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Chapter 1

Chapter 1.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 2036A/B
Professor
Dr.Mike

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Chapter 1: The Development of the Field What is Health Psychology? • 1970s: psychological principles applied to understand & improve health & health  care  Behavioural Medicine (1977):  a branch of medicine concerned with the relationship between health and  behavior. This focus is usually on remediation  Health Psychology (1980):  “the application of psychological principles to the diagnosis and treatment of  illness as well as to people’s attempts to maintain health and well­being” • Health psychology is the aggregate of the specific educational, scientific,  and professional contributions of the discipline of psychology to the  promotion and maintenance of health, the prevention or treatment of  illness, and the identification of etiologic and diagnostic correlated of  health, illness, and related dysfunction. • Compilation of all that psychology has to offer to the diagnosis and  treatment of illness as well as to people’s attempt to maintain health and  well­being • Beyond biology: psychological causes, sociological causes, and environmental  causes • Health is best achieved through a partnership between medical and social science. • Definition by WHO: o Health: a state of complete physical, mental, and social well­being and not  merely the absence of disease or infirmity. • 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 physiological symptoms. o Example: hypertension (high blood pressure) is connected to an inability  to express feelings of anger The Development of Health Psychology As a Discipline Behaviorism  • Neal Miller (1983)  • Traced development of biomedical perspective on illness to germ theory: the  discovery that many illnesses are caused by the activity of micro­organisms (e.g.,  bacteria) à Rise of technical medicine  o From the germ theory comes the development of antibiotics to fight these  germs o Emphasis on the technical aspects of medicine  Technical medicine is ineffective in treating health problems  caused by lifestyles and other psychosocial factors. • Behavioral perspective: health is affected by what we do rather than what we  think • Miller explained medical non­compliance by: o Gradient of reinforcement: gradual weakening of a behaviour the further  it gets in time from the reinforcement of that behavior  Greater the lag time between the behavior and the reinforcement,  the weaker the behavior will be. o Delayed gratification: Time lag between a behaviour and its  reinforcement • Asymptomatic: conditions that are not accompanied by palpable symptoms or  sensations o Ex: 40% of the patients prescribed to a medication for high blood pressure  no longer take the medicine • Following instructions to take antibiotics or changing lifestyle – explained by  delayed gratification o Changing lifestyle – asymptomatic; o Antibiotic – immediate Cognitive and Personality • Made some people look at situations as stressful while the others may not look at  it as stressful situations Studying ways to reduce stress: o Social support o Cognitive restructuring • Greater appreciation of personality & cognitive factors in health: • Changing people’s interpretations of stressful events (cognitive  restructuring) • Type A construct in health research: Role of hostility • Applying biopsychosocial approach to smoking and eating disorders • Study of the relation between behavior and CV health  ▯what  psyc
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