What does it mean to be healthy, and how do we promote health and maintain it? What factors disrupt or undermine our health? What is well-being, and how might it be distinct from health? What contexts or environments cultivate health and well-being, versus illness and suffering? Interweaving foundational and current research in health psychology, with findings from positive psychology that promote human thriving, this course aims to: explore factors that underlie our health habits and lifestyles; understand the role of stress, emotions, outlook and behavior in illness development; examine the intrapersonal, social/cultural, relational, institutional and societal contexts which promote health and wellbeing; and interrogate popular and scientific sources in order to tease apart platitudes from methods for meaningful change. Students master concepts from the empirical literature, synthesize information from medicine, public health, social psychology, personality, organizational scholarship, neuropsychology, health psychology and positive psychology, and engage in experiential learning that requires application of empirically-based findings to targets of self-change and change in local communities or organizations.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and PSYC 201, or permission of instructor