“A classic in the field”

Warm thanks to the following seven endorsers of  Health Psychology (4th & 5th Editions) quoted below:

Fourth Edition:

“This book has become a classic in the field – sophisticated,  accessible and interesting.   It is of great use to students, teachers and practitioners of Health Psychology world wide.”

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Leslie Swartz, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

“This is a remarkable book. It is exceptionally complete, thoughtful, and deep.  It avoids the superficial accounting of many texts and does not shy away from controversy. It is fully rooted in today’s science of health psychology.”

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Stevan E. Hobfoll, Ph.D. Professor of Behavioral Sciences, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Illinois, USA.

 

“A very nice introductory text that takes a biopsychosocial approach to health and illness, and recognizes the importance of culture, health literacy, and issues such as racism and health inequities/disparities that continue to impact disadvantaged communities.”

Cheryl Holt

Cheryl L. Holt, University of Maryland, USA.

 

“Like other textbooks, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of health psychology. Unlike other books however, this one takes a holistic-systems approach to health, and uses the novel concept of the Health Onion to do so: The myriad determinants of health are presented as different layers – biological, familial, behavioral, neighborhood, social and cultural – that must be scientifically-examined and peeled away to understand health. Consequently, the book contains many valuable chapters that other textbooks lack, including chapters on macro-level influences (Chapter 2), social justice and social inequality (Chapter 3), and cultural factors (Chapter 4). Moreover, the examples provided to illustrate each layer of the influences on health are global ones, and include health and its psychology in Europe, the USA, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere. This unique approach helps students understand that the health of individuals is a part and product of the family, social-network, neighborhood, and society in which they are embedded. Hence, this revised edition provides an excellent overview of health and of the science of health psychology in their local and larger contexts.”

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Hope Landrine, Professor of Public Health and of Psychology, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, USA.

 

Just as the Journal of Health Psychology is not like any other journal in the field, this new edition of David Marks’ “Health Psychology” textbook is different from all the other textbooks in the field. It will broaden your perspectives as it educates your mind.

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Kenneth A. Wallston, Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, School of Nursing, Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, USA.

 

Fifth Edition:

An essential text for both graduate and undergraduate health psychology courses, the authors elegantly and comprehensively explore health psychology in the 21st century.  The fifth edition further advances a critical perspective on health while introducing readers to emerging issues such as long-term conditions and end-of-life care.

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Christopher Godfrey, Professor of Psychology, Pace University, USA. 2018-01-01

Marks and colleagues’ capacity to provide a global perspective, while including elements of social justice, with a consideration of the social and political determinants of health, makes this text an invaluable companion when introducing undergraduates to the field of health psychology.

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Nancy L. Worsham, Professor of Psychology, Gonzaga University, USA.  2018-01-01

 

 

 

“Absolute joy to read”

Click below for a Preview of the Editor’s Introduction and Chapter 1: Matarazzo, J. D. (1982). Behavioral health’s challenge to academic, scientific, and professional psychology. American Psychologist37(1), 1.

`This book was an absolute joy to read and offers a comprehensive review of health psychology…. This book should become a classic – necessary reading for students in all branches of health. Nursing students will find it invaluable, but other students – and their teachers – will also find it very useful. SAGE have added a valuable and important text to their already impressive list, and Marks can be complimented on his scholarly organisation of complex topics into an accessible and readable whole. No library should be without it and serious students should invest in a copy of their own’

Health Matters


‘The Health Psychology Reader provides a concise guide to Health Psychology. It is set out in 5 key sections and explores key theories and research in the area. This is a great, stimulating text to health psychology students at all levels.’

Miss Gemma Wilson

School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside
April 22, 2012

‘This book is clear, informative and easy to read. A good text for students on an M.Sc. Health Psychology module.’

Ms Lynda Hyland

School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University Dubai
March 6, 2012
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‘A great compilation of key readings for psychology students and researchers.’

Dr Benjamin Gardner

Health Behaviour Research Centre, University College London
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A Redesign for Psychology

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Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations.

Stephen Hawking

It has been said that advances in science come not from empiricism but from new theories. With this thought in mind, A General Theory of Behaviour has the potential – or so I aim to convince the reader – to advance understanding of human nature and to integrate the discipline of Psychology. In A General Theory of Behaviour I explain why this is (a) necessary, and (b) possible.

I think the majority of psychologists agree that integration is necessary. Fragmentation has been a longstanding and difficult problem for Psychology. Over more than a century, fragmentation has been called a ‘crisis’. The problem has been described thus: “a nexus of philosophical tensions, which divide individuals, departments, and psychological organizations, and which are therefore primarily responsible for the fragmentation of Psychology.” In many years’ experience as a student, researcher and professor of Psychology, I can testify to persistent and intractable tensions in every quarter of the discipline, worse in some places than others, but the fragmentation is evident everywhere.

The discipline can sometimes feel like a medieval country split into fiefdoms by moats, walls and a haphazard set of paltry roads, odd rules and customs (Figure P1, left panel). As the visitor approaches the border of the country, a smart road sign reads: “Welcome to the Science of Psychology”. Full of expectation, one passes through the guarded gates at border control (sniffer dogs, disinfectant spray guns, x-ray machines and millimetre wave scanners).

After screening by unsmiling officers in peaked caps, the traveller explores what excitement exists inside this guarded place. Each fiefdom provides glossy brochures, catalogues, and travel guides in which skies are always blue, buildings chateaux, and fountains high reaching with crystal waters.

Fountain, chateau, blue sky

Each area invites the visitor to drive over the draw bridge and take a detailed look. However, on close inspection, one senses a deep-seated problem. Something strange and slightly sinister appears to be going on. The locals appear defensive and ill at ease when one makes inquiries and asks even the simplest of questions such as “What does X mean?” As we travel around the country, barbed wire fences of ‘no-man’s land’ are everywhere and the few connecting roads are potholed and ill-made.

No man's land

In each sub-area, there is evidence of industrialisation with companies of artisans ploughing long straight furrows, planting pest-resistant seeds, spraying fields with Roundup®, harvesting their crops and filling rodent-proof silos with carefully sifted data, e.g. long-eared corn tastes better that short-eared, short-eared corn tasted better than oats, oats tastes better that long-eared corn (!) in cycles of planting, harvesting, testing and analysing.

Ploughed fields

Producers with the largest silos rule. In spite of all of the graft, one senses tension, disharmony and technical disputes is causing ill-feeling. If somebody breaks the famine with a bold new idea, s/he risks being pilloried, dunked or quarantined in the cut-off region called “Critical Psychology”. One wonders if Psychology really were a Science, would there be so many sub-regions, stretches of ‘no-mans-land’ and unrewarding customs?

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Figure P1.The Science of Psychology. In its fragmented state (left panel), each sub-field acts as a defended niche with its own specific theories and data. In a unified state (right panel) the discipline would consist of a single General Theory that encompasses the entire field with a minimum number of assumptions, a large set of falsifiable hypotheses, and a body of empirical studies aimed at falsification of the General Theory.

Most commentators agree that a major redesign is long overdue to re-engineer the discipline. Travel between sub-areas needs to be made more navigable, moats emptied, walls razed and bridges built. It’s an Isambard Kingdom Brunel the science needs as much as another Charles Darwin.

BRUNEL

The objectives of A General Theory of Behaviour are to take a few measured steps towards advancing Psychology as a natural science and, in so doing, to unify it (Figure P1, right panel). This brief introduction of 40,000 words offers twenty principles and eighty auxiliary propositions, 100 empirically falsifiable propositions. The principles and multiple auxiliary propositions make the General Theory fully and transparently capable of falsification. In embracing intentionality, purpose and desire, the General Theory is non-reductive while, at the same time, drawing upon principles from other sciences, in particular, Biology and Physiology. Following in the footsteps of Claude Bernard, Walter B Cannon and others, I try to convince the reader of the usefulness of the metamorphosed concept of behavioural homeostasis and, in so doing, explain the implications for the Science of Behaviour.

My thesis is that organisms are not adapted to each other and the environment because natural selection made them that way, but they are made that way owing to an inbuilt striving towards stability and equilibrium. A General Theory of Behaviour is an introductory ‘User’s Guide’ aiming towards a reconfigured Science of Psychology – the target in the right-hand panel of Figure P1. In Chapters One and Two I describe the core elements of the theory. Chapters Three, Four and Five contain additional parts of the theory concerning biological rhythms, concepts of behaviour, Consciousness and the central Behaviour Control System. The remaining five chapters each cover three core topics from the perspective of the theory. These 15 topics indicate the ability of the theory to cover a broad cross-section of the discipline.

Heavy traffic

In building roads and bridges, one must neither over-design nor under-design. Nobody knows how sturdy the structure is until it is tested with a fleet of trucks. Should cracks occur (or worse), other ‘engineers’ might be persuaded to renovate the project. Surely it should be worth the effort. However long it takes, our broken discipline needs to be put together into one beautiful whole.

Book cover