Key Study: Cognitive appraisals and the stress response (Lazarus, 1963)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Health Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

The most influential cognitive explanation of stress is based on “cognitive appraisals” – how we assess the relevance and potential harm of a stressor. The following study is one of many that supports this explanation. Stress is a complex phenomenon that involves biological, psychological and environmental factors. Richard Lazarus was a pre-eminent psychologist in the field of stress research. Along …

IB Health Psychology | HOME PAGE

Travis Dixon Health Psychology Leave a Comment

The following is a work in progress.  Health Problems: Stress The following information focuses on the “health problem” of stress.  Explanations of health problem(s)  Biological explanations for stress COMT gene and the Warrior/Worrier Hypothesis (Blog / Video One/Two) Key study: Key study: The Hippocampus and Stress (Blog) The PFC and Stress (Blog) Cognitive explanations for stress Appraisals (Blog / Video) …

Stress and the Hippocampus

Travis Dixon Health Psychology Leave a Comment

The following is adapted from our eBook for Health Psychology: “Stress and how to cope: A Health Psychology guide for IB Students” (Available here). Not all of this content could make the final cut. So read on if you’re interested in how your hippocampus could be causing you stress.  IB Psych Health: This content is relevant for biological explanations of health problems …

Generalizability in Animal Studies: Cognition and Culture

Travis Dixon Biological Psychology, Health Psychology, Research Methodology 2 Comments

Generalizability is the extent to which we can confidently predict the results of a study would apply to a different context, including different people, places, and procedures. When considering the extent to which we can generalize findings from animal studies, we are considering how confidently we could predict the same finding in humans. For example, animal studies like Sapolsky’s research …

Key Study: Social status and stress in Olive Baboons (Sapolsky, 1990)

Travis Dixon Health Psychology, Key Studies, Studies and Theories Leave a Comment

An interesting finding in the field of stress and health psychology is that people with higher social status are generally in better health: they have lower rates of heart disease, are less obese and live longer. Why? One reason could be because they are less stressed.  A lot of our knowledge about stress and health comes from animal studies, particularly those …

10 ways to stress a monkey
Findings from studies on primate stress and social rank

Travis Dixon Health Psychology Leave a Comment

Why would you want to stress a monkey? Hopefully you don’t. But learning about stressed monkeys can help us explain stress problems in humans.  Decades of animal research has shown that social status is connected with stress. Typically speaking, monkeys with a higher rank in their group are less stressed and have lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Low-ranking …

Health Project Week 4
Week 4 - Interviews

Travis Dixon Health Psychology, Teaching Ideas Leave a Comment

Week 4 is time to reflect and try something a little different. We’re going to conduct qualitative interviews on our classmates to learn about their experiences in this project. There are a few reasons I’ve chosen this activity. One reason is to have students keep in touch with other, another is that it can be done without screens (if you …

Health Project Week 3
Week 3 - Analysis and Report

Travis Dixon Health Psychology, Teaching Ideas Leave a Comment

After two weeks of collecting data on health habits and their effects, it’s now time to write up the report.  Read more: Health Project Week 4 Health Project Week 3 Health Project Week 2 Health Project Week 1 Health Self-Experimentation Project Intro The Importance of Routine Teachers: Feel free to adapt or amend any of this work in any way …

Health Project Week 2
Week 2 - Treatment Condition

Travis Dixon Health Psychology, Teaching Ideas Leave a Comment

In Week 1 the main job was collecting data on a range of health habits (sleep, diet, exercise) and their possible effects. This week, you’re going to choose one of those habits that you want to improve. If you can do better this week, that will be your manipulation of your independent variable. We’ll then see in Week 3 if …