PSYC328 Textbook.docx

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12 Sep 2013
Department
Course
Professor
PSYC328
Introduction to Health Psychology
Chapter 1 9/14/2012 7:08:00 AM
What is Health Psychology?
Health psychology
Understanding psychological influences on how people stay healthy
o Why they become ill
o How they respond when they get ill
Health psychologists:
o Study issues and promote interventions to help people stay
well over illnesses
Health
1948
o World Health Organization defined as:
Complete state of physical, mental and social well-being
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
Not absence of illness but recognized to be an
achievement involving balance among physical, mental,
and social well-being
“Wellness” is optimum state of health
Health psychologists
Focus on
o Health promotion and maintenance
o Etiology and correlates of health, illness and dysfunction
Also study:
o The psychological aspects of the prevention and treatment of
illness
o Analyze and attempt to improve the health care system and
the formulation of health policy
Etiology
o Refers to the origins or causes of illness
H. psychologists are interested in behavioural/social
factors that contribute to health or illness and
dysfunction
How Has Our View of the Mind-Body Relationship Changed Over
Time?
Earliest times
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Mind and body considered a unit
o Disease arose when evil spirits entered the body and that the
spirits could be exorcised through the treatment process
o Trephination
Holes in skull to allow evil spirits to leave the body while
the shaman performed the treatment ritual
Greeks
Developed a theory of illness proposed by Hippocrates and then
Galen expanded on it
o Disease arises when four circulating fluids of the body…blood,
black bile, yellow bile and phlegm…are out of balance
Treatments is to restore balance among these fluids
o Specific personality types were associated with bodily
temperaments
Ascribed disease states to bodily factors but believed that these
factors can impact the mind as well
Middle Ages
Supernatural explanations of illness
Mysticism and demonology dominated concepts of disease
o God‟s punishment
o Cure consisted of driving out evil by…
Torture
Prayer
Penance
Church was guardian of medical knowledge
Healing and curing was done by the priest
Early years of Renaissance
Imagination and emotions seen as the way people could connect
with God
If ill, it was because of a lack of faith and imagination to restore
connection to God
Physician had to cure the attack of illness as well as altering the
imagination to induce bodily change
Healing relied on the patient‟s belief in words and practices of
physician
Renaissance till now
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Various people‟s work in autopsy put humoral theory of illness to
rest
Medicine looked more to the medical lab and bodily factors, rather
than to mind as a basis for medical progress
Dualistic conception of mind and body was strongly reinforced so
that physicians became guardians of body and philosophers became
caretakers of mind
o To break superstitions of past
Psychoanalytic Contribution
View began to change with psychology
o Sigmund Freud‟s early work on conversion hysteria
Specific unconscious conflicts can produce particular
physical disturbances that symbolize the repressed
psychological conflicts
Patients converts the conflict into a symptom via
voluntary nervous system
Then becomes free of anxiety the conflict would
produce
Psychosomatic Medicine
Dunbar and Alexander
Argue that conflicts produce anxiety, which becomes unconscious
and takes a physiological toll on body via autonomic nervous
systemProduces actual organic disturbance
Helped shape the emerging field of psychosomatic medicine
o Offered profiles of bodily disorders caused by emotional
conflicts
Now believe that conflicts or personality type is not sufficient to
produce illness
o Onset of disease requires the interaction of a variety of
factors
Genetic weakness in organism
Presence of environmental stressors
Early learning experiences and conflicts
Current ongoing learning and conflicts
Individual cognitions and coping efforts
Behavioural Medicine
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