Psychology and Health: Emotions, Behaviors, and Disease

Course Description

In this course, health psychology topics will be discussed in terms of acute and chronic illnesses (e.g., cancer, HIV) and behaviors (e.g., sleep, diet/exercise, substance use). We will discuss what stress is, the links between stress and physiological functioning, and how stress reduction promotes better mental and physical health. Students will learn the role of sleep in brain functioning (e.g., “Why am I so tired during my morning classes?”), why health behaviors are so hard to change (e.g., “Why can I not motivate myself to exercise?”), and why some behaviors (even playing video games!) can seem addictive. This course will be discussion-based and will include information that you can apply to your everyday life. For example, students will monitor one of their own health behaviors during the course and will apply health psychology principles to make a treatment plan for hypothetical patients.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Articulate the biological, social, cultural, and environmental influences on health and well-being
  • Identify the bidirectional relationships between psychological and physical functioning
  • Apply psychological principles to enhance and improve physical and mental health
  • Gain a broad understanding of evidence-based interventions and treatments for health conditions
  • Understand the college experience as it pertains to academic skills, professional skills, self-care, and extracurricular activities


There are no prerequisites for this course, but a strong interest or some background in the subject material is expected.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 18, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: Online - Mostly Asynchronous
Status: Closed
Format: Online
Instructor(s): Mary Beth McCullough
Course Number: 10188