Explain the role of theory in health psychology. What advantages does theory bring to the field?
A theory is a set of analytical statements that attempt to explain a phenomena. These give researchers the advantage of having a guideline to base their research on which they may test in an experiment. Theories are the basis of what most knowledge is founded upon as new information builds upon prior theories of certain aspects of life. Of course, different researchers may approach a theory differently when they conduct their research which also allows for a variety of conclusions that can be made from a theory. In health psychology, this allows for researchers to approach different health issues in their field with varying perspectives on what could be causing a certain issue, which at the end of the day could all be correct when looking at it from a certain perspective.
Compare and contrast the biopsychosocial and biomedical models. Explain the advantages of the biopsychosocial model over the biomedical model. (Chapter 1)
The biomedical model separates the mind and the body as if they exist in two different spheres and leaves the illness of the body up to certain flaws in one's biology. The biopsychosocial model sees the mind and the body as one force which influences one another. This model understands that culture and other outside factors that may not necessarily interact with one's body can have an effect on the health of an individual. The biopsychosocial model also strengthens the relationship between the patient and the practitioner of medicine as patients may feel as though they have more options and are actually being heard when dealing with certain issues. This is where something like mental health counseling can come into play where one's mental state can be discovered to be the cause of issues concerning their physical state.
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