Health psychology-understanding psychological influences of how people stay healthy, why they get ill and
how they respond to illness
World health organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical mental and social well-
being and not merely the absence of disease or infection.
WHO 4 main functions: to give world wide knowledge in field of health; to set global standards for health; to
cooperate with governments in strengthening national health programs; to develop a transfer appropriate
health technology, information and standards.
Health psychologists focus on: Health promotion and maintenance, prevention and treatment of illness,
etiology and correlated of health, illness and dysfunction, improving the healthcare system and policy.
Mind and body-early times: believed mind and body was a unit. Disease arose when evil spirits entered.
Employed trephination (drilled hold into head)
Humoral theory (by Greeks): Four essential fluids: Blood, black vile, yellow bile, and phlegm. Disease arose
when unbalanced, personality types were associated with dominant humoral variables, aligns with mind-
body urinary hypotheses.
Mind-body relationship (Greeks)-4 main temperaments. Constant flux between temperaments, today
Mind-body relationship (middle ages): Period of supernatural and mysticism beliefs. Disease was
attributed to evil forces (disease arose when evil spirits entered. Ritualistic torture was employed). Religion
infiltrated medical knowledge. Functions of physician were taken over by priest. Level of health was
associated with the level of faith.
Mind-body relationship (renaissance): Improvements in biotechnology (microscope, autopsy). Led to
rejection of humoral theory. Supported by cellular pathology. Initiated the mind-body dualism movement.
Physicians associated with the body, philosophers associated with the mind.
Mind-body relationship (dualism): The mind (Descarte) was a ‘thinking thing’ a immaterial substance.