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Physiological Psychology: 2

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Physiological Psychology: Stress APFCC Key Studies Independent Variable: The manipulated variable; the variable that is changed on purpose in an experiment. Dependant Variable: The responding variable; the variable that may change as a result of a change in the independent variable. Kiecolt-Glaser et al Aims: ==> To discover a link between stress and reduce immune function. ==> They aimed to establish a difference between conditions of high and low stress. ==> They also wanted to see whether other factors such as psychiatric symptoms, loneliness and life events were associated with immune function. Procedure: ==> A total of 75 first year medical students, it was a self selected sample. ==> This was a natural experiment because the independent variable, (the level of stress due to the imminence of exams) was naturally occurring. ==> A blood sample was taken a month before their exams (a low stress condition) and also on the first day of their final exams (a high stress condition). ==> The measurement of natural killer cells and T cells was taken as indicators of immune function (the dependant variable). ==> On both occasions, the students were given a questionnaire measuring psychiatric symptoms, loneliness and life events. ...read more.


Findings: ==> A significant positive correlation of +0.118 was found between illness and LCU score. ==> The relationship was weak, but significant. Conclusions: ==> The findings suggest that the stress of life events was correlated with illness. ==> If the total LCU score was always associated with illness, a perfect positive correlation of +1.0 would have been found. If their was not association, it would have been 0. It's much closer to 0 than 1 but in such a large sample, it's significant. Criticisms: ==> Cause and effect cannot be inferred. ==> It's likely that illness caused life events rather than the other way around. ==> The sample was biased because only American men were investigated. It's a very restricted subgroup and therefore not representing the population as a whole. ==> The findings may not take into account the target population, as a random sample of American naval men. Marmot et al: Aims: ==> Workplace stress and stress related illness in male and female civil servants. ==> Focuses of the negative correlation between job control and stress-related illness. Procedure: ==> A sample of 10 308 civil servants aged 35 - 55 were investigated in a longitudinal study over three years. ...read more.


and increases risk of Coronary Heart Disease. Procedures: ==> 3524 Californian men between 39 and 59 who were free of any signs of CHD were sampled. ==> They were studied for 8 1/2 years. ==> They were then examined for signs of CHD at the end of the period. Findings: ==> 7% of the men had signs of CHD. 2/3 of the men had a type A personality. Conclusion: ==> Men with type A personalities tend to have higher blood cholesterol levels and more adrenaline and noradrenaline in their bdies than men with type B personalities. ==> These hormones are released as a part of the stress response. ==> They in turn produce higher levels of fatty acids in the blood. ==> This may lead to Atherosclerosis which is the narrowing of the arteries due to fatty deposits on the artery walls. Criticisms: ==> A possible link between type A personalities and the risk of CHD. ==> The sample was small and male and therefore not an accurate representation of the population. ==> It was a high risk group. ==> All the men were chosen from one place and therefore reduces confounding variables such as culture. ==> It's not replicable. ==> Personality definitions i.e. Type A, is too broad a generalisation. ...read more.

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