PSYC 346

Health Psychology

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 4, 2011 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course will provide an introduction to the field of health psychology, which is concerned with the roles of behavioral/lifestyle, psychological, and social/cultural factors on health/wellness, illness and chronic disease. The course will address four general subject areas: 1) attitudes, behavior, and lifestyle factors affecting disease prevention and development; 2) stress and the related psychological and social processes associated with disease development and progression; 3) social and psychological factors involved in the illness experience; and 4) long-term social and psychological implications of chronic illness (e.g., heart disease, cancer).

Prerequisites

Learning outcomes

General

  • Acquire an understanding of the components of the field of health psychology.
  • Be able to assess the credibility of health information dissemination within the media.
  • Become more aware of cultural differences and similarities in health care attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
  • Develop an understanding of the scientific methods employed by health psychologists and acquire some basic conceptual skills for interpreting and critically analyzing research.
  • Gain an appreciation for the importance of cultural context in health and disease.
  • Learn about evidence for the roles of central psychosocial constructs, such as stress, coping, personality, and social support, in health risks and outcomes.
  • Learn about the mechanisms through which psychological and social factors (e.g. poverty, culture, racism, sexism, etc.) might influence physical health.
  • Understand and critically analyze the roles of oppression, culture, and social identities in health behavior and health care access.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.