Chapter Review

Evolution and Health: Short-Term 
and Chronic Stress

  • Evolution has provided us with the hypothalamic--pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which produces the stress hormone cortisol. Constant release of cortisol results in chronic stress, which can be alleviated if you avoid rumination, or thinking about some stressful event over and over again.

Culture and Health: Class, Stress, and Health Outcomes

  • Lower-SES individuals have much worse health than higher-SES individuals, in part because they are subjected to more stress. But even subjectively lower status, such as being a subordinate executive, results in more stress-related illnesses.

Situational Factors and Health: 
The Benefits of Social Connection

  • People with more meaningful connections to others are healthier. Having a sympathetic person with you when you are undergoing stress significantly reduces the physiological and psychological indicators of stress.

Construal and Health: The Benefits of Perceived Control and Optimism

  • Having a sense of control over your fate also reduces stress and yields health benefits.