Health Psychology - PSY 303

Health Psychology
General Education
Course Number
PSY 303


PSY 303 introduces students to the field of health psychology and various issues that relate to this sub-discipline within the broader field of psychology. The goal is to examine the effects of people’s thoughts, emotions, motivations, and actions on the maintenance of good health and in the prevention of, support of, and recovery from illness.

The course focuses on achievement and maintenance of health, on the experience of illness, and people’s attempts to cope with the challenges of disease and the acquisition of medical care. Throughout the course, we review extensive scientific findings regarding the deep intertwining of psychological factors with issues of health and healing. An important goal of the course is to help students understand, predict, explain, and ultimately change health-related behavior.

The course includes a wide range of psychological factors in the maintenance of good health and in the prevention of, and recovery from illness including: Behavioral contributions to illness, lifestyle risk factors, stress and the immune system, psychological response to symptoms and caregivers, health habits and self-care, management of pain and chronic illness, and disability and terminal illness.

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Learning Outcomes

Develop an awareness of the ways in which social, political, and cultural trends affect the individual
Develop an awareness of cultural differences and similarities in healthcare attitudes, beliefs, and practices
Develop an awareness of responsible personal behavior in important issues such as drug use, sexual behavior, and parenting
Develop knowledge of the impact of psychological factors on health and disease
Develop knowledge of the history of conventional biomedicine and that of healing traditions in other cultures
Develop knowledge of biopsychosocial model as an organizing template for understanding the domains of health and illness
Develop knowledge of biological, psychological, and social factors in chronic illnesses that are the leading causes of death in developed countries today
Develop knowledge of the role of psychology in preventing illness, promoting wellness, and shaping healthcare policy and reform
Develop skill in the use of observation to examine behavior more objectively
Develop skill in the use of careful reading, clear written expression, and concise oral communication
Develop skill in the use of critical thinking to analyze health-related controversies
Develop skill in the use of research findings to understand and evaluate health issues


Required Materials (Course Pack)

The Required Materials cost (Course Pack) —including standard shipping within the United States— is $115. This includes:

  • Online Materials and Library Resources (OMLR) - $115

Get the most up to date information about required textbooks for this class, including ISBN, edition and price, by visiting our Required Textbooks page

Total Course Price: $975 (3 credits x $325 per credit) + $138 Course Pack + $266.67 Textbooks = $1379.67

* You may always elect to buy or rent your textbooks/ebooks new or used. However, when choosing to purchase college textbooks and supplementary materials outside the College store, please use caution to ensure you purchase the correct version of required materials.

Maximum Enrollment: 30 students

Last updated 7/22/18

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