Lesson 7

Short Answer

1. Define prevention. Provide an example of a behavior that helps prevent physical illness. Indicate reasons why prevention is difficult to do in practice.

Prevention is the best problem-solving solution. It is a risk-factor reduction behavior that can prevent stress and other health problems. For example, if lung cancer is painful for a patient and stressful to one’s mind, the best solution to eliminate the potential pain and stress is to prevent smoking. Prevention is hard to do in practice because Type A people has less prevention behaviors, which Type A people is numerous. Another aspect is that many people don’t have the idea to prevent the specific risk; after they are ill, they think back or blame why they hasn’t prevent such risk. Especially for smoking, the addictive nicotine prevents the smokers from preventing the potential risk. Therefore, prevention is difficult to do in practice.

2. Describe the Type A behavior syndrome and its impact on health. Would you describe yourself as having this syndrome? Explain.

Type A behavioral pattern is a complex pattern of behaviors and emotions that includes excessive emphasis on competition, aggression, impatience, and hostility. Type A people are often dissatisfied with some central aspect of their lives, are highly competitive and ambitious, and often are loners. The hostility increases the risk of coronary heart disease. I have this syndrome because I always feel extremely nervous in many things; even call someone that I don’t know by phone to ask for some information will make me nervous.

3. Define burnout. Be sure to describe its syndromes and the conditions that seem to cause it.

Burnout is the syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment, often experienced by workers in high-stress jobs. Sometimes the person that has burnout feels bad about him/herself and worry that he/she is failures. Burnout is correlated with greater absenteeism and turnover, impaired job performance, poor relations with coworkers, family problems, and poor personal health. It is caused by high stressing jobs, or the high-stress working environment, such as the medical workers in the hospital, or an officer that is threatened by organizational downsizing, job restructuring, or employees’ morale and loyalty.

4. Define stress. How is stress related to the process of cognitive appraisal?

Stress is the pattern of specific and nonspecific responses an organism makes to stimulus events that disturb its equilibrium and tax or exceed its ability to cope. The stimulus events include a large variety of external and internal conditions, which are stressors. Cognitive appraisal of the stress situation interacts with the stressor and the physical, social, and personal resources available for dealing with the stressor. Individuals respond to threats on various levels – physiological, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive.

5. Describe the “fight-or-flight” syndrome. Be sure to include physical changes that occur and factors that trigger this syndrome.

Fight-or-flight response is a sequence of internal activities triggered when an organism is faced with a threat. It prepares the body for combat and struggle or for running away to safety. The hypothalamus functions when there is an “emergency” – when the threat comes – to control the autonomic nervous system, and activate the pituitary gland. The main factors that trigger the fight-or-flight syndrome are the threats and stresses; the both factors make up a situation that the person has to fight, or fleet when it is over the person’s capability. The body will change its state to be ready to fight or fleet, and the main characteristics are that breathing is faster and deeper, the heart beat rate increases, blood vessels constrict, and blood pressure rises. The facial expressions may show strong emotions and the digestion stops because of the muscle control by the brain.

6. Describe the general adaptation syndrome. Be sure to include the stages of this syndrome and the physical and behavioral changes that occur in each stage.

The general adaptation syndrome (GAS) is the pattern of nonspecific adaptational physiological mechanisms that occurs in response to continuing threat by almost any serious stressor. There are three stages of GAS – alarm reaction, which is a brief period of bodily arousal that prepare the body for vigorous activity; resistance, a state of moderate arousal after a prolonged stressor, in which the