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Class Preparation for PSY 290: Health Psychology

Syllabus -- [PDF Download]

Oct. 3 -- Behavioral Principles -- [LINK]
This link takes you to an explanation of classical conditioning, and leads into the basic behavioral principles of operant conditioning.   Be sure to click the arrow at the bottom so that you include the second page.

Oct. 5 -- Health Behavior/Change Models -- [LINK]
Scroll down to p. 411 and start at the heading "The Role of Health Beliefs" and continue up to the box titled "Pioneer" on p. 415.   You can skip the box that makes up the entirety of p. 412.   These few pages summarize the major models health psychology researchers use to explain how and why people do or do not change their health behaviors.   Focus on understanding each, how they are similar and different, etc.

Oct. 8 -- Self-Control -- -- [LINK]
This article describes recent theory and research on the psychology of self-control.   Read up to the new section titled "Hard and Easy Sacrafices" near the middle of p. 6.   Be familiar with the ingredients for self-control, and how they interact with one another.

Oct. 10 -- Stress and Relaxation -- [LINK 1]         [LINK 2]
For the first link, start at the top and read at least up to the section titled "Assuaging Anxiety" on p. 91.   Don't get too bogged down in following the brain pathways or structures in the brain that are described.   Focus on understanding the processes involved between our experience and the biological reaction associated with stress.   Link 2 takes you to a thorough description of the relaxation techniques health psychologists use with clients.

Oct. 12 -- Sleep -- [LINK 1]         [LINK 2]
Link 1 provides a concise overview of what we know about the need for sleep, and the problems that result from not getting enough (be sure to read all 3 pages).   The second link provides standard, well-established sleep hygiene advice.   What problems do you foresee in implementing these, both for yourself and for clients of health psychologists?

Oct. 15 -- Physical Exercise -- [LINK]
This magazine article about motivation and exercise requires clicking on the next page at the bottom of each.   Read pages 1-4 and page 6.   What potential problems and stumbling blocks do you foresee if someone says she wants to exercise more?

Oct. 22 -- Eating, Weight, & Diabetes -- [LINK 1]         [LINK 2]         [LINK 3]
Each of these three readings is fairly brief, and highlights conflicting views about eating "right."   As you read each, note your reactions.   To what extent do you agree and disagree with each?

Oct. 24 -- Smoking Cessation -- [LINK]
As you read these official directions for how to quit smoking, identify which techniques and bits of advice are based on classical conditioning, operant conditioning, cognitive intervention, etc.

Oct. 26 -- Drinking & Drug Use -- [LINK 1]         [LINK 2]         [LINK 3]
Start with Link 1, a brief overview of the outcome for people with problem drinking.   Link 2 provides a brief introduction to the option of controlled or moderate drinking.   Link 3 addresses specifics related to relapse prevention.   At the bottom of the page click the arrow for the "Next Page" and read it as well.

Oct. 29 -- Headaches & Chronic Pain -- [LINK]
This link provides a nice overview of how psychologists might be helpful in treating chronic pain.

Oct. 31 -- Medical Care and Compliance -- [LINK]
This manual is meant for health care providers, and is based on the psychology of facilitating patient compliance with treatment.   Read pages 2-8, which cover the meat of the listed principles of behavioral influence.   What do you think?   Do you recognize particular psychological principles?

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