Health Psychology

Rebecca Johnstone
Slide Set by Rebecca Johnstone, updated more than 1 year ago
Rebecca Johnstone
Created by Rebecca Johnstone about 5 years ago


A-Level Psychology Slide Set on Health Psychology, created by Rebecca Johnstone on 06/01/2016.

Resource summary

Slide 2

    Application- Health psychology considers the reasons for behaviour that is detrimental to health, such as substance abuse, to promote healthy living. For example; it looks at biological causes of substance abuse and how drug treatments workTolerance-  As a drug is increasingly used of a period of time, more of it will be needed to produce the same effect as the first time- causing addiction Substance Misuse- when a drug (mind altering substance) is used in a way that the individual's physical and mental health are affected. When it interferes with a person's social situation and responsibilities Psychological dependence- When a drug takes great importance in someone's life. So much so the cravings are hard to resist. Heroin produces pleasure and dulling of senses so can be attractive to people in difficult situationsPhysical Dependence-  The body becomes used to functioning with the drug in the system and 'needs' it for normal functioning, this is addiction. E.g Heroin users tend to produce less endorphins, so they rely on heroin to produce pleasure + reduce painWithdrawal-  (Heroin) Generally starts around 6 hours after using Heroin and usually involves agitation and restlessness. This is when your body reacts to no longer having the drug in your system; for example sweating, diarrhoea, itchy body 

Slide 3

    Describe- Pet Scans allow us to see activity in the brain.  A radioactive chemical is injected into the blood of a person. As it breaks down it releases radioactivity which can be picked up on the scan. The more active the brain in the scan the more radioactivity will be picked up. It allows us to see which parts of the brain are using more energy. It can be used on human participants to understand the effects of of Heroin on brain structures and functioning. Damage from prolonged use of intensive recreational drugs can be established.Scott (2004) scanned smokers brains and used cognitive task to study activity in memory, emotion and pleasure regions of the brain after smoking cigarettesEvaluate- +Relatively non invasive way of studying brain activity +Reliable because the results can be replicated +valid as they are taken from real brains but it is difficult to pinpoint  the exact area of activity it is not a completely accurate method +Lab experiments can be used to administer placebo drug use to investigate perception of experience or perception- Although the PET scans are ethical having radioactive tracer injected can be a traumatic experience -participants will be told that the drug will have a particular effect but are told different things
    Research methods: PET Scans-

Slide 4

    Research methods: Animals in Laboratory-
    Describe- Lab experiments and animals have strong controls such as; environment, housing, care, type of animal and state of animal. The IV can be carefully manipulated in a controlled manner. measuring the DV is simple as scientific procedures are used. Cause and effect conclusions can be drawnCzoty et al (2008)- monkey pressed leavers for food or cocaine. They increased the number of times the monkey had to press the lever to receive the cocaine until the monkey couldn't press it anymore. The monkey was then treated with intravenous amphetamines 24 hours a day. ! week later the monkey was offered the cocaine again there was a decrease. Across 1 month there was a 60% decrease in the use of cocaineEvaluation- +monkeys share many genetic traits with humans so can be generalised +Addictive qualities in monkeys is similar to humans suggesting reliability- Rhesus monkeys are not human so you cannot fully generalise -Ethical issues about using animals may be raised, but if the guidelines are adhered to these experiments usually go ahead

Slide 5

    Research methods: Laboratory experiment
    Describe- Participants can be injected with innocuous drugs. Lab experiments can be used to administer placebos to investigate perception of experience or perception. Participants are told that a drug will have a particular effect. It can determine how cognition affects their reported experience of the drug. IV manipulated = drug or placebo DV measured= effects of the drugEvaluate- Reliability- High control, carefully manipulated, standardised procedure, inter-rater reliabilityValidity- Low ecological validity, can conform to demand characteristics, high ecological validity Ethical- Informed consent, right to withdraw, deception, psychological harm, results need to be confidential, physical harm

Slide 6

    Human Vs Animal debate
    Animals- we can do things to animals we can't do to humans  Animals have shorter gestation periods so we can study genes over many different generations easy to look after and handle and cheap similar brain structures, similar genetic structures and nervous system Animal guidelines to adhere to speciesism knowledge can benefit animals too behaviour can be monitored closely  more readily available ethical issues strict regulations as can be costly (housing, licensing) Guidelines enforced like housing number, endangered species suffering may be extreme  benefit should outweigh the costs to the animal involved
    Humans- Humans have the right to withdraw can gain qualitative data as well as quantitive because of interviews and questionnaires  can study existing drug users  have protection from harm human behaviour is very different from animal behaviour  so cannot be generalised

Slide 7

    The biochemical explanation
    Biological explanation explains drug misuse by a significant change to neurotransmitter action in the brain. For example the increased production of dopamine when taking heroin Drug misuse alters the natural production of neurotransmitters.  if a drug increases a reaction (increased dopamine) the body will compensate by reducing its production of dopamine This then results to tolerance and the body will now require the drug to function. This is known as physical dependency  Drugs can be taken to prevent unpleasant side effects such as sickness. This is addiction. using more of a drug may be needed because the body becomes tolerant to lower close. Drugs can be taken to produce pleasant effects due to chemical action in the brain evaluation-strengths- Neurological activity in the brain of addicts have been shown to be different to non-addicts, supporting a biological basis for addiction, Animal studies have shown biochemical changes in the brain due to drug misuse, supporting the biochemical theory. Control in animal studies is also higher so it may be more reliable, Withdrawal symptoms due to the biochemical crash support this explanation. weaknesses- The biological approach ignores the role of nurture in that addiction can be explained by social learning, reinforcement or peer pressure, The brain is very complex and evidence has not yet pinpointed this, Many people try and infrequently use drugs such as alcohol, and don’t become addicted, suggesting individual differences rather than a completely biological explanation, There are cultural and subcultural differences that cannot be explained by a biological approach, PET scans show differences in brain activity when smoking a high or low-nicotine cigarette, but this is an artificial situation.

Slide 8

    The Learning explanation
    An individual may observe a drug user and model their behaviour A role model who takes drugs can encourage drug misuse if they have status and power Akers (1992) suggests TV may have a role in promoting substance abuse by providing role models for children  Winnett et al (1989) high status people exert more influence than low status people Drug use can be glamorised and rewarded which can be a form of vicarious reinforcement for an observer The amount of exposure to peers who abuse drugs is linked to the amount of social learning of misuse Its also affected by preference of community towards a drug and frequency of use young adolescents are more likely to be affected Evaluation-strengths- Vast amount of experimental evidence for the general role observational learning, with plenty of research support, so we can be fairly sure that a similar process can explain drug taking (eg Bandura, 1961), Sher found that smoking tended to run in families as a consequence of imitation, Animal studies have evidence learning fear through SLT, so one could claim the same principles work in humans, Culturally, different drugs are used/misused in different cultures, supporting social learning theory as an explanation of drug taking, studies that demonstrate the reliability of SLT support this explanation of drug misuse through modelling (Bandura 1961), SLT takes reinforcement into account (classical conditioning) so it is arguably a very complete explanation,  Weaknesses- However drug misuse tends to run in families and this could be due to genetic factors rather than social learning, There are many extraneous variables around observation and learning. You could argue substance abuse runs in families because of role models, but genes are also inherited, SLT does not explain drug use in the absence of observing a role model, It is difficult to evidence SLT in this area as there are many other factors involved in addiction, and it is difficult to isolate SLT as one explanation due to other influences on behaviour eg peer pressure to take drugs to look cool

Slide 11

    Describe-A synthetic opiate to replace Heroin. The aim is to block the effects of heroin at the synapse and reduce withdrawal for 24 hours. It reduces heroin cravings but if heroin is taken at the same time the user will feel no euphoric effects. Methadone is orally administered daily on a maintenance programme when the individual can be  trusted they can self administer. Methadone lasts up to 24 hours, much longer than heroin. The does is systematically lowered in order to wean off. The patient also has urine tests to check for any  co-drug use
    evaluation-strengths- removes cravings cheap stays in the body longer  produces same feelings as heroin weaknesses- addictive  black market sleep can build up tolerance

Slide 12

    Token Economy
    Tokens are given for drug abstinence Tokens can be exchanged for primary reinforcers A schedule of rewards will be agreed by the individual and those running the programme This is linked to operant conditioning principles through the concept of positive reinforcement Contingency management is a voucher system which gives vouchers for negative testing of heroin
    Strengths-suits everyonefocuses on praise and no strong punishment involved peers found that contingency management programmes workWeaknesses-staff can neglect rights of patient by withholding things like foodstaff who are not train can inaverably encourage bad behaviour

Slide 13

    British Heart Foundation
    Describe-in 2008 the British Heart Foundation introduced a hard hitting campaign about anti-smoking. They used images to shock people. The campaign gave information on how to stop smoking. They also gave information on support groups and replacement therapy like nicotine patches. All the information can be found  on their website where they can also share with others their experiences. Smoking builds up fat on the artery walls and a clot can block the artery. A positive message of stopping smoking, such as reducing heart problems, feeling better and having healthier skin
    evaluatestrengths-  uses a variety of media Hafsted et al- campaigns to have positive emotional influences Hafsted- those who responded emotionally were more likely to quit  mechanic et al- generally effective cost effective weaknesses- may not have heard of the campaign smoking ban

Slide 14

    Blattler et al (2002)
    A- to look at maintenance treatment for heroin users who also used cocaine to see if the programme effected their cocaine useM- Examined drop out rates from treatment to see if it was higher when the heroin users used cocaine as well. Qs= was there a reduction in cocaine use? which factors are associated with continued cocaine use? was cocaine use before treatment a possible factor with regard to dropping out of the programme?P- Medical prescription of Narcotics programme. A group of heroin users on the PROVE programme and compared baseline measure with follow up data. Took place in a naturalistic setting, this was a cohort study because one group of people is followed  over the course of a programme, it was also a longitudinal study. There was also a control group that monitored the ongoing medical therapyR- after 18 months 247 participants were followed up, the cocaine use fell from 84% to 48%. The daily use fell from 30% to 6% the change in the number ono users went up from 16% to 52%C- Non users of cocaine when from 16% to 52% which is successful. The number of daily users of cocaine fell from 30% to 6%. 75% of participants tested negative for cocaine even if some claimed they were still taking it. 84% used cocaine at the start and 48% at the end which is successful. The behaviour corresponded to the results. Cocaine could be linked to prostitution, illicit heroin uses, illegal income and the drug scene, but this programme decreased this  E-strengths- sampling was careful including checking drop out rates, there was careful attention to ethics, Both qualitative and quantitive data, naturalistic so high ecological validity, many factors were checked for change over time such as the price of cocaine to try and ensure the treatment alone was responsible for any changeweaknesses- being on the study and the constant attention may have caused the change, generalisation is limited to Switzerland , self report data may not be reliable

Slide 15

    Ennet et al (1994)
    A- to look at adolescent smoking in relation to the smoking habits of friendsM- looked for friendship cliques by analysing questionnaires. The cliques were drawn up from the questionnaires. Data about smoking were also gathered so that members  of the cliques could be compared with regard to their smoking habitsP- 1,092 ninth grade students aged 14-15 years old in one area in the USA. The data collected in the adolescents homes from August to December 1980. Data was also gathered from mothers to find out their level of educationR- 87 cliques made up of 461 adolescents. 10-24 cliques per school. 93% of cliques had 3-10 members, average 5. 89.8% of all clique members were non-smokers. Smoking rate across cliques varied from 3.9% to 15.5%. 68% of cliques were entirely non-smoking while 2 cliques (2%) were all smokers. Smoking rate within cliques was lower than within the school (11.1% vs. 15.2%). Connectedness of cliques made no difference to results. However, internal homogeneity and heterogeneity did. Cliques that were homogeneous were either all smokers or nonsmokers. Cliques that were heterogenous were mixed .All girl, all white and low maternal educational level cliques were homogenous. All male, all black and high maternal educational level were heterogenous.C- Adolescent members who smoke tend to associate with one another. Few Cliques were smoking cliques. Most of the adolescents were non-smokers peer groups contribute more to non-smoking than they do to smoking. Backs the idea of social learning and imitating friendsE- strengths- data was collected based on exisiting friendship groups, rather than self-report data, Five schools used with a large sample of students, The survey gathered in depth information about friendship cliques using a variety of methods to ensure validity before examining smoking behaviourweaknesses- They were limited to only three ‘best friends’, They took non-reciprocated links as being reciprocated but ‘worth less’, Friends were self-reported. 

Slide 16

    Key issue-  There is an issue when deciding how to treat drug abuse because both methods come with their own problems such as dependency, withdrawal, and lack of self-motivation causing ineffectiveness of treatment. Therefore, it may not be so clear when deciding which treatment is most appropriate.Aim- To investigate how best to treat drug abuseMethod- Article analysis and qualitative analysis Procedure- 1- find 2 articles about the treatment of drug abuse 2- summarise the findings from the two articles 3- link the conclusions to concepts from health psychology-Results- Article 1- In order to recover from drug abuse, treatment must be readily available for the drug addict and they must remain in treatment for an adequate period of time. Behavioural therapies are the most commonly used forms of drugs abuse treatment. medications are also an important element of treatment for many patients, but this must be monitored continuouslyArticle 2- A variety of methods are used to help overcome drug abuse. These include medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms and reestablish normal brain functions, as well as therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps patients to recognise, avoid and cope in ad situation where they would usually turn to drug abuse. Another method type is a residential which is fully structured programme where a patient would stay away between 6-12 months in order to recover.Conclusions- A combination of drug abuse treatments need to be used in order to get the best recovery. For example; medication and psychological therapies should be combined together, they should also be tailored to the individual to focus on their own personal recovery

Slide 17

    Practical (continued)
    Key issue- The addict may be psychologically and physiologically dependant on drugs and therefore the treatment needs to involve a combination of medication for the physiological dependency and therapy for the psychological dependency. When an addict takes methadone as a treatment for heroin, they have to have urine tests. The urine tests are used to monitor the addict ensuring they are not taking other drugs and sticking to their treatment. This makes the treatment more effective and the patient safer.Evaluation- G- Our procedure cannot be generalisable as we only used two articles. If we were to recreate the practical we would look at more articlesR- This would be easy to replicate to gain similar results as most internet articles will have the same resultsA-The application of this practical is to provide information on the best treatment for drug abuseV- Ecologically valid because it reflects real life situationsE- Because there were no participants due to it being information from articles on the internet there are no ethical issues
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