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Chapter 1

PSYC 2301 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Reductionism, Fetus

Course Code
PSYC 2301
Elizabeth Nisbet

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Chapter 1
Health Psychology: understanding how people stay healthy, why they
become ill and how they respond to illness
Health: a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not just the
absence of disease
-use the term ‘wellness’ to refer to optimum health
Health psychologists study:
a) health promotion/maintenance (how to develop good eating habits,
promote exercise)
b) prevention/treatment (how to manage stress) work with people who are
already ill to help them cope with illness
c) etiology: refers to causes/origin of illness (health psychologists interested
in behavioral/social factors contributing to health/illness -> alcohol
consumption, smoking, exercise etc.
d) analyze/attempt to improve health care system and formulation of health
Current view of the Mind-Body Relationship
-physical health is interwoven with the psychological and social environment
-all conditions of health/illness are influenced by psychological/social factors
-Western countries emphasize the interrelation of all of the body’s systems,
and view illness as disharmony between these systems
-therefore, healing is accomplished through techniques and treatment that
help restore physical and psychological balance (meditation, acupuncture,
massage therapy)
Biopsychosocial Model
-assumption that health/illness are consequences of biological, psychological
and social factors
-mind and body together determine health and illness
-maintains that biological/psychological/social factors are all important
determinants of health/illness therefore takes into account both macro-level
(social support, depression) and micro-level (cell disorders, chemical
imbalances). -> says that BOTH of these interact to produce health or illness
-maintains that health/illness are caused by multiple factors and produce
multiple effects
systems theory approach: all level of organization are linked to each other
and that change in any one level will effect change in all the other levels.
-changes in micro-level can effect macro-level and vice versa
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