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Multiple Choice Questions
1. Negative effects of stress are most likely to be experienced when an event is perceived as ________.
- negative, but it is likely to affect one’s friends rather than oneself
- threatening, and no clear options for dealing with it are apparent
2. Between 2006 and 2009, the greatest increases in stress levels were found to occur among ________.
- Black people
- those aged 45–64
- the unemployed
- those without college degrees
3. At which stage of Selye’s general adaptation syndrome is a person especially vulnerable to illness?
- alarm reaction
4. During an encounter judged as stressful, cortisol is released by the ________.
- sympathetic nervous system
- pituitary gland
- adrenal glands
5. According to the Holmes and Rahe scale, which life event requires the greatest amount of readjustment?
- personal illness
- death of spouse
6. While waiting to pay for their weekly groceries at the supermarket, Harley had to wait about 20 minutes in a long line at the checkout because only one cashier was on duty. When Harley was finally ready to pay, their debit card was declined because they did not have enough money left in their checking account. Because Harley had left their credit cards at home, they had to place the groceries back into the cart and head home to retrieve a credit card. While driving back to their home, traffic was backed up two miles due to an accident. These events that Harley had to endure are best characterized as ________.
- chronic stressors
- acute stressors
- daily hassles
- readjustment occurrences
7. What is one of the major criticisms of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale?
- It has too few items.
- It was developed using only people from the New England region of the United States.
- It does not take into consideration how a person appraises an event.
- None of the items included are positive.
8. Which of the following is not a dimension of job burnout?
- diminished personal accomplishment
9. The white blood cells that attack foreign invaders to the body are called ________.
- immune cells
10. The risk of heart disease is especially high among individuals with ________.
11. The most lethal dimension of Type A behaviour pattern seems to be ________.
- time urgency
- competitive drive
12. Which of the following statements pertaining to asthma is false?
- Parental and interpersonal conflicts have been tied to the development of asthma.
- Asthma sufferers can experience asthma-like symptoms simply by believing that an inert substance they breathe will lead to airway obstruction.
- Asthma has been shown to be linked to periods of depression.
- Rates of asthma have decreased considerably since 2000.
13. Emotion-focused coping would likely be a better method than problem-focused coping for dealing with which of the following stressors?
- terminal cancer
- poor grades in school
14. Studies of British civil servants have found that those in the lowest status jobs are much more likely to develop heart disease than those who have high status jobs. These findings attest to the importance of ________ in dealing with stress.
- social support
- perceived control
- emotion-focused coping
15. Relative to those with low levels of social support, individuals with high levels of social support ________.
- are more likely to develop asthma
- tend to have less perceived control
- are more likely to develop cardiovascular disorders
- tend to tolerate stress well
16. The concept of learned helplessness was formulated by Seligman to explain the ________.
- inability of dogs to attempt to escape avoidable shocks after having received inescapable shocks
- failure of dogs to learn to from prior mistakes
- ability of dogs to learn to help other dogs escape situations in which they are receiving uncontrollable shocks
- inability of dogs to learn to help other dogs escape situations in which they are receiving uncontrollable electric shocks
17. Which of the following is not one of the presumed components of happiness?
- using our talents to help improve the lives of others
- learning new skills
- regular pleasurable experiences
- identifying and using our talents to enrich our lives
18. Researchers have identified a number of factors that are related to happiness. Which of the following is not one of them?
- annual income up to $75,000
- physical attractiveness
19. How does positive affect differ from optimism?
- Optimism is more scientific than positive affect.
- Positive affect is more scientific than optimism.
- Positive affect involves feeling states, whereas optimism involves expectations.
- Optimism involves feeling states, whereas positive affect involves expectations.
20. Carson enjoys writing mystery novels, and has even managed to publish some of his work. When Carson’s writing, they become extremely focused on their work; in fact, Carson becomes so absorbed that that he often loses track of time, often staying up well past 3 a.m. Carson’s experience best illustrates the concept of ________.
- happiness set point
- positive affect
Critical Thinking Questions
21. Provide an example (other than the one described earlier) of a situation or event that could be appraised as either threatening or challenging.
22. Provide an example of a stressful situation that may cause a person to become seriously ill. How would Selye’s general adaptation syndrome explain this occurrence?
23. Review the items on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Select one of the items and discuss how it might bring about distress and eustress.
24. Discuss the concept of Type A behaviour pattern, its history, and what we now know concerning its role in heart disease.
25. Consider the study in which volunteers were given nasal drops containing the cold virus to examine the relationship between stress and immune function (Cohen et al., 1998). How might this finding explain how people seem to become sick during stressful times in their lives (e.g., final exam week)?
26. Although problem-focused coping seems to be a more effective strategy when dealing with stressors, do you think there are any kinds of stressful situations in which emotion-focused coping might be a better strategy?
27. Describe how social support can affect health both directly and indirectly.
28. In considering the three dimensions of happiness discussed in this section (the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life), what are some steps you could take to improve your personal level of happiness?
29. The day before the drawing of a $300 million Powerball lottery, you notice that a line of people waiting to buy their Powerball tickets is stretched outside the door of a nearby convenience store. Based on what you’ve learned, provide some perspective on why these people are doing this, and what would likely happen if one of these individuals happened to pick the right numbers.
Personal Application Questions
30. Think of a time in which you and others you know (family members, friends, and classmates) experienced an event that some viewed as threatening and others viewed as challenging. What were some of the differences in the reactions of those who experienced the event as threatening compared to those who viewed the event as challenging? Why do you think there were differences in how these individuals judged the same event?
31. Suppose you want to design a study to examine the relationship between stress and illness, but you cannot use the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. How would you go about measuring stress? How would you measure illness? What would you need to do in order to tell if there is a cause-effect relationship between stress and illness?
32. If a family member or friend of yours has asthma, talk to that person (if he or she is willing) about their symptom triggers. Does this person mention stress or emotional states? If so, are there any commonalities in these asthma triggers?
33. Try to think of an example in which you coped with a particular stressor by using problem-focused coping. What was the stressor? What did your problem-focused efforts involve? Were they effective?
34. Think of an activity you participate in that you find engaging and absorbing. For example, this might be something like playing video games, reading, or a hobby. What are your experiences typically like while engaging in this activity? Do your experiences conform to the notion of flow? If so, how? Do you think these experiences have enriched your life? Why or why not?