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Handbook of Psychology, Health Psychology (Volume 9)

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Psychology at the beginning of the twenty-“rst century has become a highly diverse “eld of scienti“c study and applied technology. Psychologists commonly regard their discipline as the science of behavior, and the American Psychological Association has formally designated 2000 to 2010 as the •Decade of Behavior.?The pursuits of behavioral scientists range from the natural sciences to the social sciences and embrace a wide variety of objects of investigation. Some psychologists have more in common with biologists than with most other psychologists, and some have more in common with sociologists than with most of their psychological colleagues. Some psychologists are interested primarily in the behavior of animals, some in the behavior of people, and others in the behavior of organizations. These and other dimensions of difference among psychological scientists are matched by equal if not greater heterogeneity among psychological practitioners, who currently apply a vast array of methods in many different settings to achieve highly varied purposes.

Psychology has been rich in comprehensive encyclopedias and in handbooks devoted to speci“c topics in the “eld. However, there has not previously been any single handbook designed to cover the broad scope of psychological science and practice. The present 12-volume Handbook of Psychology was conceived to occupy this place in the literature. Leading national and international scholars and practitioners have collaborated to produce 297 authoritative and detailed chapters covering all fundamental facets of the discipline, and the Handbook has been organized to capture the breadth and diversity of psychology and to encompass interests and concerns shared by psychologists in all branches of the “eld.

Two unifying threads run through the science of behavior. The "rst is a common history rooted in conceptual and empirical approaches to understanding the nature of behavior. The specific histories of all specialty areas in psychology trace their origins to the formulations of the classical philosophers and the methodology of the early experimentalists, and appreciation for the historical evolution of psychology in all of its variations transcends individual identities as being one kind of psychologist or another. Accordingly, Volume 1 in the Handbook is devoted to the history of psychology as it emerged in many areas of scientific study and applied technology.

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