PSC 126: Health Psychology
Study Guide Exam 3
This study guide focuses on what I consider to be the important material from the lectures. If you know the answers to these questions,
you will be in excellent shape for the lecture portion of the midterm.
What are health behaviors? What are health habits? When do health habits usually develop?
Health behaviors – undertaken by people to enhance/engage health (e.g. brushing teeth, bathing, not smoking)
Health habit – behavior that is pretty well-formed and done automatically. Should be good
. Established by 11-12 yrs old
What were the seven health habits identified in the Alameda County study? What did that study show about people who
exhibited more health habits, compared to those who exhibited fewer?
7 health habits defined by Alameda County study – sleep 7-8 hrs/night, not smoking, regular exercise, no more than 4
drinks at one time, rarely/never eating between meals, eat breakfast everyday, be < 10% overweight if a F, and < 20% if
The more factors one practices, the healthier they were
What does it mean to say that ‘health habits are autonomous and unstable’? Why is this so?
Describe the Health Beliefs Model as it was discussed in class. Describe the study that used HBM to determine what
predicted intentions to use condoms among young vs. older gay men in Amsterdam. What were the results, and what were
the implications for behavior change programs?
HBM – focuses on the likelihood of someone taking action (brushing teeth, wearing a condom during sex, wearing
Perceived threat (perceived benefit – perceived barriers) usually determines likelihood of taking action
(how severe the consequences of the threat are),
likely you are to develop problem based on your behaviors),
cues to action
(ad campaigns, newspaper, etc.)
Gave gay men a questionnaire gauging perceived severity, vulnerability, and cues to action
Older men – more affected by perceived prevalence and vulnerability
iii. Young men – more affected by cues to action and perceived benefits
iv. There was more HIV/AIDS in younger men because ad campaigns focused on
vulnerability to infection & younger
men weren’t taking this into consideration
Describe the Stages of Change model. What are the stages and how does one define them when the behavior of interest is
smoking? What role does relapse play in this model? What is the value of this model for developing strategies for behavior
Precontemplation – Not seriously intending to quit smoking in the next 6 months
Contemplation – recognize smoking is a problem, want to change it, but aren’t really committed yet
iii. Preparation – intend to make change in next 30 days or so (e.g. a pack-a-day smoker aims to smoke 5 cigs fewer
each week or each day)