Realizing the Promise of Social Psychology in Improving Public Health

William M.P. Klein, James A. Shepperd, Jerry Suls, Alexander J. Rothman, Robert T. Croyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The theories, phenomena, empirical findings, and methodological approaches that characterize contemporary social psychology hold much promise for addressing enduring problems in public health. Indeed, social psychologists played a major role in the development of the discipline of health psychology during the 1970s and 1980s. The health domain allows for the testing, refinement, and application of many interesting and important research questions in social psychology, and offers the discipline a chance to enhance its reach and visibility. Nevertheless, in a review of recent articles in two major social-psychological journals (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), we found that only 3.2% of 467 studies explored health-related topics. In this article, we identify opportunities for research at the interface of social psychology and health, delineate barriers, and offer strategies that can address these barriers as the discipline continues to evolve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Review
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 14 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

Keywords

  • health behavior
  • health psychology
  • public health
  • social psychology

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