COPING WITH
STRESS
Allie Surina
U.S.: Western Kentucky University
苏爱丽
美国:西肯塔基大学
Previous Lecture Topics:
• Types of stress
• Stress responses & GAS process
• Psychological stress
• Perceived control to moderate stress
• Stress-related ulcers, neuron death,
cardiac disease & cancer
Current Lecture Topics:
• 4 Psychological Mediators of Stress
• Stress & Depression
• Stress in Fetuses
• Changing Cultural Stress
COPING WITH STRESS
• The goal is NOT to have zero
challenges, but to balance them
• We like certain types of stressors, we
call them “stimulation”
• Can you think of something that is
both stressful and exciting?
4 WAYS TO COPE
WITH STRESS
• Outlet for frustration
• Sense of predictability and of
control
• Perception that life is getting better
over time
• Social support
(Sapolsky, 2004)
COPING WITH STRESS
• Research: Outlets for Frustration (Jay
Weiss)
• Rats receive mild shocks
– Stage of Resistance stress response - heart rate up,
glucocorticoid secretion up, ulcers
– Rats that can gnaw on wooden bar, or eat, or drink, or
run on wheel had fewer ulcers
– Some rats could run to another rat and bite it!
• Baboons attack bystanders after losing a fight
(Sapolsky (2004), Weiss (1971))
COPING WITH STRESS
(Weiss) Sense of Predictability and Control
• Rats that heard warning bell before shock had
fewer ulcers
• Rats that had food delivered at intermittent
intervals normal, but random delivery resulted in
cortisol increases
• Rats that had bar to avoid shocks - even if lever
didn’t work, had reduced stress
• People & loud noises – one person has button to
press to stop noise - results: less hypertensive
whether button is pressed or not
(Sapolsky (2004), Weiss (1971))
COPING WITH STRESS
Sense of Predictability and Control
• Rodin & Langer, 1977 did a nursing home
experiment.
• Divided residents into two groups, A and B
• Group A made own decisions on when to watch
movies, which plants to water, when to see
visitors
• Group B had all decisions made for them.
• Only 1.5 years later, Group A was more cheerful
happy, AND ONLY 1/2 AS MANY HAD DIED!
(Sapolsky (2004))
COPING WITH STRESS
Social Support
• Primates were monitored after exposure
to a stressor
– among strangers, stress response worse
– among friends, better (measured by
glucocorticoids)
• People who performed stressful tasks had
lower stress responses with a friend
present
(Sapolsky, 2004)
COPING WITH STRESS
Perception of Life Improving/Worsening
• Rat experiment: Rats were given shocks
• Day 1 Experiment
– Rat #1: 10 shocks per hour
– Rat #2: 50 shocks per hour
• Day 2 Experiment
– All rats get 25 shocks per hour
• Results: Rats that had increase in shocks
became hypertensive
(Sapolsky (2004), Weiss (1971))
STRESS & FEELING BAD
• Shively, Register and Clarkson (2009)
researched monkeys
• The neurotransmitter dopamine binds to
receptors linked to sensation of pleasure.
• High-ranking monkeys had pleasure areas
of brain brightly lit in PET scan
• Low-ranking monkeys had pleasure areas
of brain not bright in scan
• Low social position in hierarchy related to
low dopamine receptor binding
(Shively, Register & Clarkson, 2009 )
STRESS & FEELING BAD
• Humans must deal with both being lowranking or poor, and also FEELING lowranking or poor
• Doctors have noticed consistently lower
health outcomes for people in high-stress,
poor neighborhoods.
• Chronic stress leads to high cholesterol
and abdomen weight gain.
(Shively, Register & Clarkson, 2009 )
STRESS IN FETUSES
• Dutch researcher Rosenboom found that
people born during Dutch Hunger Winter
had poor health
• Fetuses exposed to stress hormones in
mothers’ blood
• Permanent maladaptive way of handling
stress
• More likely to have depression, poor
cardiovascular health
(Goldman et al., 2008)
CHANGING STRESS
CULTURES
• Stanford researcher Robert Sapolsky
studied baboon stress in Africa for over 30
years
• After 10 years, baboons were poisoined
with turbuculosis
• Only aggressive “Type A” males died.
• Remainder of group were gentle
• 20 years later, group still has low stress
and has kept same gentle culture.
• In one generation, they changed their
“nature.” Can we?
(Sapolsky, 2004)
References
Gabrieli, John, Intro to Psychology, Fall 2011 (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts
Institute of Technology), http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/brain-and-cognitivesciences/9-00sc-introduction-to-psychology-fall-2011/ (Accessed 12/10/2012).
License: Creative commons BY-NC-SA
Goldman, L., Heminway, J., Sapolsky, R. M., Blackburn, E. H., Shively, C. A., Marmot, M.,
Epel, E., ... Warner Home Video (Firm). (2008). Stress: Portrait of a killer. Washington,
DC: National Geographic.
Harmeling, Michael, Psychology, (Waterford High School),
http://www2.waterforduhs.k12.wi.us/staffweb/harmeling/Psychology/Stress%20and%
20Health%20Chapter/Module%2012_lecture.ppt (Accessed 12/10/2012).
Sapolsky, R. M. (2004). Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress,
Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping-Now Revised and Updated. Holt Paperbacks.
Shively, C. A., Register, T. C., & Clarkson, T. B. (2009). Social stress, visceral obesity, and
coronary artery atherosclerosis: product of a primate adaptation. American journal
of primatology, 71(9), 742-751.
Weiss, J. M. (1971). Effects of coping behavior in different warning signal conditions on
stress pathology in rats. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology;
Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 77(1), 1.
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COPING WITH STRESS