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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1992 Aug;60(4):493-8.

Role of behavior theory in behavioral medicine.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213.


Behavioral medicine is a multidisciplinary field that combines research methods and findings from behavioral and biomedical sciences. Many investigators in the field have tended to emphasize the contribution of the biomedical more than the behavioral sciences. This is evident in the emphasis on biological rather than behavioral outcomes and on the reductionist approach within the field to reduce mechanisms responsible for behavioral effects and disease to biological influences. There has been a similar shift in psychology toward mechanistic, bottom-up approaches to understanding mechanisms responsible for integrated and dynamic behavior. These shifts in emphasis have stimulated investigators to examine the use of biomedical methods and findings as causes and explanations for behavior, rather than to utilize newer findings in behavioral sciences. New advances in basic research on learning are used to illustrate that findings from behavioral science have implications for the field of contemporary behavioral medicine. Finally, the importance of developing new technologies for measuring behavior is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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