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Contribution of Psychology and Social Psychology to the study of Health and Welfare Issues

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Contribution of Psychology and Social Psychology to the study of Health and Welfare Issues Assignment Two In this assignment I will be comparing and contrasting two psychological approaches demonstrating their relevance to understanding a health issue. The issue that I will be applying the two psychological approaches to is Smoking. The psycho dynamic approach denotes the active forces within the personality that motivate behaviour, and the inner causes of behaviour, in particular the unconscious conflict between the different structures that compose the whole personality. There are a lot of factors that contribute to why people behave in a certain way and why people do things that has an adverse affect on health. Anxiety is a state of apprehension, tension and worry this is associated with the Freudian theory. Freud believes that anxiety arises when the ego which is the executive of the personality is faced with an influx of stimuli with which it cannot cope. People use a number of techniques to help cope with anxiety and stress one of these is smoking. People use smoking as a way of coping with anxiety due to the rush of nicotine which gets released in the brain which can give a quick sensation of pleasure and helps calm the smoker down. ...read more.


Evidence shows that people conform for two reasons - one being that they want to be right and the second is they want to be liked. This can be seen many times with the issue of smoking. Lots of young people go around in groups socially; if people in the group smoked other young people would be obliged to join in with them and smoke to "fit in" as they want to be linked. People spend most of their time with friends, classmates, colleagues or relatives in social setting in which social norms and interaction rituals have been established (Montada & Bierhoff, 1991). If a child gets into the routine of smoking after school with a group of peers they will be conforming with the rest of the group they would do this so they would be liked by the rest of the group, if they stopped doing it they maybe subjected to ridicule. According to the conception of the social learning theory, observational learning is one of the most powerful mechanisms of socialisation. People observe others behaviour at a very young age - children observe other people who serves as a model and then imitates what the model does. ...read more.


These two components can be intertwined with the psycho dynamic approach as the belief in the effectiveness of improved health behaviour motivates the way people will deal with the situation, meaning they will stop or cut down in smoking to improve health. Both the psycho dynamic approach and learning approach have associations with the health belief model but are still very different aspects when explaining health related behaviour. The fact that smoking and other social activities such as drinking, eating a poor diet or leading a sedentary lifestyle can result in health impairments is so widely accepted in the world today that one easily forgets that the health risks were practically unknown before the second half of the twentieth century. (Dawber 1080) More and more factors contribute why people behaviour in the way they do and why people are damaging their health because of it. Public health interventions designed to achieve scale behaviour change rely on two strategies, health education and modification to the incentive structure which refers to strategies of behaviour changes that influence behaviour by increasing costs for example of cigarettes and decreasing the costs of health promoting behaviour. The government use this the fiscal method and increase taxes on cigarettes and alcohol to influence behaviour. ...read more.

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