainﬂexible (variable) to allow us to adapt to futurechallenges.CONFUSED???? Its ok if you are because it superconfusing to get your head around!Homeostasis is there to ensure we remain stable infunction whereas allostasis is there to ensure we can stillmanage when life stressors jolt us into instability!
Homeostasis Vs AllostasisHomeostasis aims to maintain a ‘set point’ of bodily functions Allostasis aims to maintain a ‘set point’ in changing environmentse.g. You are sitting in class quietly, not alarmedor nervous then you hear the teacher saying wehave a pop quiz and all of a sudden your heart starts beating and you being to sweat - allostasis body responding to environment
Allostasis allows us homeostasis (stability)when we are in ﬂight or ﬁght mode.e.g. I am studying full time at uni whilstworking 30 hours a week when my partnerbreaks up with me. I am extremely upset andam freaking out about how to pay rent withouttheir input. Due to my high state of arousal,allostasis is maintaining my ability to function(work and study) until I can ﬁnd a house mateto elevate my ﬁnancial concerns and return tohomeostasis.
Allostatic load Refers to the number of stressors that a person may experience, leading to recurrent arousal Frequent activation of the ﬂight-ﬁghtresponse has a cumulative effect that can result in long term damage to the bodye.g. Penny is a Year 12 student, she has a usual load of 5 subjects which is stressful enough, however she has just been informed to gain her scholarship she needs an average of 90% across her subjects. This pressure adds to her allostatic load
Allostatic Overload As the name suggests, too many new stressors, or being unable to adapt to the new stressors results in an inability to ‘cope’
Essential Learning ActivitiesActivity 1:Review Questions1) Using your own words distinguish betweenhomeostasis and allostasis. Provide an example.2) Describe what is meant by allostatic load.3) Create a list of your allostatic load. Highlight pointsthat could lead to allostatic overload.Activity 2:Go to the VCAA website and search through pastpsychology exams for any questions relating to allostasis.a) What type of questions are common?b) Which content that we have already studied is similarto allostasis. How can you distinguish between these?c) Write a question that you think may appear on thisyears exam.