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Lecture 6


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York University
PSYC 3170
Jennifer Mills

HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY LECTURE 6 OCTOBER 19TH 2012 TOPIC GETTING ILL AND SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT The psychology of getting sick and then getting help Perceiving and Interpreting Symptoms Generally were not very accurate at it Complicated by a number of influences Not good at having a good sense of what is happening inside our bodies and then accurately making sense of those symptoms Languagehard to explain how we feel Example I having this pain in my stomach nauseous burning cramping happens randomly I do not know what makes it better or worse Terrible ta articulating ourselves Kids are bad at explaining what they are feeling We have not evolved enough to perceive our symptoms Only good at when it is an extreme or more serious sickness cancer Individual Differences Some people have more symptoms There are differences in what people can tolerate Differ in how much attention is paid to internal states Internally focused people overestimate bodily changes and experience slower recovery Personality affects Neuroticismpredicts quite well how many medical complaints you will report Monitoring pay more attention to bodily changes Panic attackshave high levels of interoceptive awareness know when something is wrong or amiss internally Have more attacks because they focus on the symptoms such as heart rate increase and faint feel causing them to get even worse and fall into the fight or flight response Based on whether one sees an increased heart rate as dangerous or not a big deal because it was probably the coffee they had Internally focused peopleoverestimate bodily changes and experience a slower recovery in terms of sickness and stress Heart rate could be average for instance but to them they perceive it as racing Example nervous system may be more hyper aroused and returns to a normal rate more slowlycould be biological differences Personality and Hypertension Effect of Hypertension Awareness Refer to graph on ppt Study on Personality and Hypertension Measured people in personality test for neuroticism Those that were the highest were those who were aware The second highest were those that were aware they were hypertensive Difference whether you aware of your status Those lower in it do not go to the doctor and therefore are not aware that they are hypertensive Those high in it go to the doctor more often and therefore get their blood pressure done all the time
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