Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Psychophysiology: Theory and Methods

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_484



How does mental and emotional life tie in with the workings of the body? Psychophysiology is the branch of psychology that studies the behavior of the individual in a biological context. It is an attempt to chart the mutual interactions between psychological processes and the workings of the body, giving equal emphasis to both.


A fundamental principle of psychophysiology is that thoughts and feelings cannot exist apart from the body. It follows that a full understanding of psychological processes depends on understanding the biological context from which they proceed. Due to its emphasis on integrating our understanding of mental and physiological processes, psychophysiology has contributed to research methods and theory building in behavioral medicine and to the neurosciences of cognition and emotion. Psychophysiology does this by providing a theoretical basis and a set of measurement methods that help to disentangle relationships...

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References and Readings

  1. Gerin, W. (2010). Laboratory stress testing methodology. In A. Steptoe (Ed.), Handbook of behavioral medicine: Methods and applications (pp. 633–648). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Lovallo, W. R. (2005). Stress and health. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Obrist, P. A. (1981). Cardiovascular psychophysiology: A perspective. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Steptoe, A., & Poole, L. (2010). Use of biological measures in behavioral medicine. In A. Steptoe (Ed.), Handbook of behavioral medicine: Methods and applications (pp. 619–632). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Turner, J. R. (1984). Cardiovascular reactivity and stress: Patterns of physiological response. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Veterans Affairs Medical CenterOklahoma CityUSA