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CBSE Class 12 Psychology
Quick Revision Notes
Chapter 8 Psychology And Life
Psychology And Life – CBSE Notes for Class 12 Psychology
- FACTS THAT MATTER
- The environment influences individuals Physical health, Psychological processes and behaviour, and some of these effects are demonstrated in stress producing environmental conditions such as noise pollution and crowding.
- Social problems like aggression, violence health and poverty are also major concern for present-day Psychologists.
- The Psychological understanding of these issues can be applied practically to aspects such as pro-environment behaviour, reduction of violence and discrimination and promotion of positive, health, positive attitudes and well-being of people.
- Human-Environment Relationship:
- 1. There is a growing awareness that environmental problems such as sound, air, water and soil pollution, and unsatisfactory ways of garbage disposal have damaging effects on physical health.
- 2. Less known is the fact that these forms of pollution influence psychological health and functioning as well.
- 3. A branch of psychology called environmental psychology deals with various psychological issues pertaining to the human-environment interaction in a very broad sense of the term.
- 4. The word ‘environment’ refers to all that is around us, including the physical, social, work, and cultural environment.
- 5. ‘Ecology’ is the study of the relationship between living beings and their environment.
- 6. In psychology, the focus is on the interdependence between the environment and people, as the environment becomes meaningful with reference to the human beings who live in it.
- (a) Natural environment: That part of nature which remains untouched by human hand is the ‘natural environment’.
- (b) On the other hand, whatever has been created by human beings within the natural environment is the built environment. Cities, houses, offices, factories, bridges, shopping malls, railway tracks, road, dams, and even artificial created parks and ponds are some examples of the built environment which show how human beings have made changes in the environment given by nature.
- The built environment usually involves the concept of environment design. The idea of‘design’ contains some psychological features, such as:
- • The creativity of the human mind, as expressed in the work of architects, town planners and civil engineers.
- • The sense of human control over the natural environment, as shown in the building of dams to regulate the natural flows of rivers.
- • The influence on the kind of social interaction that takes place in the designed environment.
- Different Views of the Human-Environment Relationship:
- 1. A psychologist named Stokols (1990) describes three approaches that may be adopted to describe the human-environment relationship.
- (a) The minimalist perspective assumes that the physical environment has minimal or negligible influence on human behaviour, health and well-being. The physical environment and human being exist as parallel components.
- (b) The instrumental perspective suggests that the physical environment exists mainly for use by human beings for their comfort and well-being. Most of the human influences on the environment reflect the instrumental perspective.
- (c) The spiritual perspective refers to the view of the environment as something to be respected and valued rather than exploited. It implies that human beings will exist and will be happy only as long as the environment is kept healthy and natural.
- 2. Traditional Indian view about the environment supports the spiritual perspective, e.g.; the customs of the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan, and the Chipko movement in the Uttarakhand region. By contrast, we also find examples of people damaging or destroying the environment, which is a negative instance of the instrumental, which is a negative instance of the instrumental perspective.
- Environmental Effects of Human Behaviour:
- Some of the effects pointed out by psychologists are described below:
- 1. Perception: For example, a tribal society of Africa lives in circular huts, that is, in houses without angular walls. They show less error in a geometric illusion (the Muller-Lyer illusion) than people from cities, who lives in houses with angular walls.
- 2. Emotions: The environment affects our emotional reactions as well. Watching nature in any form provides a kind of joy that cannot be matched by any other experience. In natural disasters, They experience deep depression and sorrow, a sense of complete helplessness and lack of control over their lives. They can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- 3. Ecological Influences in Occupation, Living Style and Attitudes: The occupation determines the life-style and attitudes of the residents of a co-operativeness. They are also closer to nature, more Dependent on natural events and limited supply. On the other hand, highly industrialized societies feel less close to and less dependent on nature. Members of industrialized societies may value independent thinking, develop an attitude of competitiveness, and cultivate a valued personal control over what happens to them.
- Human Influence on the Environment:
- • Human beings also exert their influence on the natural environment for fulfilling their physical needs and other purposes.
- • Some of these human actions harm and damage the environment, and ultimately harm themselves, in numerous ways.
- -> Refrigerators and air-conditioners that generate CFS that pollute the air.
- -> Smoking is known to pollute the air around us, and the carbon-cycle and the water- cycle.
- -> Industries that discharge effluents, and pump this untreated sewage into rivers, seem to be unconcerned about the dangerous physical and psychological consequences of this kind of pollution.
- • Noise, pollution, crowding and natural disasters are some examples of environmental stressors, which are stimuli or conditions in the environment that create a stress for human beings.
- (a) Any sound that is annoying or irritating, and felt to be unpleasant is said to be noise.
- (b) Noise, especially for long periods of time, is uncomfortable and puts people in an unpleasant mood.
- (c) It may lead to hearing loss.
- (d) It reduces concentration.
- Three characteristics of noise have been found to determine its effect on task performance, namely, intensity, predictability, and controllability of noise.
- Effects of Noise: Systematic research on the effects of noise on human beings shows the following:
- • When the task being performed is a simple mental task, such as addition to numbers, noise does not affect overall performance, whatever it is loud or soft.
- • If the task being performed is very interesting, then, too, the presence of noise does not affect performance.
- • When the noise comes at intervals, and in an unpredictable way, it is experienced as more disturbing than if the noise is continuously present.
- • When the task being performed is difficult or requires full concentration, then intense, unpredictable, and uncontrollable noise reduces the level of task performance. –
- • When tolerating or switching off the noise is within the control of the person, the number of errors in task performance decreases.
- • In terms of emotional effects, noise above a certain level causes annoyance, and can also lead to sleep disturbance.
- 1. In the form of air, water and soil pollution.
- 2. Waste or garbage that contes from household or from industries are a big source of air, water and soil pollution.
- There are some researches or studies that have shown direct or indirect psychological effects of these forms of pollution as well.
- Effects of Air pollution: Specific psychological effects of air-pollution have been reported by some researchers. For example,
- (i) In one part of Kolkata, the psychological reactions to air-pollution. Those living in the industrial area reported greater tension and anxiety than those living in a non-industrial residential area.
- (ii) In study conducted in Germany, the presence of pollution such as sulphur dioxide in the air was found to decrease the ability to concentrate on a task, and lowering performance efficiency.
- (iii) Pollution caused by leaks of dangerous chemical substances can cause other kinds of harm. For example, Bhopal gas tragedy of December 1984, also left behind psychological effects because of the gas disturbances in memory, attention and alertness.
- (iv) Tobacco smoke pollution, that is, pollution through cigarette, cigar or beedi-smoking, can also cause psychological effects e.g., increase the aggression level of individuals.
- (v) The presence of specific chemicals such as lead can cause mental retardation by affecting brain development.
- (vi) Waste are plastics, tin or any metal container. This kind of waste material should be destroyed or burned through special techniques, and the smoke should not be allowed to escape into the air that people breathe.
- 1. Crowding refers to a feeling of discomfort because there are too many people or things around us, giving us the experiences of physical restriction, and something the lack of privacy.
- 2. Crowding is the person’s reaction to the presence of a large number of persons within a
- ” particular area or space. When this number goes beyond a certain level, it causes stress to individuals caught in that situation.
- Features of crowding: The experience of crowding has the following features:
- • Feeling of discomfort,
- • Loss or decrease in privacy,
- • Negative view of the space around the person, and
- • Feeling of loss of control over social interaction.
- It should be understood that the experience of crowding is brought about not merely because
- of a large number of persons as such, nor merely because of the shortage of space. It is related to density, that is, the number of persons within the available space.
- • Crowding and high density may lead to abnormal behaviour and aggression, e.g., study of rats. These animals were placed in an enclosure, initially in small numbers. As their population increased within this enclosed space, they started showing aggressive and unusual behaviour, such as biting the tails of other rats. This aggressive behaviour increased to such an extent that ultimately the animals died in large numbers, thus decreasing the population in the enclosure.
- • Crowding leads to lowered performance on difficult tasks that involve cognitive processes, and has adverse effects on memory and the emotional state.
- • Children growing up in very crowded household show lower academic performance. They also show weaker tendency to continue working on a task if they are unsuccessful at it, compared to children growing up in non-crowded households. They experience greater conflict with their parents, and get less support from their family members.
- • The nature of social interaction determines the degree to which an individual will react to crowding.
- • Crowding tolerance refers to the ability to mentally deal with a high density or crowded environment, such as a crowded residence (a large numbers of persons within a small room). Competition tolerance is the ability to put up with a situation in which individuals would have to compete with many others for even basic resources, including physical space. Cultural characteristics may determine the extent to which a particular environment is judged to be subjectively more crowded or less crowded.
- Personal space or the comfortable physical space one generally likes to maintain around oneself is affected by a high-density environment. In a crowded context, there is a restriction on a personal space, and this can also be a cause of negative reactions to crowding.
- We find many examples of people responding to the physical environment in terms of space. In social situations, human beings like to maintain a certain physical distance from the person with whom they are interacting.
- This is called interpersonal physical distance and is a part of a broader concept called personal space, i.e., the physical space we like to have all around us. One reason for the negative reactions to crowding, as described earlier, is the decrease in personal space.
- 1. Intimate Distance (up to 18 inches): The distance you maintain when you are talking privately to someone or interacting with a very close friend relative.
- 2. Personal Distance (18 inches to 4 feet): The distance you maintain when you are interacting one-to-one with a close friend, relative, or even with someone not very close to you in a work setting or other social situation.
- 3. Social Distance (4 to 10 feet): The distance you maintain when the interaction is formal, and not close.
- 4. Public Distance (10 feet to infinity): The distance you maintain in a formal setting, where there is a large number of persons. For example, the distance of an audience from a public speaker, or a teacher in a classroom.
- It may be noted that these distances are maintained voluntarily, keeping in mind the comfort experienced by the persons involved in the interaction.
- The concept of personal space is important for the following reasons:
- • First, it explains many of the negative effects of crowding as an environmental stressor.
- • Second, it tells us about social relationships.
- • Third, it gives us some idea about how physical space can be modified in order to reduce stress or discomfort in social situations or to make social interaction more enjoyable and fruitful.
- Natural Disasters:
- • Environmental stressors such as noise, various forms of pollution and crowding are the result of human behaviour.
- • By contrast, natural disasters are stressful experiences that are the result of disturbances in the natural environment, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, cyclones and volcanic eruptions.
- • These events are called ‘disasters’ because they cannot be prevented, usually come without any warning, and result in immense damage to human lives and property.
- • Sadly, they also lead to a psychological disorder, called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- • Science and technology have now progressed sufficiency to make it possible for human beings to predict these events, to some extent. Yet the psychological effects of natural disasters need to be understood and remedied.
- What are the effects of natural disasters?
- First, they leave people poverty-stricken, homeless, without any resources, usually along with a loss of everything they owned.
- Second, the sudden loss of all their belongings as well as their dear ones leaves people shocked and stunned.
- This is sufficient to create a deep-seated psychological disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe psychological problem that results from traumatic events such as natural disasters.
- Features of Natural Disasters: This disorder has the following features:
- The immediate reaction to a disaster is commonly one of disorientation. People take some time to understand the full meaning of what the disaster has done to them. They may actually deny to themselves that something terrible has happened. Following the immediate reaction are the physical reactions.
- Physical reactions, such as bodily exhaustion even without physical activity, difficulty in sleeping, change in the eating pattern, increased heartbeat and blood pressure.
- Emotional reactions, such as grief and fear, irritability, anger, helplessness, hopelessness, depression, something absolute lack of emotion.
- Cognitive reactions, such as worry, difficulty in concentration, reduced span of attention, confusion, loss of memory, or vivid memories, that are unwanted (or nightmares of the event). Social reactions, such as withdrawal from others, getting into conflict with others, having frequent arguments with even loved ones, and feeling rejected or left out.
- These reactions may last for a long time, in some cases throughout life, with proper counselling and psychiatric treatment, PTSD can be remedied at least up to level where the victims can be motivated, and helped to start life afresh.
- In general, the intensity, if reaction, is affected by:
- • The severity of the disaster, and the loss incurred (both in terms of property and life),
- • The individual’s general coping ability, and
- • Other stressful experiences before the disaster.
- Although we are aware ,that most natural disasters can be predicted only in a limited way, there are ways of being prepared to minimize their devastating consequences in the form of. Warnings: If you have been listening to the radio in the recent past, you might have heard ‘ advertisements that mention what people should do when it is announced that some natural disaster, such as a flood, is likely. When cyclones of high tides are predicted, fishermen are asked not to venture into the sea. .
- Safety measures that can be taken immediately after the event. Even if prediction is possible, the events come to suddenly for people to be warned or to be mentally prepared. Therefore, tips are given beforehand about what to do when there is an earthquake.
- Treatment of psychological disorders: This includes self-help approaches as well as professional treatment. Counselling at the individual and group level is the next step.
- Pro-environmental behaviour:
- (i) Includes both actions that are meant to protect the environment from problems, and to promote a healthy environment.
- Some promotive actions to protect the environment from pollution are:
- Reducing air pollution by keeping vehicles in good condition, or changing to non-fuel driven vehicles, stopping the practice of smoking.
- Reducing noise pollution (noise) by ensuring that noise levels are now. For example, discouraging needless honking on the road, or making rules regarding noisy music at certain hours.
- Managing disposal of garbage sensible. For example, by encouraging separation of biodegradable garbage from non-biodegradable waste, or composting of kitchen waste. Planting trees and ensuring their care, keeping in mind that those plants and trees should not be planted that have adverse health effects.
- Saying ‘no’ to plastic in any form, thus reducing toxic wastes that pollute water, air and the soil.
- Reducing the non-biodegradable packaging of consumer goods.
- Laws related to construction (especially in urban areas) that violates optimal environment design.
- Poverty and violence are two main problems in our society. Both of these phenomena have noticeable effects on the physical as well psychological health of people.
- Poverty is not nearly an economic problem. It has social, emotional, Psychological perspectives also.
- Violence is also not simply a question of breaking the law. It is related to societal conditions Psychological perspective and economic conditions also. Psychologists have actively exploring these issue to explain causes, consequences and strategies to deal with these phenomena effectively.
- Poverty and Discrimination:
- Some experts define poverty mainly in economic terms and measure it in terms of incomes, nutrition (the daily caloric intake per person), and the amount spent on basic necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter.
- From the socio-psychological point of view, the most commonly accepted definition of poverty is that it is a condition in which there is a lack of necessities of life in the context of : unequal distribution of wealth in society. <
- A distinction between deprivation and poverty is that deprivation refers to the state in which a person feels that he/she has lost something valuable, and is not getting something what he/she deserves. In deprivation, it is more a question of perceiving or thinking that one has less than what one should have got.
- Poverty refers to an actual shortage of the resources necessary for living, and thus can be somewhat objectively defined. .
- Thus, a poor person may experience deprivation, but poverty is not a necessary condition for experiencing deprivation.
- Both poverty and deprivation are linked to social disadvantage. In our society, the caste system has been largely the source of social disadvantages, but poverty, irrespective of cast, has also played a role in creating social disadvantage.
- In the context of poverty, discrimination refers to the behaviour that makes a distinction between the rich and the poor, favouring the rich and the advantaged over the poor and the disadvantaged, e.g., matters of social interaction, education and employment.
- Thus, even if the poor or disadvantaged have the capability, they are kept away from opportunities that are enjoyed by the rest of society.
- The children of the poor do not get a chance to study in good school, or get good health facilities, and employment.
- Disadvantage and discrimination prevent the poor from improving their socio-economic condition through their own efforts, and this makes the poor even poorer.
- Psychological Characteristics and Effects of Poverty and Deprivation.
- In terms of motivation, the poor have law aspirations and low achievement motivation, and high need for dependence. Eth explain their successes in terms of luck or fate rather than ability of hard work. In general, they believe that events in their lives are controlled by factors outside them, rather than within them.
- With regard to personality, the poor and deprived have low self-esteem, high anxiety and introversion, and dwell on the immediate present rather than being future-oriented. They prefer smaller immediate rewards to larger rewards in the long run, because in their perception,
- the future is too uncertain. They live with a sense of hopelessness, powerlessness, felt injustice, and experience a loss of identity.
- With respect to social behaviour, the poor and deprived sections exhibit and attitude of resentment towards the rest of society.
- Among the effects of prolonged deprivation on cognitive functioning, it has been found that intellectual, functioning and performance on tasks (such as classification, verbal reasoning, time perception, and pictorial depth perception) is lower among the highly deprived compared to those who are less deprived. It has also been certified that the
- effect of deprivation is because the nature of the environment is cognitive task performance.
With regard to mental health, there is an unquestionable relationship between mental 1 disorders and poverty or deprivation. The poor are more likely to suffer from specific mental
1 illness compared to the rich, possible due to constant worry about basic necessities, feelings of
insecurity, or inability to get medical facilities, especially for mental illness. In fact, it has been suggested that depression may be a mental disorder largely of the poor.
Major Causes of Poverty:
Poverty is sometimes caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and cyclones,
or man-made disasters such as poisonous gas leaks. When such events take place, people
suddenly lose all their possessions and have to face poverty.
Similarly, one generation of.the poor may be unable to eradicate their poverty, and the next generation continues to remain in poverty. Apart from these causes, other factors responsible for poverty have been mentioned below:
1. The poor themselves are responsible for their poverty. According to this view, the poor lack the ability and motivation to put in effort, and make use of available opportunities, r In general, such a view about the poor is rather negative, and does not help at all in
making them better.
2. It is not the individual, but a belief system, a way of life, and values, in which he/ she is brought up, that is the cause of poverty. This belief system, called the ‘culture of, poverty’, convinces the person that he/she will continue to remain poor, and the belief is
carried over from one generation of the poor to the next.
3. Economic, social and political factors together account for poverty. Because of discrimination, certain sections of society are denied the opportunities needed for getting even the basic necessities of life.
4. The geographic region in which one lives is said to be a significant cause of poverty.
This factor cannot be controlled by human beings.
5. The poverty cycle is another important cause of poverty that explains why poverty tends to continue among the same sections of society. Poverty begets poverty.
The only way to tackle the problems associated with poverty and deprivation is to work actively as well as earnestly towards the removal or reduction of poverty.
Measures for Poverty Alleviation
Several steps are being taken by the government and other groups to work towards alleviation or reduction of poverty and its negative consequences.
1. Breaking the poverty cycle, and helping the poor to attain self-sufficiency—initially, financial relief, medical and other facilities may have to be provided to the poor.
2. Creating a context for making the poor take responsibility instead of blame for their poverty.
3. Providing educational and employment opportunities, following the principles of social justice—this step may help the poor to discover their own abilities and skills, thus enabling them to come up to the level of other sections of society.
4. Measures for improved mental health—many of the poverty-reduction measures help to improve the physical health of the poor, but their mental health still remains a problem to be tackled effectively.
5. Steps for empowering the poor—through the measures mentioned above, the poor should be made more powerful, capable of living independently and with dignity, without depending on the help given by the government or by other groups.
6. The concept of ‘Antyodaya’, or the rise of the ‘last person’ in society, i.e., the poorest or the most disadvantaged, has helped a large section of the poor to get uplifted to a better economic condition than they have experienced earlier. Under Antyodaya programmes, there is provision for health facilities, nutrition.
Another way is through small loans or micro-credit facilities. The facility is similar to the idea of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
Following the 73rd amendment of the Constitution, the aim is to give more power to people for their development through decentralized planning, and through people’s participation. Action Aid, an international group. Has goals of making the poor more sensitive to their rights, to equality and justice, and ensuring for them adequate nutrition, health, and facilities for education and employment.
Aggression, Violence and Peace:
Aggression and violence are among the major problems in today’s society, and they cover a wide range of behaviours—from ragging of newcomers in educational institutes, through child abuse ect.
Psychologists use the term ‘aggression’ to refer to any behaviour by one person/persons that intend to cause harm to another person/persons. It can be demonstrated in actual action or through the use of harsh words or criticism, or even hostile feelings against others.
Forceful destructive behaviour towards another person or object is described as ‘violence’.
Some psychologists distinguish aggression from violence by pointing out that the aggressive behaviour involves the intention to harm or injure another person, whereas violence may or may not involve such an intention.
A distinction is also made between instrumental aggression and hostile aggression.
In instrumental aggression, the act of aggression is meant to obtain a certain goal or object.
Hostile aggression is that which is shown as an expression of ranger towards the target, with the intention of harming him/her, even if the aggressor does not wish to obtain anything from the victim.
Causes of Aggression:
Inborn Tendency: Aggressiveness is an tendency among human being (as it is in animals). Biologically, this inborn tendency may be meant for self-defense.
Physiological Mechanism: Aggression could also be indirectly triggered by physiological mechanisms, especially by the activation of certain parts of the brain that play a role in emotional experience. A general physiological state of arousal, or feeling activated, might often be expressed in the form of aggression.
Child-rearing: The way an individual is brought up often influences him/her aggressiveness. It could also be because physical punishment makes the child angry and resentful; as the child grows up he/she expresses this anger through aggressive behaviour.
Frustration: Aggression is an expression, and consequence of frustration, i.e., an emotional state that arises when a person is prevented from reaching a goal, or attaining an object that he/she wants. The person.may be very close to the goal, and yet does not attain it.
An American psychologist, John Dollard, along with his collaborators, conducted research specially to examine the frustration-aggression theory. Theory proposes that it is frustration that leads to aggression. As expected, frustrated persons did demonstrate more aggression than non-frustrated persons.
Moreover, such aggression was often shown towards a weaker person who was unlikely, or unable to react to aggression. This phenomenon has been called displacement. Observations showed that:
Being frustrated does not necessarily make a person aggressive.
Many other situational factors may lead to aggression. .
Learning: Among human beings, aggression is largely the result of learning than an expression of an inborn tendency.
Learning of aggression can take place in more than one mode. Individuals may exhibit aggression because they have found it rewarding (for example, hostile aggression allows the aggressive person to get what he/she wants). This would be case of learning through direct reinforcement. Individuals also learn to be aggressive by observing others showing aggression. This is case of learning through modelling.
Observing an Aggressive Model: Many research studies conducted by psychologists such as Albert Bandura and his collaborators shows the role of modelling in learning aggression. In studies that tested the frustration-aggression theory, provoking the person and making him/ her angry was one way of including frustration.
Anger provoking action by others: Insults, threats, physical aggression, sarcasm, derogatory remarks or dishonesty by a person or persons may provoke an individual to react aggressively.
Frustration-aggression theory by Dollard and Miller also confirm this phenomenon. Availability of Weapons of Aggression: Some researchers have found that observing violence leads to a greater likelihood of aggression on the part of the observation only if weapons of aggression are easily available.
Personality Factors: We may conclude that aggressiveness is thus a personal quality. It has been observed that the people, who have very low self-esteem and feel insecure, may behave aggressively in order to ‘boost their ego’.
Cultural Factors: The culture in which one grows up can teach its members to be aggressive or not by encouraging and praising aggressive behaviour, or discouraging and criticizing such behaviour.
Reducing Aggression and Violence.
Parents and teachers should especially be careful not to encourage or reward aggression in any form.
The use of punishment to bring about discipline also needs to be changed.
Opportunities to observe and imitate the behaviour of aggressive models should be reduced drastically.
Poverty and social injustice may be a prominent cause of aggression, because they can cause frustration in certain section of society. Implementing social justice and equality in society may help in reducing frustration levels and thereby curb aggressive tendencies at least to some extent.
Apart from these strategies, at the level of the community or society, it is important to inculcate a positive attitude towards peace.
It is now conceded that various health outcomes are not only a function of disease but the way we think and behave.
This definition of ‘health’ is provided by the World Health Organization (WHO). Which includes biological, psychological and social aspects of health.
One may be suffering from a physical disabling disease but may be quite healthy otherwise. e.g., Baba Amte or Stephen Hawkins.
We also find that people differ across cultures in their thinking about when and how people fall ill and, therefore, in the models which they use in prevention of diseases and promotion of health.
There are traditional cultures like Chines, Indian, and Latin American which hold that good health results from the harmonious balance of various elements in the body, and ill- health results when such a balance is lost.
On the contrary, the western cultures view health as a result of fully functioning machine which has no blockage.’’
The World Health Reports by the WHO shows that in developing countries such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America, more die due to communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) malaria, respiratory infections and nutritional deficiencies. In the developed countries, the leading causes of death are various cardiovascular diseases, cancers and psychiatric disorders. Such differences may be explained in terms of how these societies are economically and socially structured and their psychological underpinnings.
Factors associated with Well-being and Fitness:
(a) The variations in seeking help are due to differences in mental representations people make relating tp disease, its severity and the causes of disease.
(b) The level of awareness or information about disease and belief about how it is caused; and about possible ways of relieving the distress or improving health affect help-seeking behaviour as well as sticking to a doctor’s regimen.
(c) Another factor which influences our help-seeking from a doctor is the perception of pain, which is a function of personality, anxiety and social norms.
(a) Psychologists have found strong evidence which shows that behaviours we engage in our life, styles greatly influence health.
(b) People differ greatly in terms of such behavioural risk factors as smoking or tobacco use, alcohol and drug abuse, and unsafe sexual behaviour, diet and physical exercise.
(c) A new discipline called Behaviour Medicine has emerged, which seeks to alleviate stress due to diseases through modification in behaviour.
3. Social and Cultural Factors:
(a) There is now a growing body of research which shows that social and cultural differences may influence our psychological responses, and may not be the same across all cultures.
(b) While interaction between culture and psychological responses requires more
evidence, social and cultural norms associated with roles and gender, etc. greatly influence our health behaviour.
(c) In Indian society, medical advice by or for a female is often delayed because of various reasons—they are less valued, or because of the belief that they are hardy, or the shame associated with the disease.
Impact of Television on Behaviour.
1. From the point of its psychological impact on human beings, both positive and negative effects have been observed.
2. Most of the research studies have been carried out on children because they are seen as being more vulnerable to the impact of television than adults.
First, television provides a large amount of information in an attractive form, and in the visual mode, for which it becomes a powerful medium of instruction and children spend huge amounts of time watching them. This reduces their habit of reading and writing, and also their outdoor activities such as playing.
Second, television watching may have an effect on children’s ability to concentrate on one target, their creativity and ability to understand, and also their social instructions. On one hand, there .are excellent programmes that emphasize positive interpersonal attitudes and provide useful factual information, teaching children how to design and construct certain objects.
Third, results of research showed that watching violence on television was, indeed, linked to greater aggressiveness in the viewers.
3. Other research finding shows that watching violence may actually reduce the natural aggressive tendency of the viewers: what is ‘bottled up’ gets an outlet, and thus cleans the system, like a choked drainpipe being cleaned. This process is called catharsis.
4. In the case of adults as well as children, it is said that a consumerist attitude has developed, and this is due to television watching. Numerous products are advertised, and it is very natural for the viewer to get carried away.
WORDS THAT MATTER
• Aggression: An overt behaviour intended to hurt someone, either physically or verbally.
• Air-pollution: Degraded quality of air is air-pollution.
• Communicable Disease: An illness due to specific infection agent capable of being directly or indirectly transmitted from man to man, animal to animal, or from the environment to man or animal.
• Competition Tolerance: The ability to put up with a situation in which individuals would have to compete with many others for even basic resources, including physical space.
• Crowding: A psychological feeling of too little space; perception of crampedness.
• Crowding Tolerance: The ability to mentally deal with a high density or crowded environment, such as a crowded residence.
• Disaster: A disaster is an unforeseen and often sudden event that disrupt the normal condition within a society and cause widespread damage, destruction, and human suffering.
• Discrimination: Behaviour that shows a distinction being made between two or more persons, often on the basis of the person’s (or persons’) membership of a particular group.
• Displacement: Redirecting an impulse towards a less threatening or safer target; a key concept in psychoanalytic theory; a defence mechanism.
• Ecology: That branch of biology which deals with the relations of organism to their environment,
• Environment: Totality, or any aspect of physical and social set-up that surround and affect an individual organism,
• Environmental Psychology: The branch of psychology that concentrates on the interaction between the physical world and human behaviour.
• Instrumental Perspective: The approach that suggests that the physical environment exists mainly for use by human beings for their comfort and well-being.
• Modelling: A process of learning in which an individual acquires responses by observing and unitating others.
• Noise: An unwanted sound, one that brings about a negative affective response.
• Peace: It is the absence of hostility and as expression of harmony with fellow human beings and the environment.
• Personal Space: The small area around an individual considered belonging to him/her whose invasion is experienced as threatening or unpleasant.
• Physical Environment: It is the nature that includes climate, air, water, temperature, flora and fauna.
• Poverty: Poverty is an economic deprivation. It is association with low income, hunger, low caste and class status, illiteracy, poor housing, overcrowding, lack of public amenities, mal- and under-nutrition, and increased susceptibility to diseases.
• Poverty Alleviation: Measures/programmes taken up to reduce poverty.
• Pro-environmental Behaviour: Willingness and activities of human beings to protect the environment are pro-environmental behaviour.
• Self-efficacy: Bandura’s term for the individual’s beliefs about her or his own effectiveness the expectation that one can master a situation and produce positive outcomes.
• Spiritual Perspective: The perspective that specifies to do activities what are desirable in accordance with the scriptures. It pleads for a harmony between man and nature.
• Post-traumatic stress disorder: A form of Anxiety disorder in which patterns of symptoms involving anxiety reactions, tensions, nightmares and depression following a disaster such as an earthquake or a flood.
• Social environment: Societal conditions-Positive or negative like peace-violence, Justice-discrimination, Warmth-hostility etc.
• Transactional Approach: It includes interaction between people and environment. Human beings affect the environment and in turn are affected by the environment.