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Ch. 3- Heath psychology.docx

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Psychology 2990A/B
Doug Hazlewood

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2990 Lecture# 3: The causes of death Psychology in health 1. Healthy beliefs 2. Changing unhealthy behaviors 3. Knowing that we are ill 4. Patient-provider communication - - 1900 – acute infectious diseases in America Eg: influenza - develop quickly; quickly led to death - today few ppl in America die from these diseases. Why? - less likely to become infected, b/c… - better personal hygiene, wash our hands better, bathe more - better public sanitation (sewage, water) - vaccines that inoculate us - effective drugs to treat infections today - so if you get infected, you can just go to the doc and be treated Leading causes of death in North America today - heart disease, cancer and stroke - aka “chronic diseases, b/c they develop slowly; no effective cure; live with them for long time. - Most of them are preventable disease (stem from unhealthy behaviors that can be changed) - Quit smoking!! (implicated in all three causes) - 25% of all deaths from cancer can be prevented if ppl quit smoking - 30% of all deaths could be prevented if ppl stopped smoking and eat healthy - 50% of deaths could be prevented if they didn’t drink and drive, wore seatbelts and didn’t speed. - Wear condoms consistently (AIDs prevention) - Regular exercise; limit alcohol, use sunscreen, early testing Eg: breast cancer - Some of us might engage in some healthy behaviors, but not all - Many deaths in these days are self-inflicted Q: how can we encourage ppl to engage in healthy behaviors? Health psychology offers 2 answers: 1. Encourage healthy beliefs – which will translate into healthy behaviors 2. Directly change unhealthy behaviors Part 1: Healthy beliefs A. Basic idea - unhealthy behaviors stem from unhealthy beliefs - to change behavior, must change beliefs by encouraging :healthy” beliefs. B. Health – relevant beliefs eg: to quit smoking - what are the beliefs for the smokers to hold, so they quit smoking? 1. General health values: I am interested and concerned about having good health. - if they don’t have this health beliefs then it is very likely that they will not quit 2. Belief in a “health threat” influenced by… - perceived severity of threat (smoking causes lung cancer, which is deadly) - though many smokers down play the severity of smoking - perceived vulnerability to threat (I could die from lung cancer if I smoke) - understand that they can be PERSONALLY hurt! - But: “unrealistic optimism” (bad things happen to other ppl, not me) - Most smokers belief that they are less likely to get lung cancer than the other smokers 3. Response efficacy: the health behavior quitting will reduce the threat (if I quit now, I wont die from lung cancer) - how does the person know this? - But: person might say “its too late for me, I have smoked too long, I’ll get lung cancer even it I quit, so what is the point to quit”. 4. Self efficacy: person is capable of performing the healthy behavior eg: I can do it! 5. Outcome beliefs: weigh costs and benefits of healthy behavior (quitting) - if benefits exceed costs, then the person will try to quit - if costs exceed benefits, less likely to try to quit - Important in adolescents: don’t care about long term negative outcomes of unhealthy behaviors Eg: I might die in 40 years - Better to emphasize immediate costs (my teeth will be yellow, my clothes will be smelly, I will have bad breath) - Teenagers don’t think about the long term costs 6. Subjective norms (2 elements) - Normative beliefs: what we think other ppl want us to do. Eg: - family and doc say “yea” (quit) - smoking friends say “no” (don’t quit) - teenagers get conflicting normative pressures Motivation to comply with these other ppl (can be high or low) Eg: if I am more motivated to comply to my friends who are telling me to smoke than I will smoke. - Intervention: want to add normative pressures to quit and increase motivation to comply (my family wants me to quit… and I really want to make them happy by quitting) - Adding more normative beliefs = increase motivation to quit. Part 2: the cognitive-behavioral approach to changing unhealthy behaviors and beliefs (what they are thinking) A. Basic idea: unhealthy behaviors and beliefs are learned; so they can be unlearned eg: reducing unhealthy snacks) 1. Systematically observe the problem behavior (self-monitoring): record behavior and circumstances of behavior. - goal is to identify the stimuli that control by bad behavior a. Stimuli in the environment if so, behavior is under stimulus control; to change the behavior must change the controlling stimuli - you might notice that when stimuli is present that is when you carry this behavior. Eg: TV (if so, remove link btw snacking and TV) - Eventually the TV looses its power to make you snack during TV time - availability of snacks that controls your snacking behavior; therefore remove the snacks. b. Consequences of behavior (behavioral control) Eg: - snacking makes you “feel relaxed” = consequence of snaking, rewarding exp, so you will snack in the future. - snacks taste good! - Must introduce new consequences: - rewards for not snacking (new CD), therefore more likely not snack - punishments for snacking (loose money). - we can use this approach to change our beliefs and cognition!! Interlude 1 : Targeting “self-efficacy” beliefs to enhance “self-control” - eg: you have failed to change your behavior in the past and this can result ot
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