What is health psychology?
Contribution of psychology to:
- Promotion and maintenance of health
- Prevention and treatment of illness
- Identification of pychological factors affecting illness
- Analysis and improvement of healthcare and health policy
What is the biomedical model of health?
Illness is understood only in terms of biological and physiological processes
Treatment involves physical intervention (surgery, drugs)
What is the biopychosocial model of health?
3 major factors contributing to health:
Contrast how the biomedical model and the biopsychosocial model of health might view responsibility for the patients health and treatment
- Patient is not responsible for health, disease is out of their control
- Illness should be treated with drug therapy or surgery
- Medical professionals have sole responsibility for treatment
- Patient is not a passive victim of disease but has a responsibility for their own health
- Treatment should be a mix of traditional physical treatment, social and pychological support
- Treatment is in the hands of MDTs, patient and social support groups
Compare the views of the biomedical and the biopsychosocial models on the role of psychology in health and illness
- Physiology and pychologigy are separate and do not influence each other (only a small relationship between illness and depression)
- Psychological factors can be the sole cause of illness or integrate with illness to exacerbate or otherwise affect
Why is the biopsychosocial model of health necessary for modern medicine?
Sees patients as real people
Recognition of influence of thought, feelings, motivations and behaviours of patients can help us treat them more effectively (E.g. Diagnosis and reactions to diagnoses, treatment adherence)
Shows that doctors have a changing role in health (E.g. smoking cessation)
Doctors see people with mental problems
Health promotions focus can be placed on reduction of biopsychosocial risk factors, not just avoidance of pathogens
What is a stereotype?
Generalisations we make about specific social groups and members of those groups
'rule of thumb'
Often erroneous / Overlook diversity
Prone to emphasis of negative traits
Resistant to change
How do humans store knowledge, relate this to function
Knowledge is stored as mental representations organised into schemata, groups of interrelated information
Members of the same group share characteristics
E.g. Fruit schema
- Save processing power
- Allows us to anticipate things/makes things more predictable
- Avoids information overload
How does the concept of schema explain human's tendency to stereotype?
Member of social groups can be percieved to share some characterisitics (grouped into one schema).
Describe the concept of in-group/out-group
We identify with groups and a way to gain self identity and self esteem (our in-group E.g. Medical students)
Comparisons to others in our group builds self esteem
More likely to focus on positives of our group
More likely to focus on negatives of out groups (Sterotyping)
Describe how sterotyping can lead to negative behaviours
We have cognitive stereotypes that may in turn cause:
Prejudice (Evaluative and affective):
- Negative attitudes towards other groups
- Pre-judgement of others based on negative sterotypes
- Behaving differently with people of different groups based on their group membership
Give an example of how sterotypes lead on to discrimination
Assumption made on someone based on age
Prejudice leads to us prejudging them based on our Stereotype
Action on this assumption is Discrimination
When are we most likely to rely on sterotypes?
When stresed, time pressured, fatigued or suffering information overload
How can we challenge our own stereotypes?
Getting to know members of other groups
Reflection on our actions and thoughts
Give an example of stress/time influencing our reliance on stereotypes
The policeman's dilemma:
More black than white unnarmed people shot in a simulation showing officers both armed and unarmed people of various races in rapid sucession
Shows that under time constraints the officers relied on their stereotype of black people as more of a threat/more violent to make a quick decision on who to shoot
Give some ageist stereotypes directed at the older population
Intellectual deterioration is normal
Unable to innovate and adapt to change
Period of personal stagnation
Old people are rigid, cantakerous and introverted
Discuss the intellectual changes that occur in elderly life according to cross sectional research
Linear decline in fluid intelligence (IQ/processing power) throughout adult life which accelerates after 70
Crystalline intelligence (Reflective of experience and long term memory) may compensate and is relatively stable over old age
Critisise cross sectional research into aging and intelligence
Difference between ages (comparing differnt groups of people)
Changes over time with individuals
Cohort effects (Numeracy/arithmetic skill varies)
Validity of measure
How do longitudinal studes into aging and intelligence compare to cross sectional research in terms of findings?
Shaie and Williams - Seattle
35+ yr follow ups
5 skill areas:
- Verbal meaning
- Verbal fluency
- Inductive reasoning
- Spatial orientation
Decline does not occur in all areas at same rate
How does disease affect decline of intelligence?
Dementia/Alzheimer's and Mild cognitive impairment all contribute to increased decline in congnitive function and become more prevalent with age
E.g. Alzheimer's prevalence 1% at 65 and 25% at 90
What are Erikson's life stages?
3 Life stages associated with a conflict
Young adult life:
Intimacy vs Isolation
Mid adult life:
Generation vs Stagnation
Integrity vs Despair
Happiness depends on how well you deal with these conflicts
How is the trait model of personality involved in aging?
Personality is described as a series of traits
Cross sectional studies suggest different distribution of traits at different ages
Longitudinal studies emphasise the stability of traits over time
What are the two models of successful social adjustment during ageing?
Disengagement from social involvement as an adaptive mechanism
Best suited to introverted people
Successful ageing requires maximal engagement in all areas of life
Best suited to extroverts
Describe how our family relationships can be affected by ageing
Major family role adjustments:
- 'Empty nest' phenomenon
- Transition to grandparenthood
Family contact changes pattern, can become less frequent
Importance of friendships stressed, helps maintain social contact
Describe how work and retirement might affect ageing
Loss of manifest (material) and latent (self identity/esteem) rewards of paid work
Loss of self identity can lead to depression (particularly in career focused individuals, typically men)
Retirement is considered socially acceptably and is voluntary
Therefore retirement is adjusted to by most successfully
What are the influences of death and bereavement on ageing?
Reluctance to accept mortality in western culture makes death a difficult subject to face and can result in social exclusion of older people
Bereavement (death of a spouse commonly) is the same process as when younger, just intensified and often exacerbated by social isolation/lack of family support