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According to the readings, stress can have many negative outcomes that can cause short or long term damages. Many students can become depressed due to exceeding expectations to s
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1. According to the readings, stress can have many negative outcomes that can cause short or long term damages. Many students can become depressed due to exceeding expectations to succeed,  failing relationships, work issues, and more. As a result, they feel empty and worthless. When was the first time in your life as a student that you felt overwhelmingly stressed and possibly had thoughts of depression? What did you wish could have been implemented in the school system for students experiencing this same feeling as you?

2.As described in the first PowerPoint on Emotion & Affect, emotion is defined as an evaluative reaction. However, there is a connection between cultures and emotion. In what ways can different cultures influence emotion? 





Chapter 4 Health, Stress, & Coping

Quick note
Just letting you know that I titled this lecture chapter 4, but it’s not the same chapter 4 as in your recommended textbook
These materials are taken from a different text that had a chapter on health and stress
I’m not sure why the Baumeister & Bushman text doesn’t have a chapter on this; many social texts do

Today’s Outline

Define Stress
Discuss some common Causes of stress
Discuss Effects of Stress
Discuss Reducing/Preventing/Coping with stress

We talk a lot about it…

But what is it?
And is it necessarily a bad thing?

Stress: mental and physical condition that occurs when a person must adjust or adapt to the environment
Both unpleasant events (work pressures, relationship troubles) and pleasant events (a new job, travel)
Eustress: good stress
getting married, playing sports, going on a date, vacations, etc.

Stress Reaction
The Stress reaction is the same whether it’s good stress or bad stress

The Autonomic Nervous System reacts the same to good stress or bad stress
The sympathetic nervous system kicks in to ramp us up

Thus, in some ways, its our PERCEPTION of stress that matters
Is what we’re doing a fun challenge, e.g. an intense game of basketball or an unpleasant, intimidating task, e.g. taking a test.
As far as the body goes, pleasant thrills and stressful tasks are the same
Explains how some people hate and some people love roller coasters

However, one note to make here:

Short-term stress, whether good stress or bad stress, doesn’t result in any damage

But long-term stress is another matter

What causes Stress?
Behavioral causes
Innate causes
Situational causes

Behaviors that can lead to stress
Any behaviors that cause people to be unhealthy can result in stress
Alcohol abuse
Could result in failing grades, being stressed about school, or strained relationships if you’re a ‘mad drunk’
Other risk factors:
Inactive life style, unhealthy diet, smoking, drugs, risky/unprotected sex
The actual issue and the stress from the issue
Cyclical: obesity –> difficulty exercising –> health problems –> stress –> eating more –> discouraged –> more stress, etc.

‘Innate’ levels of stress
Personality Types (validated)
Type A personality
key features: anger, hostility, & mistrust
ambitious, competitive, achievement oriented
believe enough effort can overcome any obstacle
push themselves accordingly
time urgency (think Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland)
at twice the risk for heart attack 🙁
aka cardiac personality

Situational Causes
Whether it’s at work, home, etc.
We’re all kind of control freaks
We don’t like curve balls
E.g. boss asks you to work late and help on an important project that’s due the next day
E.g. if I gave you a pop quiz right now, that counted for 5% of your grade, wouldn’t you be stressed/pissed?

Work, workload, & deadlines
any position of leadership comes with more stress

Situational Causes
Life Events
Let’s see how you’re doing!
Read through the list on the next two slides. Check any that apply.
Add up your Life Change Units score
Then we’ll see how stressed we all are

Life Events and Life Change units

Life Event
Life Change Units

Death of parent

Unplanned pregnancy/abortion

Getting married

Divorce of parents

Acquiring a visible deformity

Fathering a child

Jail sentence of parent for over one year

Marital separation of parents

Death of a brother or sister

Change in acceptance by peers

Unplanned pregnancy of sister

Discovery of being an adopted child

Marriage of parent to stepparent

Death of a close friend

Having a visible congenital deformity

Serious illness requiring hospitalization

Failure of a grade in school

Not making an extracurricular activity

Hospitalization of a parent

Jail sentence of parent for over 30 days

Life Events and Life Change units

Breaking up with boyfriend or girlfriend

Beginning to date

Suspension from school

Becoming involved with drugs or alcohol

Birth of a brother or sister

Increase in arguments between parents

Loss of job by parent

Outstanding personal achievement

Change in parent’s financial status

Accepted at college of choice

Being a senior in high school

Hospitalization of a sibling

Increased absence of parent from home

Brother or sister leaving home

Addition of third adult to family

Becoming a full fledged member of a church

Decrease in arguments between parents

Decrease in arguments with parents

Mother or father beginning work

Life change scale results
Above 300 = very stressed, 80% chance of getting sick in the near future

150-299 = moderately stressed, 50% more likely to get sick in the near future

Less than 150 = low stress, 30% more likely to get sick
I scored here
0 stress, very little stress! Hurray!

Thinking about the Life Change Scale
The Life Change Units we just discussed invoke a definition of stress that is really just based on CHANGE
This make sense given the definition of stress: ‘adaptation to the environment.’
To adapt we must change
It’s interesting because most people probably wouldn’t think that: for example outstanding personal achievement, less arguing from parents, and marriage were all on that list
Deaths and divorce were at the top

Situational Causes
Blockage of a goal: worst when the goal is important or there’s time urgency
Often based on social situations
frustrated with spouse, coworkers, kids, etc.
The reaction to the frustration can worsen the stress: aggression (or displaced aggression), inflexible persistence, giving up on a goal, etc.
Aka the frustration-aggression hypothesis

Situational Causes
Acculturative Stress, aka culture shock
E.g. me moving to Miami 9 years ago
“Why are people I don’t know greeting me with a kiss on the cheek, my Grandma and my Mom don’t even do that!“
I’m kidding though, that obviously wasn’t stressful
High-stress reactions:
1. Marginalization (rejecting old culture, but also being rejected by new culture)
2. Separation: avoiding contact with new culture even though you’re in a new place
Low-stress reactions
3. Integration: maintaining old cultural identify & new one
4. Assimilation: totally meshing into new culture

Effects of stress
General Adaptation Syndrome
Occurs from long-term stress (Work, a serious illness, etc.)
3 Stages
1. Alarm Reaction
Sympathetic nervous system at work. More adrenaline, high heart rate, less digestion, etc.
Some results of that: headache, sore muscles, stomach aches

General Adaptation Syndrome Cont’d
2. Resistance
Body comes into balance, those symptoms disappear. Superficial symptoms gone
Outwards body seems ok, but psychosomatic effects begin
Psychosomatic Effects are real
Skin rashes, hives, migraines, blood pressure, asthma, indigestion, sexual problems, ulcers, etc.
Not to be confused with a hypochondriac

General Adaptation Syndrome Cont’d
Some physical examples from my colleagues and me during Qualifying Exams:
me: really tense muscles

3. Exhaustion, usually not collapsing, instead:
1. Emotional (anxiety, apathy, irritability, mental fatigue)
2. Behavioral Signs (avoidance of social, work, or health- related behaviors)
3. Physical Signs: tiredness, illness, excessive worry about health

More Effects of Stress
Continuing off the idea of vulnerability to illness during periods of exhaustion…

Times of stress = weakened immune system
E.g. many more colds during and after Final Exam times

Stress & Depression
Depressed students score half a grade lower, on average
Occurs due to:
Work issues, trying to get high grades and struggling to meet idealized expectations of themselves, isolation, loneliness, breakups of romantic relationships, etc.
Results in:
Sad, empty, or some anxious feelings. Also feeling guilty, worthless, helpless, & pessimistic
Difficulty concentrating, lack of interest in usual fun activities

Effects of Stress Cont’d
Learned Helplessness
Any time an animal or person initially learns that to escape something harmful or stressful is very difficult. But later, even if they can easily escape, they don’t.
E.g. someone who grew up with an abusive parent (hard to escape)
May not engage in behaviors to reduce or remove stress later in life, e.g. studying hard for exams

Responses and reduction of Stress

3 main concepts:
1. Preventative Behaviors
2. Problem-focused Coping
3. Emotion-focused Coping

Preventative behaviors against stress
BE SOCIAL!!!! friends, family, etc.
Have fun for at least some time every day (balance)
Staying clean & organized
Promoting general physical health
avoiding hypertension with a good diet
lower in: salt, red meat, and dairy
higher in veggies, fruits, & fish
30 minutes of cardio 5x a week
positive outlook: hope, optimism
Comedy – humor relieves stress:
May I suggest…Arrested Development

Reducing Stress via Problem-focused Coping
My opinion:
Problem focused-coping works better for me than emotion-focused coping
The theory: instead of coping with the problem, just remove the problem in the first place

Problem focused-coping works best when you have control of the stressor
E.g. finishing a project/paper/studying

Reducing Stress via Problem-focused Coping
Appraising the Stressors
1. Primary Appraisal
Is the situation positive or threatening, relevant or irrelevant?
Passively processing the situation/stressor, initial opinion
2. Secondary Appraisal
This is where people who don’t feel much stress react differently than those who get really stressed
Perceive the stressor as a challenge/opportunity rather than a threat. A plan is developed for how to overcome
What are you telling yourself about it? can you beat this problem?
Control!!! Focusing on the control you have over it

Problem-Focused Prevention of Stress
Working ahead of time
It prevents the aspect of stress we call ‘pressure’
I can vouch for this being effective
Reactive vs. proactive work
Project is becoming due, better work on it
E.g. me in college! But not during grad school
Doing a certain/set amount of work during allotted time
You’ll find you get ahead pretty fast
Avoid distractors!! No Facebook! No Youtube! No other forms of “multi-tasking” or listening to music. Just focus!

Reducing Stress via Emotion-focused Coping

Works best when you don’t have control or only have moderate control over the stressor
E.g. coping with a death

First we’ll cover defense mechanisms, then other emotion-focused coping techniques

Defensive Mechanisms
Defense mechanisms are adaptive: maintain self-esteem
If we took full blame for every time we messed up,
we would not be happy
Happy people actually have more positive illusions and beliefs, as we’ve learned
Depressed people gauge their abilities more accurately/realistically…but…that’s not as adaptive as being a little naively optimistic
But too much use of Defense Mechanisms can be maladaptive

Defense Mechanisms: Examples
Denial: protecting oneself from an unpleasant reality by refusing to perceive it
E.g. maybe the test will be canceled
Repression: unconsciously preventing painful or dangerous thoughts from entering awareness
Reaction formation: preventing dangerous impulses from being expressed in behavior by exaggerating opposite behavior
‘Pretending’ to love working out even if you hate it

Defense Mechanisms: Examples (cont’d)
Regression: retreating to an earlier level of development or to earlier, less demanding habits or situations
Projection: attributing one’s own feelings, shortcomings, or unacceptable impulses to others
E.g. you feel guilty about being selfish, “I don’t want to go out tonight”, project that on to friend who wants to go out, “Don’t be selfish, I want to stay in”

Defense Mechanisms: Examples (cont’d)
Rationalization: justifying one’s behavior by giving reasonable and “rational,” but false, reasons for it
E.g. I can’t turn in the paper because my printer broke
May be true. But the paper shouldn’t have been done last minute.
Isolation: separating contradictory thoughts or feelings into mental compartments so that they do not come into conflict
Stats are a part of Psych. I love Psych but I hate stats!

Defense Mechanisms: Examples (cont’d)
Compensation: counteracting a real or imagined weakness by emphasizing desirable traits or seeking to excel in the area of weakness or in other areas
E.g. If I failed something, think of something you usually succeed at

Defense Mechanisms: Examples (cont’d)
Identification: taking on some of the characteristics of an admired person, usually as a way of compensating for perceived personal weaknesses or faults
E.g. I’ve seen it in grad students, if put on defensive, they may name-drop more. “Well, when I work with so and so, we…”
Intellectualization: separating emotion from a threatening or anxiety-provoking situation by talking or thinking about it in impersonal “intellectual” terms
E.g. GRE is just a measure of ability to do high school math

Emotion-Focused Strategies to reduce stress
Any calming activity that interrupts upsetting thoughts
Reading, watching a comedy, chatting with a friend
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Tensing and releasing each muscle in the body
Makes a nice-feeling contrast
Guided Imagery
Going on a mental vacation. Getting in that mindset
Can add to traditional meditation

Emotion-Focused Strategies to reduce stress

Slowing down
Our behaviors, thoughts, etc.
“Goal is distance not speed”
Replacing negative statements with positive ones
“I’m gonna bomb this test”
Replaced: “I’ve passed 100 tests before this”
Again, being Social. Interacting with our support networks of family and friends
Isolating is the wrong choice


Chapter 9
Prosocial Behavior

Today’s Outline
Why do people help others
Altruism vs. Egoism debate
Role of empathy
Who is likely to receive help and when will people help (or not help)
Good Samaritan study
Kitty Genovese case
5 steps to helping and obstacles that block helping
What can we do to increase helping
Education, modeling

Prosocial Behavior
Prosocial behavior: doing something that is good for society as a whole
Or any behavior that has a positive impact on other people.

Prosocial Behavior – Fairness/helping
Many animals are sensitive to fairness
E.g. if researchers give some animals better treats or more treats for doing the same task
Animals that get unexciting treats feel ‘underbenefited’ and get mad
But so far only humans will help others when they are ‘overbenefited’
If a human receives more for the same work, they will often help by giving some of it to those less fortunate
Remember learning about upward social comparison?
Humans are sensitive to overpforming and making others sad/jealous

Altruism vs. Egoism
When we help out of the goodness of our hearts or because of empathy
Skeptics may argue we only ever help because we get something out of it:
Positive feelings (feels good to help, selfish)
Relieve negative feelings that we feel due to empathy (E.g. you can feel less bad about a person being homeless if you bring them some food)
A sense of doing the right thing (feels good)

Empathy and Helping Others
Empathic arousal: emotional arousal that occurs when you feel some of the person’s pain, fear, or anguish
Empathy-helping relationship: we are most likely to help person in need when we feel emotions such as empathy and compassion

There is evidence that people will help due to both reasons, altruism & egoism

Altruism vs. Egoism
Batson et al. (1981) examined this
Participants met a confederate named Elaine, who they would have to shock
Later they overhear her telling the experimenter she had a bad experience with being shocked when young is now very afraid of electricity
Experimenters manipulated empathy in participants by telling them Elaine has similar traits to them (high empathy) or dissimilar traits (low empathy)
Participants given the opportunity to escape/leave the study
Some were in an easy-escape condition, ‘you can leave after Elaine gets shocked twice’
Some were in a hard-escape condition, ‘you have to watch all 10 shocks’

Altruism vs. Egoism
Low-empathy participants who could easily escape did so and left poor Elaine to her fate
But they didn’t have to watch her get shocked, which relieves negative emotions (Egoism)
About half of the participants in the Low-empathy, hard-escape condition took Elaine’s place and half escaped the study
Among high-empathy participants almost all chose to stay and help Elaine by switching places (supports Altruism)

Altruism vs. Egoism
My thoughts on the Batson et al. study: I’m not a skeptical kind of person, I believe in altruism
*But in response to that study’s claim: couldn’t you just say that someone felt better about taking Elaine’s place than they did about letting her suffer, and that out-weighted the annoyance of being shocked, so that’s still egoism?
In any event, I think if a study were able to show some people help out of duty and with no positive neurochemicals being released, that would be altruism

Who is likely to receive help:
Receiving Help:
Beautiful people, both men & woman
Similar people
E.g. club members helping other club members
Women in general
Those likely to give help:
Men, to strangers
Women, to family
Happy people

When will people help?
Good Samaritan Study (Darley & Batson)
Seminary Students (participants)
Asked to give a talk/lecture
Independent Variables:
Some asked to do a talk on the Good
Samaritan parable; others on career choices
Also, some put in a rush (you’re late for the talk) or others not in a rush
Dependent Variable: Helping
Will they help someone who is on the ground, moaning?
No difference between talks (wow…)
Participants in the ‘no rush’ condition: 6x more likely to help

Good Samaritan Study
It’s kind of amazing that despite having the Good Samaritan story primed, seminary students still didn’t stop to help
Even in the no-rush condition, no difference in helping behavior based on which talk was going to be given

Tragic case where no one helped
Let’s take a few minutes to review famous and tragic case of not receiving help…Kitty Genovese
Watch the following video before proceeding with the lecture
Just as a warning, what you’ll hear about will be sad/disturbing, proceed accordingly
If you opt not to watch it, please read up on a summary instead, as there will be questions on the test about this case

Kitty Genovese
So, why did no one help?
Researchers were motivated by this incident to find out exactly that, as you saw
Notes: the amount of witnesses may have been overblown by the media, but perhaps not
Either way, the case lead to some important findings, specifically, it lead directly to Darley and Latane’s study that you’ll read about in a minute

Helping Others
Bystander apathy: unwillingness of bystanders to offer help during emergencies
Related to number of people present
More potential helpers present, less likely people will give help

Steps to Helping & Obstacles to Helping
Darley & Latane’s 5 Steps to Helping:
1. Notice something is happening
Obstacle: self-concerns (running late, etc.)
2. Interpret as emergency
Obstacles: Pluralistic Ignorance (everyone looks to each other and no one moves); ambiguity
3. Take Responsibility
Obstacle: Diffusion of Responsibility (Darley & Latane): 6 people vs. 1 person. 6 = almost never helped, 1 = almost always helped); ‘surely someone else already called 911’
4. Decide how to help
Obstacle: competence issues, people don’t feel qualified to help
5. Actually helping

Belief in Just World Recap
A nice thought, but it leads to Victim Blaming
E.g. rape victim dressed proactively, poor people are just lazy, etc.
People with strong beliefs in a just world only help those who they feel deserve it
Typically, belief in a just world scales with wealth & power
Very wealthy: world is just
Average: world is somewhat just
Very poor: world is unjust

How can you secure help when needed?
Consider the 5 obstacles to helping and try to bypass them
E.g. Diffusion of responsibility
Bypass by pointing to someone in a crowd and say “You, please help me”
E.g. Bypass competency issues by telling him/her how to help
“Please call 911 for me” “Please see if the manager or a chef knows the Heimlich Maneuver”
By doing those two steps you’ll also bypass pluralistic ignorance. If you need help and someone hasn’t noticed the problem, ask anyway

Money & Helping
Is money the “root of all evil?”
Perhaps, perhaps not
But what we do know is that money increases self-sufficiency
Less likely to give help or to ask for help
It reduces prosocial behavior (helping, cooperation, & forgiveness)
In one study, participants who saw a money screensaver (vs. a fish screen saver) were less likely to help a confederate who spilled pencils

Money and helping
In another study, participants who were primed with money were less likely to help a confederate on a very difficult word puzzle when he/she asked for help
Finally, in a third study, those participants primed with money were more likely to choose to do the experiment alone rather than in a group
The greater issue/irony here is this:
If the people who have the means to help the most (those with money) are the least likely to help, then people will never get help from those who can provide it

Just by virtue of having taken this lecture, you’re now more likely to be a helper! Congrats!
One study found that after having heard a lecture on the bystander effect vs. either a different lecture or no lecture
Participants who heard the bystander effect lecture were more likely to help someone who seemed passed out
67% vs 27% (no lecture/other lecture)
These findings persisted 2 months later as well

Other educational materials
Some TV shows for children have been found to be wholesome enough to increase helping behavior
E.g. Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street

Modeling helpfulness
Helping behavior can be very socially contagious!
In a game where students could donate gift cards to orphans or keep them, 0% donated
But in the condition that had an adult model who donated some of his, 48% donated
If you want to inspire your friends/family to do charity work or donate their time, start with you!

Final note
We’re more likely to help in-group members
But often the people who need help are not in our in-group, so it’s easy to turn a blind eye
Your textbook authors suggest trying to shift our view to where all people are our in-group
I agree, cheesy as that may sound, I think it’d be much for the better


Chapter 6
Emotion & Affect

Today’s Outline
Emotions in general
Are men or women more emotional?
Theories of emotion
Misattribution of arousal
What actually makes us happy?
How to increase our level of contentment and avoid common misconceptions about what brings us joy
Physiological arousal and performance

How do we define emotion?
Emotion: a conscious state that involves an evaluative reaction to something

Mood: a feeling state that is not clearly linked to some event

Affect: hard to define
Can be positive affect (good emotions) or negative affect (bad emotions)
Or can imply automatic, non-conscious emotions

Universal emotions
Are emotions a cultural phenomenon or a consistent, innate human occurrence?
At least these 6 emotions were easily recognized in a meta-analysis of 37 countries and 5 continents

Universal emotions
Those emotions were all posed and exaggerated
It’s harder to tell emotions in the real world across cultures
E.g. Asian Americans tend to regulate their emotions more than non-Asian Americans
That make discerning an Asian American’s mood more difficult
Even within one’s own culture, it can be challenging
Adults learn to hide their emotions well

Discerning emotions
How good are you at discerning happiness?
Which of Julia Robert’s smiles indicate genuine happiness?

Discerning emotions
Which did you guess and why?
The answer is the picture on the right!
Duchenne smile:
Contracted muscles around the eye, which raises the smile into more of a V or raises the cheeks
The smile is more open as well
Let’s look at some more examples

Discerning emotions

Sex differences in emotions
6 basic emotions were similar across cultures, but what about between the sexes?
Who is more emotional?
The stereotype would say women, but does that hold up to empirical scrutiny?

Sex differences in emotions
Several studies that have used different methodologies, such as self-report data or being hooked up to instruments that measure physiological arousal, have found:
No differences based on sex
Other studies have found diff
The assignment According to the readings, stress can have many negative outcomes that can cause short or long term damages. Many students can become depressed due to exceeding expectations to s has been handled previously by writers from Wridemy.

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