Psychology 2036B-001

The Psychology of Physical Health and Illness

This document has been altered from its original format

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


This course will cover the role of psychological factors in the prevention of illness and the maintenance of good health, as well as the treatment of already-existing illness.  Topics will include the stress/illness relation, psychological influences on physical symptom perception and reporting, personality and health, behavioral factors in disease, coping, adherence, and compliance.

Antirequisites: Psychology 3330F/G.

3 lecture hours, 0.5 course.


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit.  So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Instructor:                  Dr. Doug Hazlewood

   Office:                                 Rm. 6330 SSC

   Phone:                                 (519) 661-2111, ext. 84663


   Office Hours:          Mondays, 5:30 - 6:30 pm (or by appointment).


Teaching Assistant:   Samantha Chen


   Office:                                 See exam review sign-up sheets for location.

   Office Hours:          By appointment to review your exams (sign-up times will be available in class).


Course Website:      


Classes:                                   Mondays, 7 - 10 pm; SSC 2050

COURSE FORMAT The primary course format will be lectures. Nevertheless, questions and discussions are desired and encouraged. Indeed, the last portion of each lecture will be set aside as a forum for discussing your thoughts about the material. All students are encouraged to participate in these discussions. Alternatively, students can organize their own informal discussion groups.



(1) Lecture Attendance:

Material covered in lectures will not always be the same as material covered in the textbook; these two sources of information should be viewed as complimentary, not redundant. As such, students who want to do well in this course are strongly encouraged to attend lectures on a regular basis. Also, please note that I will not be providing copies of lecture notes or slides. Therefore, if you miss a lecture, you should try to obtain this material from another student. I recommend that you contact a fellow student early in the term, and arrange to exchange notes in case either of you are forced to miss a lecture. You should not provide notes to students who are "chronically" absent.


(2) Minimizing Distractions:


To avoid unnecessary distractions, please arrive to each class on time, ensure that your cell phone is off, and avoid "private" conversations with the person sitting next to you!


In a class this large, some students will be unaware that their private conversations are distracting to other students. If you feel that students are distracting your attention from the material, then you should ask them to be quiet. If you feel uncomfortable doing this (or if the problem persists), then please see me and I will arrange to meet privately with the students. At this meeting, the students will be given an opportunity to explain their behavior. I will explain why their behavior is distracting or disruptive, and outline the penalties that will be imposed if the behavior continues. To ensure early documentation of the problem, and fair consideration of the appropriate penalty, a report of this meeting will be sent to the Department of Psychology, the Dean of Social Science, and the Ombudsperson's office.


(3) Policy on Cheating (and other Academic Offences):


Scholastic offences are taken very seriously at Western.  Therefore, students must be familiar with the appropriate policies, including the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence. This can be found at the following web site: Scholastic Offences at Western.


Cheating is a very serious academic offence and it will not be tolerated. As of September 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology requires that all multiple-choice tests and exams be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses, using reliable software. In addition, records will be made of student seating locations during all tests and exams. If a similar pattern of responses is detected, students will be reported to the Dean's office for further investigation and possible disciplinary action.

The penalties for cheating can include refusal of a passing grade on the test/exam; refusal of a passing grade in the course; suspension from the University; and expulsion from the University.


To avoid any suspicion of cheating, please take the following steps:


(i) If you studied with another student, then do not sit near this person during the tests/exams. Students who study together are more likely to have similar answers.


(ii) Keep your answers covered so students sitting near you do not have the opportunity to cheat from your exam.


(iii) If you suspect that someone is cheating from your exam, then immediately notify the course instructor or one of the proctors. That way, a record can be made of the incident, and alternative seating arrangements can be provided.


(4) Make-up Exams:

Students will be allowed to write "make-up" exams only under special circumstances. These include medical or compassionate reasons, and must be substantiated with proper documentation as soon as possible (e.g., medical certification verifying that you are unable to write an exam; certificates stating "for medical reasons" are not sufficient). Please note that the documentation must be submitted to (and approved by) an academic counsellor in your Dean's office. A student who misses an exam for any other reason, or who is unable to substantiate a claim in a timely fashion, will be assigned a grade of zero for that exam. In fairness to all, no exceptions to this policy will be allowed.

Please see the POLICY ON ACCOMMODATION FOR MEDICAL ILLNESS - UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS at for additional information on appropriate documentation.


(5) Policy Regarding Illness:                                                

If you feel that you have a medical or personal problem that is interfering with your work, then you should contact your Faculty Academic Counselling Office as soon as possible. Problems may then be documented and possible arrangements to assist you can be discussed at the time of occurrence, rather than retroactively. In general, retroactive requests for grade revisions on medical or compassionate grounds will not be considered.

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


Taylor, Sirois, and Molnar (2017)

Health Psychology (4th Canadian ed.)           

New York: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

Be sure to purchase the new 4th edition


I've put two copies of the textbook on two-hour reserve in Weldon library. There might also be an e-version of the textbook (check the bookstore or the publisher's website). You are NOT responsible for purchasing anything else from the publisher's website! Keep in mind that you are also expected to learn the lecture material.



The purpose of this course is to examine how scientific theories and empirical findings in the field of health psychology have contributed to our understanding of physical health promotion and disease prevention. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how biological, psychological, and social factors interact to influence (1) the creation, maintenance, and alleviation of physical illness, and (2) the promotion of well-being.


 Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:


identify major concepts and theories (including examples) relevant to topics in this course;

interpret the results of research that has examined these concepts and theories; and

apply these concepts and theories to everyday life 

The specific Learning Objectives associated with each textbook chapter, as well as a document that I've posted in the Resources section of OWL (Tips for Learning the Material and Performing Well on Exams) should also help students achieve the course objectives and learning outcomes.



Note that the Psychology Department expects 2000-level courses (such as this one) to have final grade averages near 70%.

Grades in this course will be based on three multiple-choice exams. Students are responsible for material assigned in the textbook, as well as material covered in lectures. The First Exam (January 29), worth 25% of the final grade, will cover material from January 8 through January 22. The Second Exam (March 5), worth 35% of the final grade, will cover material from February 5 through February 26. The Final Exam (during the Final Exam period April 14-30, 2018), worth 40% of the final grade, will cover material from March 12 through April 9.


Grades will be sent to your email address as soon as possible after each exam. Please be sure that your inbox is not full.


NOTE: Grades cannot be adjusted on the basis of "need". In addition, students will not be given the opportunity to improve their grades by completing "extra" assignments. As such, it is important that you monitor your performance on exams and take steps to eliminate any problems as soon as possible, so the problems do not interfere with your performance on subsequent exams.


To review your exam performance, please sign-up for a time (posted in class). Review sessions will be organized by the TA for a two-week period after each exam. You must sign-up during these times. If you cannot be available for a sign-up time, then please contact the TA to schedule an appointment. Appointments should be made no later than three weeks after the exam.


When reviewing your exams, please keep in mind that the TA did not write the exam questions and is not responsible for explaining why a particular answer is correct. After reviewing your exam, please feel free to contact me (Dr. Doug) if you have any questions or concerns. Note: Please review the "frequently asked questions" (below) if you have any questions about the posted grades (e.g., why your grade is not posted, etc.).

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail


Exam 1                                                                                               January 29, 2018                                                       25%

  Material: January 8 - January 22


Exam 2                                                                                               March 5, 2018                                                            35%

  Material: February 5 - February 26


Exam 3                                                                                               Date, Time, & Location TBA (April 14-30)                40%

  Material: March 12 - April 9



Note 1: Exams will cover material from the textbook and lectures.


Note 2: You must go to your assigned room! Room assignments will be announced in class, posted on the course web site, and posted on my office door a few days prior to each exam. Please do not contact the department secretaries for this information!!


Note 3: Electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, dictionaries, smart watches) are NOT permitted during exams. Please leave these devices at home or in your book bag.



Jan 8


Introduction to the Course




Jan 15


What is Health Psychology?

The Systems of the Body


Ch 1

Ch 2 [omit LO3]


Jan 22


Health Behaviors


Ch 3


Jan 29


EXAM 1 (25%)


Jan 8 - 22


Feb 5


Health-Enhancing Behaviors

Health-Compromising Behaviors


Ch 4 [omit LO4]

Ch 5 [omit LO2, 3, 5]


Feb 12



Moderators of the Stress Experience


Ch 6

Ch 7


Feb 19


Reading Week (no class)




Feb 26


Using Health Services

Patient-Provider Relations


Ch 8

Ch 9


Mar 5


EXAM 2 (35%)


Feb 5 - 26


Mar 12


Pain and its Management


Ch 10


Mar 19


Living with Chronic Illness

Psychological Issues in Advancing and Terminal Illness


Ch 11

Ch 12


Mar 26


Conditions of the Immune System I: Psychoneuroimmunology


Ch 14 [read LO1]


Apr 3


Conditions of the Immune System II: AIDS


Ch 14 [read LO2;

   omit LO3 & LO4]


Apr 9


Summary and Review

Health Psychology: Challenges for the Future



Ch 15


TBA (April 14-30)



Date, Time, and Location to be announced


Mar 12 - Apr 9


Note 1: Chapter 13 will not be covered in this course.


Note 2: Exams will cover textbook and lecture material.


Note 3: There will be no lecture after the exams.


Note 4: When a chapter Learning Objective (LO) is omitted, it means that the learning objective will not be covered on exams.




See below for answers to some "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs).


Please read carefully the Department of Psychology document entitled Student Responsibilities at http// for information regarding:  Policy on cheating and academic misconduct; Policy on makeup exams/extensions of deadlines (including appropriate documentation); Procedures for appealing academic evaluations; Short-term and extended absences; Academic concerns; Calendar references; and other issues.


Additional information is provided on our course web site (OWL), including


(1) Tips for using email;


(2) Tips for learning the material and performing well on exams; and


(3) a description of How I create "fair" exams.


Please read this material carefully and contact me if you have any questions.


Other Useful Web sites:


Office of the Registrar:


Student Development Services:


Having academic problems? See


If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you. Please visit for more information about these resources.


Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs)


As we proceed through the course, students often have questions that could affect their progress. To facilitate your progress, I've provided answers to some of these Frequently Asked Questions. Many of these questions focus on exams, so I'll begin with these.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.



Q: Can I use an older version of the textbook?

A: I recommend that students use the newest version so they don't miss any material that might be on the exams.


Q: I don't have access to this course from OWL. What should I do?

A: If you don't have access, then you are not officially registered in the course. It's possible that you registered late (in which case I can add your name to OWL if you send me your UWO email "username" [the part before]). This will give you access to the course web site, but it does NOT ensure that you are officially registered in the course! Therefore, please check the Registrar's website to ensure that you are officially registered. We cannot submit final grades if students are not officially registered in the course.


Q: I'm experiencing problems with OWL. Can you help?

A: It's best to ask the experts at the ITS Support Centre (SSB 4100; 519-661-3800;


Q: Do we have to know any lecture material that is not on the slides (e.g., examples you give)?

A: Yes! Material on the slides is designed to help you organize your notes by outlining the basic topics (and subtopics). In addition, I will often use examples to expand upon this material. Sometimes these examples are perceived as "ramblings" that are not important. Note, however, that some of the exam questions will be derived from these examples! As such, even if it seems like I'm rambling, or restating a point that was already made, you should not ignore the examples I provide in class. A good rule of thumb: If I'm talking about something in class, then it's likely I'll ask a question about it, even if the material is not on the slides.


Q: I missed a lecture. Can you provide me with the "lecture notes" and/or "slides"?

A: No. Try to get this information from another student. If anything is unclear, please see me during my office hours (or schedule an appointment to meet with me).


Q:  I know you do not provide lecture notes or slides, but could you make an exception for me?

  1. No. See answer to previous question.


  1. I missed a video that was shown in class. Can you arrange a "second showing"?
  2. No. See answers to previous questions.


Q: Are the exams cumulative?

A:  No. See Summary of Examination Schedule above.


Q: What textbook chapters will be covered on the upcoming exam?

A: See Summary of Examination Schedule. Remember, lecture material will also be covered.


Q: How much detail do we have to remember from the textbook?

A: I try to avoid asking questions that focus on the smallest details. Nevertheless, some of the exam questions will focus on specific details, so be sure to read the textbook carefully.



Q: Do we have to know all the names and dates in the textbook?

A: No. Only names/dates that I emphasize in lectures.


Q: Do we have to know material in the textbook "Figures"?

A: Yes. The Figures are designed to supplement the textbook material (e.g., by providing a graphic depiction of research findings, or a visual representation of basic concepts/ideas). As such, they will help you understand the material.


Q: Do we have to know material in the "Recommended Reading" boxes and the "Web Links" (if mentioned)?

A: Unless I discuss this material in lectures, it will not be tested on the exams. Nevertheless, you are encouraged to explore this material if you want to increase your knowledge and competence in the area of health psychology.


Q: Are we responsible for watching the videos mentioned in the "Connect" boxes?

A: No (I think you have to pay extra to view these videos). Just be familiar with the video descriptions provided in the textbook (if any).


Q: Where do I go to write the exam?

A: You must write the exam in your assigned room. Room assignments will be announced in class one week before the exam. They will also be posted on the course web site and my office door. Therefore, please do not phone or email us (or the department admin assistants!) for this information.


Q: I can't write the exam at the scheduled time, and want to write the makeup exam. When is it scheduled? Will it be the same format?

A: As indicated on the course syllabus, makeup exams are granted under a limited set of circumstances, and must be supported by proper documentation (see the Psychology Department's website for additional information regarding documentation). Documentation must be approved by your Dean's Office. After the documentation is received and approved, a makeup exam will be scheduled. At that time, we will also discuss the exam format. In the meantime, it is your responsibility to ensure that the documentation is submitted as soon as possible.


Q: I'm swamped by three exams in a 24 hour period! Can I write the makeup for our 1st (or 2nd) exam?

A: No. According to Senate regulations, the dates for these exams must be clearly indicated on the course outline during the first class. This advanced warning should give all students enough time to adjust their schedules so they are prepared for the exams. If this information was not provided, then you should contact the professor (he/she might be in violation of a Senate Regulation). The only exception involves Final Exams. If you have three Final Exams in a 24 hour period, then you should contact the academic counselors in your Dean's Office. They will explain the procedures you should follow, and provide you with the appropriate forms.



Q: I have two exams at the same time. What should I do?

A: In the case of midterm exams, you should contact the professor in your other course to arrange a makeup exam. Professors cannot force you to miss our class; if they have scheduled an exam that conflicts with our class, then they must provide an alternative time for makeup exams. Upon request, I will provide the professor with appropriate documentation indicating that you have another obligation in our course (if you are officially registered in our course). In the case of Final Exams, you should contact the academic counselors in your Dean's Office to discuss the various options.




Q: Can I ask questions during the exams?

A: To be fair to all students, NO questions will be allowed during the exams. I cannot help you define any "concepts" or "words" on the exams. I cannot discuss what you remember from the textbook or the lectures (because some questions are designed to test your memory of this material). I cannot tell you whether the "reasoning" behind your chosen answer is correct, because that's the same as telling you whether or not your answer is correct. Obviously that's not something we should discuss during the exam! I cannot help you decide what to do if you think two options are correct (except to tell you to choose the best option). Note that we CAN discuss these issues AFTER the exams, but we cannot discuss them during the exams.


Q: Can I use the washroom during the exams?

A: If it is a medical emergency, the answer is Yes! Otherwise, students should not leave the room during exams. The exams are designed to take less than two hours to complete. Students should use the washroom before the exams.


Q: A student sitting near me is "sniffling". It's very distracting. Can you ask the student to blow his/her nose?

A: Yes. For now, I encourage all students to bring tissues so they can blow their noses if they have the sniffles during exams.


Q: Can I stay in the exam room for the full amount of time?

A: Yes. But the time provided for exams is designed to ensure that all students can complete the exams in less than the allotted time (so they don't feel any "time pressure"). Please do not feel that you have to stay in the exam room until the last minute!


Q: Does the time allowed for the exams include filling in the scantron, or do we get extra time for this?

A: You DO NOT get extra time! When the exam ends, your scantron will be removed and blank answers will be recorded as incorrect answers. See previous question.




Q: When will the exam grades be posted?

A: As soon as possible. Check your email inbox and please be patient.


Q: I missed the exam. Can we simply re-weight my final grade?

A: No. Students must demonstrate their mastery of all material in the course. If you receive permission from your Dean's Office, then you will be given an opportunity to write a makeup exam. Otherwise, you will receive a zero on the exam. See the next question.


Q: I missed the exam. When can I write the makeup?

A: As indicated on the course outline, you cannot write a makeup exam until you receive permission from your Dean's Office. Documentation is required. Please see the course outline for further details, and submit the documentation as soon as possible. If you miss the makeup, it is possible that you will not be given another opportunity to write it (and a grade of zero will be recorded).


Q: I missed the makeup exam. What should I do?

A: This is a very serious situation. You should contact your Dean's Office as soon as possible if there is anything that is preventing you from writing exams and makeup exams at the scheduled times. Please ask the Dean's Office to contact me.


Q: You posted an announcement on OWL that the grades were emailed, but I didn't receive the email. What should I do?

A: Check that your email inbox is not full (delete any old messages and empty the Trash folder). Then, email me ( as soon as possible. There might have been a problem recording your grade if you entered your student number incorrectly on the scantron, so be sure to include your correct student number in the email.


Q: How can I review my performance on the exams?

A: First, make an appointment with the TA during the sign-up times provided in class. You should look closely at the questions you got wrong and ask yourself (1) "Why did I get these wrong" and (2) "How can I prevent the same mistake in the future?". Note: You should NOT ask the TA why you got questions wrong. This is something you have to diagnose on your own (but feel free to contact me! See next question).


Q: I'd like to discuss some of the exam questions. Who should I see?

A: After reviewing your exam with the TA, mark these questions on the answer sheet (provided by the TA). The TA will forward the answer sheet to me. We can then discuss these questions during my office hours (or you can see me after class to make an appointment). Please note that I cannot make adjustments to your grade. See next question.


Q: I thought Question [xx] was ambiguous/unfair. Would you consider dropping this question?

A: Yes! Ambiguous/unfair questions are easy to spot, because most students get these questions wrong. When this occurs, I automatically eliminate the question (see the web site document: How I create fair exams for more information). The only exception occurs when the question is based on lecture material. I realize that not all students will attend lectures and not all attending students will think carefully about the material. If you are one of these students, then you should anticipate that some lecture questions will seem ambiguous or unfair. On the other hand, if you attend every lecture, and think carefully about the material (including the examples that I provide), then you should not have any problem with these questions.


Q: I'm not doing as well as I would like on the exams and was wondering if you can provide any tips for improving my performance.


A: First, see the web site document entitled "Tips for Learning the Material and Performing Well on Exams". Second, review your exams to identify exactly what you're doing wrong (this should be done as soon as possible after the first exam). Finally, see me to discuss possible solutions to the problems you're experiencing.




Q: Can I ask you questions before class?

A: Yes. I have office hours Mondays from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, so feel free to meet with me then (note, please don't stop by at 6:25 unless you have a very short question). Typically, I'll be in class 20 minutes before the lecture begins. However, during this time, I'll be organizing the room and setting up the equipment (e.g., computer, overhead projectors, etc). If I look like I'm busy with this, then it is not a good time to ask questions. Once everything is set-up, I can answer questions. Keep in mind that I want to begin class at 7 pm sharp (so use your own judgment when asking questions a few minutes before the class begins).


Q: Can I ask you questions during the break or after the lecture?

A: Yes! These are especially good times to ask questions about the lecture material, because it will be fresh in our minds. Although I won't be able to answer many questions during the 10 minute break (use your best judgment if it looks like we're near the end of the break), we will have time for questions after the lecture. Indeed, when the lecture ends, we'll set aside the remaining class time for questions and discussions.


Q: Can I ask you questions during the lecture?

A: Yes! This is particularly important if the lecture material is unclear. Although I will make every effort to be as clear as possible, I realize that I might not always succeed. For this reason, I will occasionally pause and ask whether you have any questions. If my presentation is not clear; if there is a concept that has not been defined; if you don't have the basic information that is required to understand the lecture material, then please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.


Often, the lecture material will be clear, but students have other questions that go beyond the lecture material. In this case, you should use your best judgment and consider the following: (1) Will this question cause us to go on a tangent that takes us away from the focus of the lecture? (2) Is this a question we could discuss at the end of the lecture? In a class of 400 students, I'm reluctant to go on tangents introduced by a single student. Indeed, in the past, it seems that for every student who benefitted from the discussion, I hear from 10 students who thought it was a waste of time and interfered with the flow of lecture material. Therefore, if in doubt, put a question mark in your notes and ask the question at the end of the lecture. For now, I look forward to your questions and our discussions!


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.