Health psychology

Health psychology examines the psychological, behavioural and/or sociocultural, in relation to health and wellbeing.

Health, wellbeing and flourishing (and illness and suffering) span intersections of psychological, physical, spiritual, affective, relational, organizational, societal, and political domains of life, experience, and possibility.

Health psychology is a rich and diverse field, ranging from western-science-based brain models for action through to culturally embedded models of health and wellbeing, informed by mātauranga Māori and Pasifika knowledge systems. It can seek to develop and evaluate interventions or prevention initiatives, explore the impact of stressors and illness on everyday life, promote wellbeing, critically examine societal meaning-making and discourse, and work with leaders in organizations and communities for better health outcomes.

Within the School, our researchers engage with health research across this spectrum, from intra-individual processes to wider organizational and societal domains. The Brain Dynamics Lab studies the mechanisms underlying behavioural and neural change, investigating how to harness such knowledge to design and implement interventions, targeting physical and mental health. Researchers within critical psychology traditions consider the intersections of culture and society on people’s understandings, thoughts, feelings, decisions, and actions, as well as on broader issues like public health policy and practice.

Research in occupational health psychology investigates how to work stressors in the organizational setting may influence employees and their lives and how interventions can prevent and attenuate the negative consequences of work stressors and promote employee well-being.

Related centres

Brain Dynamics Lab

Our researchers