Social Psychology of Health

Key Readings

Edited by Peter Salovey, Alexander J. Rothman

© 2003 – Psychology Press

408 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781841690179
pub: 2003-07-23
US Dollars$63.95
Hardback: 9781841690162
pub: 2003-07-24
US Dollars$140.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This volume describes classic and contemporary theory and research in social psychology that sheds light on how people think about health and illness, as well as their willingness to engage in health-relevant behaviors. The Editors have selected papers that serve to illustrate the reciprocal relation between advances in theory and advances in practice.

The first two sections of the volume examine people's mental representations of health and health practices, and how these personal construals and implicit theories are linked to behavior. People can react to new health information in different ways - with acceptance, defensiveness, or downright ignorance. Research that can help us to understand these varied reactions is examined in Section 3. The following sections consider how classic social psychological theories and perspectives can be used to understand behavior relevant to health and illness. These include social influence, social comparison, pluralistic ignorance, social support, cognitive dissonance, message framing, and attribution theory. Finally, several articles consider links between personality characteristics and health, such as those between hostility and heart disease, and confiding traumatic experiences and immune function. The volume also contains a introductory chapter by the editors which provides a discussion of why social and personality psychologists should be interested in health and illness.

Together with overviews for each section, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading, the volume is an ideal text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on health psychology. The volume is also appropriate for courses in related disciplines such as public health, nursing, health education, health communication, and other allied health sciences.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Mental Models of Health and Illness. D. Meyer, H. Leventhal, M. Guttman, Common-sense Models of Illness: The Example of Hypertension. M. Gerrard, F.X. Gibbons, A.C. Benthin, R.M. Hessling, A Longitudinal Study of the Reciprocal Nature of Risk Behaviors and Risk Cognitions in Adolescents: What You Do Shapes What You Think and Vice Versa. N.D. Weinstein, Testing Four Competing Theories of Health-protective Behavior. Part 2. Health Beliefs and Health Behavior. N.D. Weinstein, A.J. Rothman, S.R. Sutton, Stage Theories of Health Behavior: Conceptual and Methodological Issues. J.O. Prochaska, C.C. DiClemente, J.C. Norcross, In Search of How People Change: Applications to Addictive Behaviors. F.X. Gibbons, M. Gerrard, H. Blanton, D.W. Russell, Reasoned Action and Social Reaction: Willingness and Intention as Independent Predictors of Health Risk. Part 3. Health Information Processing. P.H. Ditto, R.T. Croyle, Understanding the Impact of Risk Factor Test Results: Insights from a Basic Research Program. A. Liberman, S. Chaiken, Defensive Processing of Personally Relevant Health Messages. T.K. MacDonald, G.T. Fong, M.P. Zanna, A.M. Martineau, Alcohol Myopia and Condom Use: Can Alcohol Intoxication be Associated with More Prudent Behavior? Part 4. Social Influence and Health and Illness: Social Comparison and Social Norms. J.V. Wood, S.E. Taylor, R.R. Lichtman, Social Comparison in Adjustment to Breast Cancer. F.X. Gibbons, M. Gerrard, Predicting Young Adults' Health Risk Behavior. D.A. Prentice, D.T. Miller, Pluralistic Ignorance and Alcohol Use on Campus: Some Consequences of Misperceiving the Social Norm. J.A. Kulik, H.I.M. Mahler, P.J. Moore, Social Comparison and Affiliation under Threat: Effects on Recovery from Major Surgery. Part 5. Social Support and Health and Illness. J.S. House, K.R. Landis, D. Umberson, Social Relationships and Health. S. Cohen, Psychosocial Models of the Role of Social Support in the Etiology of Physical Disease. Part 6. Changing Behavior. N.D. Weinstein, J.E. Lyon, P.M. Sandman, C.L. Cuite, Experimental Evidence for Stages of Health Behavior Change: The Precaution Adoption Process Model Applied to Home Radon Testing. A.J. Rothman, P. Salovey, C. Turvey, S.A. Fishkin, Attributions of Responsibility and Persuasion: Increasing Mammography Utilization among Women over Forty with an Internally Oriented Message. J. Stone, E. Aronson, A.L. Crain, M.P. Winslow, C.B. Fried, Inducing Hypocrisy as a Means of Encouraging Young Adults to Use Condoms. A.J. Rothman, S.C. Martino, B.T. Bedell, J.B. Detweiler, P. Salovey, The Systematic Influence of Gain- and Loss-framed Messages on Interest in and Use of Different Types of Health Behavior. Part 7. Personality and Health. H.S. Freidman, S. Booth-Kewley, The 'Disease-prone Personality'. T.W. Smith, Hostility and Health: Current Status of a Psychosomatic Hypothesis. M.F. Scheier, K.A. Matthews, J.F. Owens, G.J. Magovern, Sr., R.C. Lefebvre, R.A. Abbott, C.S. Carver, Dispositional Optimism and Recovery from Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: The Beneficial Effect on Physical and Psychological Well-being. J.W. Pennebaker, Writing about Emotional Experiences as a Therapeutic Process.

About the Series

Key Readings in Social Psychology

Given the need to be selective and to provide a coherent perspective on each theme within a single book, the editors have generally tackled a difficult brief extremely well. The breadth and depth make a volume suitable for use in many final-year and masters-degree courses in social psychology. It also provides an ideal introduction to top-level original research articles that should motivate students to pursue the current literature in a more targeted way. […] This is an excellent series that will provide an invaluable compendium of the themes that have dominated the 20th Century.” - Diane Houston, University of Kent, in the Times Higher Education Supplement

The aim of the series is to make available to senior undergraduate and graduate students key articles in each area of social psychology in an attractive, user-friendly format.

Many professors want to encourage their students to engage directly with research in their fields, yet this can often be daunting for students coming to detailed study of a topic for the first time.

Moreover, declining library budgets mean that articles are not always readily available, and course packs can be expensive and time-consuming to produce.

Key Readings in Social Psychology aims to address this need by providing comprehensive volumes, each one of which is edited by a senior and active researcher in the field.

Articles are carefully chosen to illustrate the way the field has developed historically as well as current issues and research directions.

Each volume has a similar structure that includes:

  • An overview chapter, as well as introduction to sections and articles;
  • Questions for class discussion;
  • Annotated bibliographies;
  • Full author and subject indices;
  • The article How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology, especially prepared for this series by Christian H. Jordan and Mark P. Zanna

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology