Psychology 455-80, Austin

Welcome Letter for Health Psychology


Dr. Austin




Course No. & Section:




Office Hours:

415 Hamburg Turnpike

Hello and welcome to Health Psychology!

Welcome to Health Psychology!

This course is designed to give you a broad overview of the related fields of health psychology and behavioral medicine. In this course, we will apply various theoretical perspectives to understanding how biological, psychological, and social factors interact with and affect: (1) people?s efforts to achieve good health and prevent illness, (2) factors underlying health habits and lifestyles, (3) stress and coping and their role in illness, (4) factors related to seeking and receiving treatment for medical problems, (5) pain and its treatment, and (6) the recovery, rehabilitation, and psychosocial adjustment of people with serious health problems and chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.


IMPORTANT: Many students believe that an online course is less demanding than a face-to-face course. Nothing could be further from the truth. Psychology in itself is an extremely challenging area since it touches on such a wide range of topics in. The field of Health Psychology, in specific, requires a comprehensive understanding of physical processes, individual differences and social influences ~ this takes a lot of work! Overall, students are often surprised by the effort it takes to do well in this class. Online classes require self-discipline and dedication. You must do large amounts of reading and keep up with the assignments since no one will be reviewing the material with you in person. Online classes also require active participation unlike some face-to-face classes where you can sit in the back row and get by without getting involved. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Think through your decision to take this online course carefully. It is demanding. I anticipate, however, that if you put in the time and effort you will find it a rewarding experience.

As a brief overview, we'll be covering approximately one chapter per week. You will be expected to post on the discussion board each week and will be graded according to your depth and understanding of the topic at hand. You may also be asked to review articles and complete written assignments. In addition, you will complete a chapter quiz each week. Chapter quizzes generally open on Wednesdays and close by Fridays at 5pm. All quizzes are timed so, for example, you may have a 25 question quiz with 35 minutes to submit all your answers. Finally, you will have a term paper due toward the end of the semester that must follow APA guidelines.


Taylor, Shelley. Health Psychology, 7th Edition.(2009) McGraw Hill. This text is available in the University Bookstore or you may get it elsewhere such as Amazon. Here is the link to the publisher's website where you can also find the text: This text is required.


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How to Access Blackboard:
To log on to Bb point your web browser to and click the Login button in the upper left. Then enter your username and password in the spaces provided and click login again -- you'll find your course Bb sites listed on the right.

Some things to be aware of as you work with Blackboard:

  1. You probably won't find all your courses listed; the only ones that will appear are those that have been activated by the professor teaching the course. Professors who don't use Blackboard will not activate their courses.
  2. Your username is comprised of your lastname and firstinitial, usually appended with a numeral. If you don't know your WPUNJ system username password you can use the Username lookup link at , or go to it directly at:
  3. If you are already logged in to the WPUNJ system through WPConnect you won't have to re-enter your username and password -- just click the first login button.
  4. Blackboard documentation can be found in two places: at Bb Home,, before one logs in, and in the Blackboard Support tab after one has logged on.
  5. You can always obtain Bb help by using the Problem Report form at , or by going to it directly at: .

WPUNJ Student Email:
To access WPUNJ Student Email point your web browser to, enter your username and password, then select the Mail tab. If you are logging on for the first time you'll be asked to set your time zone and language.

Blackboard courses will use student email; third-party email addresses will not work on Bb

Good luck and have fun in the course! Dr. Austin