Chapter 1: Development of the Field
Psychological causes: outlook on life, lifestyle, stress level,
Sociological causes: nature of employment and social network.
Environmental causes: the air we breathe
Health is best achieved through a partnership between medical and social science
Behavioural medicine: a branch of medicine concerned with the relationship between health
and behaviour. The focus is usually on remediation. (integration of biomedical and behavioural
Health psychology: the application of psychological principles to the diagnosis and treatment of
illness as well as to people’s attempts to maintain health and well-being (maintenance and
treatment of illness) (compilation of all that psychology has to offer to the diagnosis and
treatment of illness as well as to people’s attempts to maintain health and well-being)
WHO promoted the notion that being “healthy” also means being able to enjoy a desired quality
of life in terms of physical, mental, and social functioning.
As healthy psychologists we need to restore the sense of someone’s quality of life (addressing
fears, changing approach to life, develop conviction
Psychosomatic medicine: approach in which a particular medical complaint is viewed as being
the result of an underlying chronic emotional conflict that ultimately surfaces in the form of
o Specific symptoms are linked to particular kinds of conflict
o Relationship between psychological conflict and physical symptoms is the understanding
the essential hypertension (high blood pressure) is connected to an inability to express
feelings of anger in an appropriate manner.
o Men prone to anger with untreated high blood pressure have significantly more plaque
buildup in their arteries
o Psychotherapy is one of the treatment options in such cases (provide insight into the
impact that unresolved conflicts have on a particular individual’s life)
Treatment in behavioural medicine focuses on the individual’s current behaviour, which
psychologists view as being strongly influenced by learning.
o Symptoms are important in their own right, and the emphasis is on defining those
symptoms in observable and measurable terms.
Germ theory: the discovery that many illnesses are caused by the activity of a micro-organisms,
such as bacteria. (1983 Neal Miller)
Gradient of reinforcement: the gradual weakening of behaviour the further it gets in time from
the reinforcement of the behaviour. (greater lag time between behaviour and reinforcement ,
the weaker the behaviour will be)
Delayed gratification: term used by behaviourists to describe a situation in which there is a
time lag between behaviour and its reinforcement. Asymptomatic: conditions that are not accompanied by palpable symptoms or sensations (after
one year, about 40% of people prescribe