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PS285 (38)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Health Psychology

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS285
Professor
Ketan Shankardass
Semester
Fall

Description
Health Psychology – Chapter 1 - “Health” is derived from Old high German and Anglo-Saxon words meaning whole, hale, and holy - China and Greece – health is a state of harmony, balance, equilibrium with nature (beliefs today from Greek + Roman) - Galen –Hippocratic tradition: hygieia (health) or euexia (soundness)  balance b/w four humors of the body – body’s state can be put out of equilibrium by excess heat, cold, dryness or wetness o 1. Black Bile: excess of this  melancholia o 2. Yellow Bile o 3. Phlegm o 4. Blood - 1964 – WHO – health as “the state of complete physical, social, and spiritual well-being, not just the absence of illness” o Textbook definition: state of well-being with physical, cultural, psychosocial, economic and spiritual aspects (not just absence of illness) - Psychosocial: human behaviour can mould wellness and illness - Missing from Maslow’s hierarchy: agency/autonomy: freedom to choose + spirituality: not all experience is in the physical world o Doyal and Gough: agency and autonomy are MOST basic of human needs o 3 basic needs to have minimally disabled social participation: physical health, autonomy of agency and critical autonomy  MASLOW: Physiological  Safety  Love/Belonging  Esteem  Self- actualization - Doyal + Gough 11 intermediate needs: o Adequate nutritional food + o Significant primary relationships water o Physical security o Adequate protective housing o Economic security o Safe working environment o Safe birth control/ child-bearing o Safe physical environment o Appropriate basic + cross- o Appropriate health care cultural education o Security in childhood  Health can only be defined negatively: minimization of death, disablement and disease  Autonomy is minimization of mental disorder, cognitive deprivation and restricted opportunities - Seedhouse defines basic needs as food, drink, shelter, warmth and purpose in life + o Information: about factors that influence one’s life o Literacy and numeracy skills: understand information and make reasoned decisions o Sociality: awareness of basic duty from living in a community  + specific foundations differ based on individual situations - UK/ Europe  health psychology is new profession alongside clinical + counselling psych. - Main focus for health psych. Has been clinical settings but shifting towards interventions for disease prevention (sex, nutrition, stress, etc.) - Individualism (common in Western societies): individuals responsible for their own health o Victim blaming – people get ill and it is their own fault (Fitzpatrick compares disease with sin and health with virtue) o Tobacco is benchmark for what can be achieved through health education + behavioural change (major approach is pharmacological) o Little evidence that people who change their diet/lifestyle end up living longer - Wholistic system: health includes psychosocial and evidence based approaches (health for all) - Epidemiology – is not causal, but provides a statistical or probability statement - The majority of human activity is influenced by social and economic environment, role models, friends or mass media o “herd instinct” – Christakis and Fowler (person to person spread of obesity)  Network phenomena – relevant to biologic and behavioural trait of obesity (obseogenic environment – affordable unhealthy food) - Built environment is just as important as the social one o Toxic environment leads people to unhealthy behaviours  morality and illness - Communitarian perspective to health – importance of social institutions
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