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AQA AS Psychology Unit 2 Stress: Personality Factors Stress Notes

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Introduction

´╗┐Personality Factors Notes Type A behaviour - A personality can be described as having an extensively competitive drive, being impatient and hostile, expressing themselves with fast movements and rapid speech. A very `intense` person who is more likely to suffer with coronary heart disease than a Type B person. Characteristics of Type A behaviour: * excessive competitive drive * impatient and hostile * fast movements * rapid speech * more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease Relationship between Type A behaviour and heart disease: * Compared to Type B's, Type A individuals respond more quickly and more strongly in stressful situations, both in their behaviour and in their physiological responses (increased heart rate and blood pressure) * As a result, they experience more wear and tear on their cardiovascular system, making them more susceptible to heart disease than those with Type B behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

(2002) found that Type A behaviour plus an external locus of control were an unhealthy combination. The heart disease study - Rosenman et al (1975) The Western Collaborative Group Study (WCGS) wanted to see whether Type A men were more likely to suffer from CHD than Type B men, and why. How did they do it? 3,154 California men were assessed to see whether they were Type A or Type B, and also Type X ( a mixture of A and B). The men were studied for eight years. What did they found? CHD was twice as likely in men with Type A personalities than Type B. Evaluation: * It is correlation research. Just because a man is a Type A does not necessarily mean that he will suffer with CHD. * The researchers could not possibly control all aspects of the behaviour of 3,154 men over eight years, so other factors might have contributed to the rates of CHD. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Commitment - a sense of purpose and involvement in the world. * Challenge - life changes viewed as challenges and opportunities rather than threats and stressors. Research by Kobasa et al (1985) found: * Hardiness, social support and regular exercise were all protective factors that acted additively to improve resistance to stress. * Hardiness seemed to have greatest impact. Evaluation of Hardy Personality: 1. There is some dispute about whether or not hardiness is a personality characteristic that is stable over time. 2. Much of Kobasa's work has been carried out with male, white-collar workers, and the findings may not have been generalisable to other groups. 3. According to Funk (1992), the 3-C's are less important than negativity. A negative person is a hardy person and the effects of stress vary with negativity. 4. Hardiness training can improve resistance to stress, Maddi et al (1988), although this research was done with the business community, so it may be difficult to generalise the findings. 5. Control, commitment and challenge have never been very clearly defined. ...read more.

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