Psychology MA, Emotion and Health, 7,5 credits


Psychology MA, Emotion and Health, 7,5 credits

General data

  • Code: PS101A
  • Subject/Main field: Psychology
  • Cycle: Second cycle
  • Credits: 7.5
  • Progressive specialization: A1N - Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
  • Answerable department: Psychology and Social Work
  • Approved: 4/16/2021
  • Date of change: 4/16/2021
  • Version valid from: 1/5/2022


The course aims to introduce the field of emotion and health in terms of health psychology and behavior medicine. Emotion is related to health both in terms of predictive mechanisms and in terms of emotional consequences of health-related problems. In addition, the course will present different theories regarding the association between emotion and the development and maintenance of a number of health-related problems such as pain, sleep disturbances, immune-system disturbances and cardiovascular disease.

Course objectives

After completing the course, students will:

Knowledge and understanding
• Be able to understand associations between emotional and physiological processes may influence physical health, experience of symptoms and general function in an individual
• Be able to give an overall presentation of the research field of emotion and health

Skills and abilities
• Be able to discuss physiological processes relevant for emotional health
• Be able to discuss emotional mechanisms involved in maintenance and prognosis of physical health problems
• Be able to reflect upon the reciprocal relationship between emotion and health
• For a given health-problem be able to describe and exemplify the association between emotion and physiology regarding emergence, development and future prognosis

Judgement and approach
• Have the ability to estimate the role of different response systems in relation to a number of health problems in terms of pain, sleep-disturbances, immune system disturbances and cardiovascular disease
• Demonstrate the ability to evaluate research methods used to study emotional mechanisms in health-related problems.


The course presents emotion in relation to health in terms of health psychology and behavior medicine. The course gives an overview of the scientific knowledge regarding the interaction between physiological processes and emotional mechanisms important for health in general and for specific health problems such as chronic pain, stress, and cardiovascular disease. Endocrine and immune system processes are reviewed in terms of their interaction with emotional mechanisms and how these system communicate and are influenced by external and internal changes. Associations between emotion and health are described in terms of reciprocal processes where for example stress increase vulnerability for a number of physical health problems and how immune system functioning actively influences mood and emotional experiences.

The course emphasizes how basic research regarding emotional processes and physiological mechanisms may increase the understanding of the interaction between emotion and health and specific heath-related problems.

Entry requirements

A bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits (ECTS) with a major in psychology. Alternatively, a bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits (ECTS) with a different major and 60 credits in psychology. Alternatively, 180 credits (ECTS) in psychology without the requirement of having a completed degree. English B/English 6 from Swedish gymnasium or the equivalent.

Selection rules and procedures

The selection process is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

The course is a distance learning course with a limited number of compulsory meetings on campus in Östersund, Sweden. Participation via distance communication means is compulsory throughout the course. Students are required to be active in the course’s room in the online learning platform. The platform is the primary communication tool used for students and teachers, and students will find all information needed to complete the course in the course room.

Examination form

1000: PS101A, Emotion and Health, 7.5 Credits
Grade scale: Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

The course objectives will be examined through active participation in seminars and discussions, on site and online, as well as through written reports.

The examiner has the right to offer alternative examination arrangements to students who have been granted the right to special support by Mid Sweden University’s disabilities adviser.

Link to subject-specific criteria for marks

Grading system

Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

Course reading

Required literature

  • Author: Sternberg, E. M.
  • Title: The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotion.
  • Edition: 2001
  • Publisher: W.H.Freeman & Co Ltd.
  • Author: Linton, S.J.L.
  • Article title: A Transdiagnostic Approach to Pain and Emotion.
  • Journal: 2013/18(2)/82–103.
  • Year/Volume/nr/pages: J Appl Biobehav Res.
  • Author: Fink, G.
  • Title: Stress Science, Neuroendocrinology
  • Edition: Senaste upplagan (latest edition)
  • Publisher: Academic Press.
  • Comment: E-book: ISBN 9780123785718
  • Author: Davidson, J.R., Scherer, K.R., & Goldsmith, H.H.
  • Title: Handbook of affective sciences.
  • Edition: Senaste upplagan (latest edition)
  • Publisher: Oxford: University press.
  • Comment: Selected parts
  • Author: Barrett. F.L., Lewis, M., & Haviland-Jones, M.J.
  • Title: Handbook of Emotions.
  • Edition: Senaste upplagan (latest edition)
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications.
  • Comment: Selected parts

Research articles, as instructed by the teacher.

The page was updated 4/19/2021