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PSYC 314 (33)
Chapter 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 314
Professor
Frances Chen
Semester
Fall

Description
Psychology 314: Chapter 1 Notes Health Psychology: devoted to understanding psychological influences on how people stay healthy, why they become ill and how they respond when they do get ill Health: a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Rather than defining health as the absence of illness, health is recognized to be an achievement involving balance among physical, mental, and social well being Health psychologists: focus on health promotion and maintenance including issues as how to get kids to develop good health habits, promote regular exercise and how to design a media campaign to get people to improve their diets. They also study aspects of the prevention and treatment of illness (how to manage stress, adjusting to treatment). They also focus on the etiology and correlates of health, illness, and dysfunction. Finally health psychologists analyze and attempt to improve the health care system and the formulation of health policy Etiology: the origin or causes of illness; specifically the behavioural and social factors that contribute to health and illness Mind-body relationship: the present viewpoint is that the mind and body have inextricable influences on health History of the mind-body relationship: philosophers thought that the mind and body were part of the same system and others thought that they are two separate systems. First the mind and body were considered a unit (and that disease arises when evil spirits entered the body and trephination allowed the evil spirits to leave the body through the skull) Greeks created the humoral theory of illness proposed by Hippocrates. In this view disease arose when the 4 fluids of the body (blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm) are out of balance. The Greeks ascribed disease states to bodily factors but believed that these factors also have an impact on the mind In the Middle aged people believed again in the supernatural explanations of illness, thinking that disease was god’s punishment for evildoing. Curing these diseases included torturing the body of the person inhabited by the evil spirit As time went on medicine looked more to the medical laboratory and bodily factors rather than the mind and dualism came into play This view changed with Freud’s work on conversion hysteria. The idea that unconscious conflicts can cause physical disturbances that symbolize the repressed psychological conflict into a symptom Psychosomatic Medicine: true conversion hysteria responses are now rarely seen although the idea that specific illnesses are produced by individuals’ internal conflict is still present; however the recent ideas are linked to patterns of personality rather than a single specific conflict. The present belief emphasizes that conflicts produce anxiety which become unconscious and take a physiological toll on the body via to autonomic nervous system which eventually results in an organic disturbance. The main theorists behind this modern view are Alexander and Dunbar Psychosomatic medicine: shaped by Alexander and Dunbar who offered profiles of particular disorders believed to be psychosomatic in origin—that is, bodily disorders caused by emotional conflicts Criticisms to the psychosomatic medicine view: diseases aren’t caused only by personality types; it is a more complicated interaction between genetic vulnerabilities, environment, and learning experiences Current views of the Mind-Body Relationship: it is now known that physical health is inextricably interwoven with the psychological and social environment: all conditions of health and illness are influenced by psychological and social factors. Staying well is greatly determined by good health habits. Health psychology today looks at both the mind and body and healing is accomplished through restoration of both physical and psychological balance (ex. Meditation, massage therapy, herbal remedies) The Biopsychosocial model of Health: its fundamental assumption is that health and illness are consequences of the interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors Advantages: Both macrolevel processes (existence of social support, the presence of depression) and microlevel processes (cellular disorders or chemical imbalances) interact to produce a state of health or illness. This model holds that health and illness are caused by many factors. It also holds that the mind and body cannot be distinguished in matters of health and illness because both so clearly influence individual’s state of health. It emphasizes both health and illness. Health is something that someone can achieve through attention to biological, psychological, and social needs. Systems theory: all levels of organization in any entity are linked to each other hierarchically and that change in any one level will effect change in all the other levels. This means
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