Psychology 401-003

Research Issues in Health Psychology

Winter 2001



 Course/Instructor Information

 Course Overview

 Course Requirements

 Required Readings

 Links to Useful Resources

Course/Instructor Information

Dr. Robert Sellers

Office 3254 East Hall (647-3949)


Office Hours: Mon. 1- 3 and by appointment

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Course Overview

 The focus of the class is on research issues related to the field of health psychology. Health psychology is a growing discipline within psychology that brings the tools and conceptualizations from the field of psychology to issues of illness, health maintenance, and health promotion. The course is divided into two major sections. The first session provides an introduction to the field of health psychology. In particular, it discusses the history of health psychology, how it differs from other related field, what are some of the principal concepts and constructs associated with health psychology, and research designs often used by health psychologists. The second section of the course focuses on current research in health psychology at the University of Michigan. Several researchers will come and present their work to the class. Course activities will include lectures, group discussions, guest speakers, and films. Class attendance is mandatory. If a student is forced to miss a class, it is her/his responsibility to obtain notes from the lecture. The lectures and the readings are designed to supplement each other without being redundant. Thus, it is in the student's best interest to read before attending the course.

Group work is an important part of the course. Students will be divided into groups. These groups will work together to complete three projects and to serve as discussion leaders for a course. The group projects are worth approximately 35% of their grade. Students are encouraged to use the groups as a study tool for the course exam.

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Course Requirements

Course Grades:

Student's grades are based on: a course examination; a term paper; and two group projects. The course examination will consist of multiple choice, true and false, and short answer questions covering materials from both the lectures and the readings. The term paper will focus on a review of the health psychological literature related to an important public health issue. The two group projects consist of (1) a public service campaign and commercial affecting a major public health issue and (2) a research study on a health issue relevant to college students. Under no circumstances will other extra credit projects be given. Make-up exams will be given only in extraordinary circumstances.

The distribution of points for the course assignments are as follows:


Exam 60 points

Final Paper 60 points

Group Project I 30 points

Group Project II 40 points

Class Participation 10 points


Required Readings

Readings will be on reserve in Shapiro library. Most will be available in both hard copy and electronic form. To access course reserves, go to


Lecture Notes

Intro to Health Psychology (intro.htl)

Research Issues/ Health Behaviors (research.htm, health.htm )

Medical Care (medical.htm)


STUDY NOTES FOR EXAM (exam1notes.htm)

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Course Readings


Revised Schedule


Feb. 14 Medical Care






Feb. 21 Pain






Feb. 28 Spring Break


Mar. 7 Eating Disorders






Mar. 14 Stress and Coping








Mar. 21 Oliver Schultheiss






Mar. 28 Marc Zimmerman







April 4 Cleopatra Caldwell




April 11 Woody Neighbors








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Links to Useful Resources

Library Reserves



Instructions for Group project 1. (project1.htm)


Instructions for Group project 2. (project2.htm)


Health Beliefs discussion questions ( healthq.htm )


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Last Revised: