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date: 05 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Social cognition research has greatly informed health psychology investigations during the past several decades. Social cognition research on attitudes has been an important source for interventions to change health behaviors. Investigations into cognitive biases and message framing have also had considerable impact. Cognitive appraisals are pivotal in the experience of stress. Beliefs about health conditions, including causal attributions, beliefs about control, and illness representations, commonly arise and bear some relation to illness outcomes. Of considerable consequence for well-being and health are affectively laden cognitions such as negative expectations and positive beliefs. Approach–avoidance frameworks, research on the self, and cognitive and emotional processes involved in disclosure and social support have all been significantly related to well-being and health outcomes. Current social cognition research in health psychology focuses on linking cognitions and cognitive processes to neural and physiological functioning, thereby elucidating the mechanisms by which beliefs and behaviors affect long-term mental and physical health.

Keywords: health psychology, cognitive appraisals, emotional processes, physical health

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