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Health Psychology Test 1


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Health psychology is devoted to doing what?
Understanding the psychology behind staying healthy, getting sick,and our responses to illness
According to the book, what is the definition of health?
a complete state of physical, meantal, and social well-being....NOT just the absence of disease or illness.
Health psychologists focus on 5 main things. What are they?
1. Health promotion/ maintenance
2. The psych aspects of prevention and treatment of illness
3. The etiology and correlates of health, illness, and dysfunction
4. Analysis of health care systems
5. Improving interventions for staying healthy and getting better.
Define etiology.
The origins or causes of illness.
What do health ppsychologists think of the mind-body relationship?
They believe the mind and body are indistinguishable and work as one system. Other ppl think they are separate systems.
Describe conversion hysteria and name its founder.
Freud- unconscious conflicts cause physical disturbances symbolic of the repressed conflict.
ex. glove anesthesia , sudden loss of speech
Acute disorders
short term illnesses
Chronic illnesses
slowly developing diseases that ppl live with for a long time. They usually can't be cured but may be managed.
studies the frequency, distribution, and causes of disease in a population
# of cases of a disease
How can morbidity be expressed? (2 ways)
1. Incidence (# of new cases in a certain pd of time)
2. Prevalence (proportion of the population with the disease at a certain moment in time)
# of deaths due to the disease.
Why is epidemiology so important?
You don't need to know the cause to know the impact.
What was the famous example of epidemiology?
John Snow-studied cholera epidemic in London. Homes near certain water lines had higher rates of cholera. Result: shut off lines and ended epidemic.
Why are expanded health care services so important to health psychologists?
1. Modifying risky behaviors to prevent illness can save you $$
2. They help design the services bc they have done lots of research on what makes ppl happy/unhappy w their health care.
3. The healthcare industry provides tons of jobs.
Case Study

also note pro/con
A detailed, in depth study of 1 person

Pro: Gives lots of info, great for rare and special cases

CON: Can't generalize to other ppl. This magnifies SAMPLING ERROR.
Correlational studies

also note pro/con
tell the degree of a relationship btw 2 variables such as the # of stressful events in your life and a heart attack.
PRO: shows direction of influence (+ or -)

CON: can't determine causation. It might be due to a 3rd variable
Cross-sectional studies

also note pro/con
compares groups at one point in time such as anxiety btw psych and nonpsych majors on the 1st day of class.

PRO: shows diffces btw groups

CON: Can't see trends over time.
Longitudinal Studies

also note pro/con
Compares groups over time

PRO: shows developing trends/changes

CON: Expensive, takes a long time.

also note pro/con
manipulation of independent variable to observe its egffect on the dependent variable.

PRO: shows causation, controls placebo and nocebo

CON: can be too fake/artificial, losing reality of things.
+ effects due to + expectations
(ex. sugar pill)
Hawthorne Effect
Improvement due to attention (ex. Doctor)
- Effects due to - Expecttion
(ex. voodoo death)
Factual statement
Objectively true

ex. weeds are plants.
Value statement
subjective opinion

ex. weeds are pests
What is the problem with defining illness as a statistical deviation?
Some illnesses are common and some healthy qualities are rare like slow twitch muscles in long distance runners.

Also, who sets the STANDARD by which deviation is measured??
What's the problem in defining illness in terms of pain?
some pains aren't illness-related such as menstrual cramps or aching muscles after a workout.

also,some illnesses don't include pain.
what's the problem with defining illness in terms of impaired functioning?
some low functioning ppl arent ill and some high functioning ppl are ill.
What is the con for defining health as the absence of disease?
a couch potato and an athlete can be considered healthy by this all or none categorical definition.
What are the pros/cos of defining health as the acquisition of a positive state?
PRO: considers health and not just illness

CON: blindness is defined as unhealthy
What is the only definition of health that is a DIMENSIONAL definiton?
health defined as movement in a positive direction. it is on a continuum and is the one used by the WHO.
What do questionnaires have to have?
good psychometric qalities like reliability and validity
Health psych is a growing field partially because diseases have shifted from being mostly ____ in the 1900s to being mostly ____ in the 2000s.
acute ------> chronic (due to lifestyle)
Biopsychosocial Model
health and illness are consequences of the interplay between biological, psychological, and social factors
Biomedical Model
illnesses are explained on the basis of aberrant biological processes.

Problems: 1-reduces illness to low level process
2-single factored based on biological stuff only.
3-emphasizes illness over health
4-believes mind and body are totally separate
Systems Theory
Says that all levels of organization in any being are linked to each other hierarchically and that a change in one will cahnge all the others.
What is stress?
A negative emotional experience followed by predictable physical/emotional changes that are directed either toward changing the stressful event or getting used to its effects
What is a stressor?
stressful events
Define person-environment fit.
the degree to which a person's needs and the environment's needs complement each other
What are the 3 stages of Fight or Flight?

Who came up with the idea?

1. Threat
2. Arousl of the sympathetic nervous and endocrine systems
3. Mobolization to Fight or flee
What are the 3 stages of the General Adaptation Syndrome Theory?

Whose theory is it?
1. Alarm
2. Resistance: you try to cope w the threat
3. Exhaustion: occurs if you can't overcome the threat

What's the deal with the 3rd stage of Selye's Theory?
The exhaustion is responsible for physiological damage which sets the stage for disease.
What are the criticisms of the Fight or Flight and General Adaptation Syndrome Theories?
1. They ignore psychological factors
ex. appraisal (evaluation), personality
2. Assumes all stressors give the same response
3. Assumes the response only occurs AFTER the stressor (does not include anticipation/anxiety)
Describe the Tend and Befriend Theory.

Whose was it?

Affiliation occurs under stress, esp in females
oxytocin (stress hormone) reacts with estrogen. high levels of oxytocin make you more relaxed
-It is adaptive bc you can protect you and you offspring.
Lazarus came up with an idea called ___________.
The Appraisal Process
What are the 2 types of appraisal?
1. Primary: try to fig out the event's meaning. Is it +/-/neut?
2. Secondary: perceived ability of yourself to cope with things
Define harm.
The assessment of damage already caused by an event.
Define threat.
the assessment of possible future damage that may be brought about by the event
Define reappraisal.
Ongoing reevaluation of an event.
Define challenge.
the potential to overcome anf possibly profit from the event.
What is the experiment that showed the importance of primary appraisal in the stress experience?
The one where difft groups watched genitalia surgery in tribes and had difft autonomic arousal responses.
Whay is studying stress important?
It causes physiological distress and leads to changes in the body that can have long or short term effects on one's health.
How do you measure stress in terms of physiology?
BP, HR, Breathing rate, biochemical analyses (cortisol, catecholamine)

* * To make sense of these measurements you have to know your own personal baseline * *
What is reactivity?
the degree of change that occurs in bodily responses as a result of stress. it can make you vulnerable to illness
Why is recovery after stress important?
bc if you take a long time to recover it might mean that damage has occured in your body, and your cortisol takes longer to replenish, opening your illness opportuinity window.

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