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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Notes

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Psychology 2036A/B
Sarah Khan

CHAPTER 1: HISTORY What is Health Psychology? Health psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with understanding psychological influences on how people stay healthy, why they become ill, and how they respond when they do become ill. Health psychologists are psychologists first, who secondarily are specialists in health. As you will discover in this course, psychological factors are always involved in health-related behavior. If you have ever tried to diet, exercise, quit smoking, or make some other significant and lasting change to your lifestyle, it is likely that you encountered some psychological barriers along the way. Even if your beliefs would appear to predict a certain behaviour, that behaviour will not follow unless you value the outcome of the behaviour. For example: continuing to smoke, despite knowledge of its harmful effects, could be maintained by your high value on gro▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯According to Albert Bandura [(2006). Toward a psychology of human agency. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 164-180]▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯y is a key motivational factor in personal development and change. Unless you believe that you can produce desired effects by your actions, you will have little incentive to act, or to persevere in the face of setbacks. Risky health behaviours such as smoking and drinking will be covered in Chapter 5. Emotion, behaviour, and thought. All three components are interconnected and therefore influence each other such that: Thoughts influence emotions and behaviours. Behaviours influence emotions and thoughts. Emotions influence thoughts and behaviours. The concept of psychological mindedness is related to your appreciation of the interconnections among your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The topic of behaviour change and its relation to feelings and thoughts will be covered in Chapter 4 of the textbook. Historical View of Health and Disease According to comedian Woody Allen [(1978). Getting even. NY: Vintage Books, p. 43], ▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ a split between mind and body, and, if so, which i▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ As described in Chapter 1 of your textbook, throughout history we have alternated between monism(the view that the mind and body are part of the same system) and dualism (the view that the mind and body are two separate systems). Before the ancient Greeks, there was monism in which physical illness was conceptualized as evil spirits invading the body. During the time of ancient Greece, there was dualism: disease was attributed to bodily functioning and there was a consequent impact of bodily disease on the functioning of the mind. Subsequently, the rise of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages led to a return to the view that illness was the result of evil spirits, hence a return to monism. Human dissections were banned by the Catholic Church as being unholy. The French philosopher Descartes convinced the head of the church to allow dissections. His reasoning was that because the mind and body a▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯soul (hence mind) left the body when the person died; therefore, only the unimportant physical body was left behind. During the Renaissance, illness was believed to be based on biological causes, hence a return to dualism. With regards to mental illness, the direction of the dualism was one-way such that physical illness was believed to cause mental illness. Freud▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯draw attention to the other possibility, namely that physical illnesses could have a psychological cause. Subsequently, Dunbar (in the 1930s) and Alexander (in the 1940s) developed the ideas that specific personality features lead to the development of specific illnesses (e.g., the ulcer-prone personality has an excessive need to be loved), and that conflict produces anxiety which is unconscious but then takes its toll on the nervous system to produce physical problems. Chapter 7 is all about the well- established link between stress and illness. The ideas from the 1930s and 1940s were the start of a field known as psychosomatic medicine. There were however some major problems with those early ideas: (1) personality type/conflict was not sufficient as an account of illness --- biological and environmental factors play a role too; (2) the ideas restricted the range of medical conditions for which we would consider psychological influences to apply; and (3) laypeople believed that if the disorder is classified as ▯psychosomatic,▯ ▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ Nevertheless, the enduring value of the early ideas was that they led to the general principle that all diseases are influenced by psychological factors. Today, we believe that there are psychological consequences associated with ill health. In sum, mind and body are distinct, but inseparable. History Re▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ Hippocrates is considered the father of modern medicine. In fact, even today medical students ▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ causation. In 400 BCE, he developed the humoral theory to explain how diseases are caused by imbalances in body fluids, including bile, phlegm, and blood. Treatment for diseases (including mental health problems) was based on re-balancing these body fluids. Techniques included steam baths, enemas, a balanced diet, and blood-letting. Some of these same techniques are being used in modern times. For example: - colonic cleanses are now widely used for not just dieting, but to allegedly enhance emotional health - chiropractic medicine uses colonic techniques and enemas for a variety of conditions - Europeans commonly go to spas to enhance their health and to treat illnesses, using steam baths, saunas, and other hydrotherapies - Transfusions and dialysis are common procedures used today - leeches are still used to reduce bleeding in surgical situations - Dietary approaches are used to treat many conditions, ranging from allergies to cancer (although controversial in some cases) Some of the above procedures seem to be more widely endorsed by people in other countries than in North America. Can North Americans Learn About Balance from Asian Cultures? Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1100-2000 BCE based its notion of health on the principle of internal harmony and balance with nature. ▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ energy by maintaining this balance. In a similar vein, ayurveda, a medical practice developed in India in 600 BCE views the body as a microcosm of the universe. In ayurveda, the key to health is for the individual to find balance with the macrocosmic world. One way to do this is to ▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯It would be difficult to strive for this sense of balance while living in a Western society, with many daily life obstacles to this process. Principles from Asian medicine are currently being used in Canada and the United States (e.g., acupuncture, martial arts, feng sh▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯ As will be seen in Chapter 6, ancient cultures show extensive knowledge of material medica (the medicinal properties of plants) to treat physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. These include the following cultures: Zulu and the Khoisan cultures of southern Africa, Ancient Chinese, Ancient Indian cultures, Native American people, and pre-Colombian cultures (Mayan and Aztec). In addition, Asian cultures in China and India still use herbal teas as a treatment for many maladies. There is a c▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯▯n Canada and the Un
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